What the F is THAT?

Although I feel like I’ve completely lost my blogging mojo, I figured the only way to get it back is to get on here and start typing away, right? I haven’t written a “typical” blog post since the Boston Marathon Bombings, and although Boston will never quite be the same, I figure it’s about time to pick myself up by the proverbial boot straps and carry on. Blog world, I’m back.

I was in the grocery store recently, and looked down at a shelf in front of me when something caught my eye. “Calorie Free Marshmallow Dip” it said. Wait, what? I thought I misread it. So I picked it up (almost embarrassed to be seen looking at such a monstrosity), and re-read the label. Yep, I was right the first time. Calorie Free Marshmallow Dip.

Walden-Farms-Calorie-Free-Marshmallow-Dip-072457323339First of all, who the hell eats marshmallow dip?

It was from a company called Walden Farms, which sounds innocent enough, no? It’s a farm! Farms produce delicious healthy real foods! Except for when the “farm” is really just a chemical plant churning out jars of calorie free crap. I went home and looked up this company online, which is where I found out the awful truth.

Walden Farms makes a whole slew of calorie free “foods”, including calorie free Peanut Butter, and calorie free “mayo”. WHAT THE F IS THAT?!?

peanut spread WF

Let’s explore this idea a little bit. Peanut butter is made from peanuts, which contain… ahem.. calories and fat. How on earth could a “peanut spread” be calorie free? Heck even PB2 (which I also hate) has calories for Christ sake, Which leads me to believe one thing: this is a lab creation, and is not even really food at all. Looking the nutritional information for this particular product confirmed my suspicions:

Screen shot 2013-04-30 at 9.04.15 PM

The first ingredient is water. WATER. YOU’RE BUYING WATER. Next comes some thickeners, and after that, “fresh roasted peanut flavor”. Read that again. Peanut flavor. Isn’t this a peanut spread? WHERE ARE THE PEANUTS???  The ingredient list is finished out with some sucralose (splenda) which many people’s guts are sensitive to.

Yum. Lab-created peanut flavor thrown into some water, thickeners, and artificial sweetener. Call me crazy, but I don’t call that food, in any sense of the word.

Their other products are just as bad, so don’t think it’s just the Peanut Spread.  The Mayo, for example, is made of water, some thickeners, and “egg flavor”. Barf.

The kicker comes from the description of their products though. As quoted directly from their website:

CLASSIC PEANUT SPREAD that’s smooth and creamy with Natural Fresh Roasted Peanut flavor…When making a PB&J switch from other brands of Peanut Butter loaded with sugar and almost 200 calories in just two level tablespoons to new Walden Farms Whipped Peanut Spreads and save over 600 calories when made with Walden Farms Calorie Free Fruit Spreads, “The Walden Way.”

Ok, so other peanut butters are loaded with sugar? False, if you’re buying good quality peanut butter.  And most importantly, other peanut butters are made with REAL PEANUTS, not chemically formed flavors! The sad thing is though, that some people see these products and think that because it says “calorie free” that means it’s healthy. Or that the company’s claims that you can “save 10,000 calories per month” by substituting your regular foods with their chemical-concoctions, never mind the fact that if you actually do that, you’ll end up malnourished. (And who knows if all of these chemicals cause cancer. I’m not saying they do, I’m just saying…).

The company’s tagline makes me sick too. “Eat Healthy, The Walden Way”. Please excuse me while I go dry heave in the corner. Healthy? HEALTHY? How dare they prey on uneducated consumers to believe that these products are truly healthy.

I didn’t mean for this to turn into an angry rant, but since it looks like it’s heading that way, I might as well stick with the theme. How’s this for an idea? How about we eat real foods, grown from the earth, not from a chemical company. How about we eat foods that contain nutrients that our bodies desperately need in order to remain healthy, fight off disease, and heal injuries? How about we stop supporting companies that process crap like this and get back to foods that contain proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals? (Novel idea, I know).  I honestly feel that companies like this should not be legally allowed to call this stuff “food”. It’s water and chemicals, and that’s it. Shame on Walden Farms for promoting this as health food, and shame on consumers who are educated yet still buy this stuff just because it’s calorie free.

Have you ever tried any Walden Farms products? Would you buy “food” with this type of nutritional label just to save a few calories? Do you think there’s any chance that PB spread actually tastes like peanuts?


28 thoughts on “What the F is THAT?

  1. I saw that line of products the other day in my grocery stores health food section! Sorry but no thanks, I don’t buy it. Calories are not the enemy, processed junk is which exactly what these products seem to be full of! Don’t like the calories in mayo? Don’t eat it and sub with plain Greek yogurt!

    1. Mayo makes my stomach turn so I actually make my tuna salad with 2% Plain greek yogurt, add a little seasoning, and it is delicious! Great suggestion!

  2. Ditto! This stuff should not be allowed to be called food – it’s chemical junk! I’ve never bought Walden Farms products before, but I did used to buy that 0% artificially sweetened yogurt a few years ago until I smartened up and realized 2% real yogurt is so much better. And that can be said about everything – real food is always better!

