Originally created 12/22/99

Small portions



Stove-less meals

As you sit down to enjoy your post-Y2K repast of cold pork and beans, remember this: You could have had a HeaterMeals lasagna entree.

Better, you could have watched your HeaterMeals lasagna take on a steamy ambiance in its own "stove" within the box.

Not since the candy assembly-line scene from I Love Lucy has food been this -- well, this darned fascinating.

The company, HeaterMeals Co. of Cincinnati (www.heatermeals.com), sells its prepackaged dinners mostly to truckers, campers and soon-to-be victims of disasters. But fearing a Y2K meltdown, regular (and scary) folks are making this a very good year for the HeaterMeals company.

Funny, that word "meltdown." It taps the HeaterMeals nail right on the old noggin.

The HeaterMeals gimmick is: The food heats itself in the box -- without electricity. Just mix the water from an enclosed pouch with a packet of salt, iron and magnesium, then set your HeaterMeal on top and step aside. Quickly.

Voila! Fourteen minutes later your lasagna is steaming. That's what the box says, anyway.

HeaterMeals are $3.99 and come in lasagna, spaghetti, green pepper steak with rice, chicken and noodles, beef and mashed potatoes, and a breakfast meal. Call (800) 503-4483, direct your Web browser to www.heatermeals.com or send e-mail to info@heatermeals.com.

Eating like pigs

When it comes to eating garbage, pigs come to mind. But someday, hogs may not have to eat like pigs, say scientists, who report they've found a way to genetically alter young hogs so they grow 40 percent faster and larger than normal swine -- on 25 percent less feed. The prospect of biotech hogs is likely to raise new questions in a growing worldwide debate over genetically engineered food. The United States already is locked in a trade war over the European Union's ban on beef from cattle injected with hormones.