Friday, April 9, 2010

Meat Your Vegetables? Seriously?

The benefit of small amounts of television watching is you miss some of the ridiculous commercials which proliferate prime time television. Last evening, I saw this commercial for Manwich which claims every serving of Manwich has a whole serving of vegetables. The commercial ends with the tagline, "Manwich. Meat Your Vegetables." On the ConAgra Foods website, they report a "Full serving of vegetables" means that one 1/4 cup serving of Manwich contains or is the equivalent of 1/2 cup of vegetables.

So many questions come to mind! First of all, what is the "equivalent" of 1/2 cup of vegetables? Second of all, what unnatural thing does one have to do to 1/2 of vegetables to make them fit into 1/4 cup serving with other stuff in it? Third of all, what exactly is in the can?

I don't happen to have a can of Manwich around the house and can't really bring myself to go and buy one. For the record, the link to get nutritional information on the ConAgra website leads to a page that says "We are updating our product nutritional information. Our apologies for the inconvenience. Please check back later." I wonder how long this message has been there and if they are not posting nutritional information because it is too frightening. According to this blog, the ingredients are:
Tomato Puree (Water, Tomato Paste), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Distilled Vinegar, Corn Syrup, Less than 2% of: Salt, Sugar, Dehydrated Onions, Dehydrated Red and Green Bell Peppers, Chile Pepper, Tomato Fiber, Spices, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Dehydrated Garlic, Carob Bean Gum, Natural Flavors.

It doesn't really seem likely that all of those ingredients would total up to a full serving of vegetables. Unless.... unless, of course, they are counting the High Fructose Corn Syrup and the Corn Syrup as vegetable. Yes, both of those ingredients come from the much produced vegetable, corn. Though I don't think it fair to trick the average consumer into thinking if they eat a Manwich for dinner they are eating a full serving of vegetables.

I would like to believe a full serving of vegetables looks more like, well vegetables. Carrots, broccoli, kale, lettuce. You know... the stuff you buy around the edges of your grocery store, the stuff that comes in its own skin or peel, the stuff which doesn't require a box or a can. Come on, ConAgra. Stop fooling the American consumer so you can sell more stuff in a can. More stuff mostly made out of corn (which when processed, doesn't really count as a vegetable!).

P.S. - When you do a spell check on something and words are highlighted as mis-spellings DO NOT EAT THEM! Guar and Xantham gum (made with corn...).


  1. amazing post! i just saw this commercial today and thought the exact same thing! i was about to go blog a very similar rant, but you nailed it on the head. well done. and f you conagra!!!

  2. This is so funny. I posted a status asking someone to explain how they can stuff a 1/2 cup of vegetables into a 1/4 cup of manwich and someone sent me this link. My mind was totally blown. I just really hate how companies can say whatever they want on tv about their product and its just craziness most of the time. Consumers need to get smart and find out for themselves what they're really eating.