Letter to a Frozen Peas Manufacturer

Dear Frozen Peas Manufacturer,

We are writing to you because we feel that the peas illustrated on your package of frozen peas are a most unattractive color. We are referring to the 16 oz. plastic package that shows three or four pods, one of them split open, with peas rolling out near them. The peas are a dull yellow green, more the color of pea soup than fresh peas and nothing like the actual color of your peas, which are a nice bright dark green. The depicted peas are, moreover, about three times the size of the actual peas inside the package, which, together with their dull color, makes them even less appealing—they appear to be past their maturity and mealy in texture. Additionally, the color of your illustrated peas contrasts poorly with the color of the lettering and other decoration on your package, which is an almost harsh neon green. We have compared your depiction of peas to that of other frozen peas packages and yours is by far the least appealing. Most food manufacturers depict food on their packaging that is more attractive than the food inside and therefore deceptive. You are doing the opposite: you are falsely representing your peas as less attractive than they actually are. We enjoy your peas and do not want your business to suffer. Please reconsider your art.


Yours sincerely.


is the author of one novel and eight story collections. She is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and was named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government for her fiction and her translations of modern writers including Maurice Blanchot, Michael Leiris and Marcel Proust.