Monday, August 23, 2010

The Redux: Meat Your Vegetables? Seriously?

We were so busy today building very nifty, new cool features to help you track your wellness goals and progress that we didn't make the time to sit down and do the blog fantastic. So sorry! On the upside, you're going to love, love the new tracking system. On the next upside, we're republishing one of our favorite blogs and one that has gotten lots of great feedback.

Until tomorrow... enjoy!

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. Corn isn't a vegetable though. It's a grain. :)

  2. Thanks, Joanna. From what I've read corn is considered a vegetable if eaten raw and a grain if dried. And, I think the question is one that can create a heated debate. In any case, thanks for reading!