    1. Ahhh yes 2% yogurt is sooo much better, and keeps you much more satisfied than the fake stuff!

  3. I love health rants #sighswithcontentment

    I don’t recognise that as a brand we have over here but I am sure it won’t be too long.

    It just further fuels the mania that calories are EVIL. There should be some law that to actually label a food with something like peanut it should contain some peanuts!!

    1. I agree with you 100%! I really don’t know how this stuff can be labeled as food. It is so far on the other end of the spectrum it’s not even funny.

  4. It took me way too long to realize the healthiest diet I could be eating means meat, vegetables, olive and coconut oils, full fat milk / ice cream / yogurt / cheese, egg yolks, PB, etc. To think I used to feel so virtuous eating a Fat-Free Dannon yogurt (only 60 calories!).

    I focus less on calories, and more on nutrients. And Walden Farms does NOT a nutrient-dense diet make.

    1. I agree with you Jessica. Eating the “old fashioned” way (making it yourself at home as much as possible) is better than packaged “healthy” food stuff.

      I also am baffled at regular yogurt. Where did it go? Everything is fat-free and modified. I just want an old school yogurt with calories and real ingredients.

      1. Yes Steve, I hear ya! Give me some fat in my yogurt!! fat = flavor and satiety. I’ll take that over artificial flavoring any day.

    2. Yogurt seems to be a big one for some people!! I stopped eating the no-fat yogurt years ago, especially the artificially flavored Dannon ones… It’s amazing how many people consider that “health food”!

  5. hahahah i love you!! we had sugar free syrup in our house & i was like, mom, really? what IS syrup besides sugar? some things just shouldn’t exist. anyway now we have the regular, diabetes in a bottle syrup and i’m happy as a clam. so this post made me laugh. i want to take a field trip to the FDA and be like… what are you guys even doing? step aside i’m taking over. 🙂

    1. Let’s plan that trip together… they wouldn’t know what to do with the two of us!

  6. WF has been around for a while – I used to guzzle that shit when I was bodybuilding. Gives me the shudders. Thought cause I could count macros I knew about nutrition *scoffs at self*. Anyway, its gnarly. It TASTES as disgusting as it sounds. The ‘maple syrup’ and ‘chocolate’ sauce were the ones I bought… blech. I dont know how I ate it.

    1. I can’t believe I never noticed it before, and I am honestly I surprised I never ate it, with the amount of fat-free crap I ate for a couple of years after college. Yuck yuck yuck.

  7. The PB spread is nastiness. I tried it about 3 years ago. Once. And I threw it out after 2 bites. (2 because I had to make sure, after the first one, that my taste buds weren’t effed up but the product was.)

  8. I have never seen this but know the “old” me would have been so excited to find this “score” but the new me would gawk and pull it out of the hands of anyone that wanted to try it.

    1. Seriously… put it down people! Step away from the chemicals!

  9. Gross. It always makes me sad when I hear someone talking about calorie-free peanut butter. They are missing the whole point of having healthy fats!

    My latest indulgence is the Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter by the Peanut Butter Co. It tastes so freaking good. The ingredients are mostly natural but it contains evaporated cane juice and palm fruit oil, which are two things I probably shouldn’t be eating. Oh well!

    1. Ahh I want to try that stuff!! I’ve gone to buy it a few times and put it back because of the cane juice and palm fruit oil, but I think I might have to get a jar just to have around for a treat sometimes 🙂

  10. YUCK wth? Good reminder to check that label – better yet I’ll keep shopping the outer ring of the commissary.

    1. Yes, good idea! Stay away from the monstrosities of the inner aisles 🙂

  11. Oh my god – I’ve never even heard of this stuff!! I think it’s absolutely insane the types of things that grocery stores can sell now and call it “food”. I think we’ve all made that mistake – trying a not-so-good-for-us food and then realizing how bad it is for you. Totally guilty with that one. Special K bars like everyday as a snack in high school? I’m better off with an apple.

    1. I was so guilty of the Special K bars for a while too! I ate those things like it was my job during college. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been tempted to buy one of those!

  12. hahahah funny story – a new roomie just moved into my apartment and has recently FILLLLLLED my precious freezer with box after box after box of frozen meals. The fridge is filled with packaged food and same with the pantry, sigh. It’s all low cal, low sugar, fat free, blah blah. Oh and she guzzles 2 liters of diet soda like it’s no one elses business. I on the other hand buy all fresh vegetables, meat, and fruit every week. I don’t do dairy because my stomach doesn’t like it but I would if I could. I definitely would have tried that garbage out a few years ago, now no thank you.

    1. Ahh I had an old roommate that did the same thing! Isn’t it amazing to watch someone subsist entirely off of fake food? It blows my mind. Maybe you should forward her this blog post to read 😉

  13. I’ve seen this line at Kroger.. WOW..

    What is worse is that PEOPLE BUY THIS! I have become a bit judgmental since I made the switch myself outside the “Lean Cuisine” and “Healthy Choice” lunches, but man, this is just dumb lol.

    1. haha, I used to be a “Lean Pockets” and Baked Cheetos girl myself… I’ve come a long way!!

  14. I know this if off topic but I’m lookiing
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    get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% sure. Any recommendations oor advice would be greatly appreciated.

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