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.
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?!?
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:
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?