Guess the Food #6: Vegetables!!!
If you didn’t know, three exclamation points in a title is blogger-speak for sarcasm.
But if you just went by the label of this “Guess the Food” contender you might be tricked into thinking that it’s crammed full of vegetables.
The problem of course (and what really steams my buns) is not that the product labeling is lying. Because it technically isn’t lying. The problem is that the labeling yells, screams and shouts all the (maybe) benefits of the product and doesn’t address any of the problems. I guess that’s how you earn your bucks as a marketer, but seriously. My buns are steamed over here.
The Claim in Question is Above!
The last sort-of Guess the Food post I wrote was on all of the crazy claims that were on a certain can of soup. The particular brand isn’t even important because they all do the same nonsense.
I don’t want to talk too much about the claim in this case but it’s worth mentioning.
Full serving of vegetables! Well cream my grits! That sounds like a great deal right? You get one full serving of vegetables by somehow interacting with this product!
If you read the little crucifix next to the vegetable part it goes on to say:
“A 1/4 Cup serving of Product provides 1/2 Cup of vegetables. MyPyramid (my review) suggests 2.5 Cups of vegetables per day for a 2,000 calorie diet.”
Read that one more time. I’ll wait.
I had to call an old physics friend just to confirm that such a claim is even possible given the space-time continuum. How can you get 1/2 Cup of something into 1/4 Cup of something?
Of course, the answer is that they suck out all the moisture in these vegetables, puree them, reduce them down to some weird paste, pack that paste full of other stuff, and call it a day. There’s your vegetables!
Just so I don’t get sued here. That’s just my guess at how they cram 1/2 Cup of something into 1/4 Cup space. But, if we take a look at the nutritional facts and ingredients I bet we can get a better idea of how exactly they perform such a magic trick.
The first thing I noticed about this product is that if you eat a whole package/can/box of it, you won’t have to eat vegetables for over a day. Because it has that many servings of vegetables you see!
That’s horse-puckey of course, but believe it if you want.
Besides that there isn’t much to say about this right now other than that it appears to be a vessel for salt and sugar. 410 grams of sodium for 1/4 Cup is a pretty large amount of salt. If you ate the whole package (which would be insane but you would get all those yummy vegetables) then you’d easily surpass the daily amount of recommended salt.
So let’s dive into the ingredients and see what’s going on here.
Ingredients. In order and therefore also in order of largest amount.
Tomato Puree. Well, I guess this is where we are getting our veggies from! Never mind that tomatoes are technically a fruit but I’ll give them a pass.
High Fructose Corn Syrup.I’ve stated my opinion on this stuff before. I don’t love it but I also don’t have a huge problem with it unless it’s used like it’s used here: Hidden in a food that most people wouldn’t think has it.
As an aside, the corn industry is currently trying to get the term “corn sugar” approved for use so if you see that on labels soon, it’s the same thing.
Distilled Vinegar. Standard pantry-issued white vinegar.
Corn Syrup. See above although not the High Fructose variety. Still sweet as heck though.
Then we enter into the “less than 2%” ingredients. For those keeping track, that means that those four ingredients make up probably 90% of this food. It’s basically tomatoes and sugar.
Salt. Had to be in there. I’m surprised it’s not higher on the list.
Sugar. Good god man why?! Just to round out the sweetness trio?
Remember how I was wondering how they were cramming 1/2 Cup of vegetables into a 1/4 Cup serving? Here’s how. The next ingredients are:
Dehyrdated onions and Dehydrated red and green peppers. Turns out that if you suck all the moisture out of vegetables they get really tiny.
Chili pepper. I’m pretty sure they are referencing the spice here and not actual peppers. Funnily, the spice is of course just dehydrated peppers.
Tomato Fiber. I wasn’t able to find much on this but I’m guessing it’s what it sounds like: the fiber stuff in a tomato. My guess would be they add this to give the product some texture.
Spices. Anybody’s guess here.
Xantham Gum. This stuff is kind of crazy but it changes the viscosity of a substance. It helps a product stabilize but also makes it easy to pour out.
Dehydrated Garlic. Garlic is already so small! But they just had to go and make it smaller.
Carob Bean Gum. Looks like another thickening agent. Never heard of it before though.
Natural Flavors. Could be anything.
So there ya go! I’m hoping this is one of the harder guess the foods. I really tried to stump you all on this one!
I’ll give you another hint though that shocked me. 16 ounces of this product (that’s the purchase size) costs almost $3!
It’s tomatoes and sugar basically. $3. I was thinking it would be like 50 cents.
So. Can you guess the food? Leave a comment!