Why Does this Food Have 196 Ingredients?

All we did was try to read the ingredients list on the back of this TV dinner. We didn’t realize we would get sucked into a processed food hell time vortex.

In this day and age of genetically modified, subsidized, and highly processed food full of chemical additives and synthetic multisyllabic unpronounceables, would it surprise you to learn that for just $2.22, you can buy a meal made with no less than 196 ingredients?

This food contains so many different forms of the excitotoxin MSG, both named and hidden, that we totally lost count.

You get more than your fair share of the preservatives BHT (butylated hydroxytolune), BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and TBHQ (Tertiary Butylhydroquinone), a trio of coal tar and butane derivatives that are laughingly referred to as “antioxidants” because they prevent the food from going rancid (can it even go rancid anymore?).

There are partially hydrogenated oils galore — a hidden treasure trove of trans fats, the man-made fats linked to heart disease and officially believed to have caused thousands upon thousands of heart attacks over the years. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently took trans fat off the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) list (finally), but a nifty loophole allows anything with less than 0.5 grams to say “zero trans fat” on the label even though it’s not actually zero (by the way, this dinner didn’t have any listed, even though the words “partially hydrogenated” were printed on there way more than once).

Nice, huh? Oh, and don’t forget this meal comes chock full of more genetically modified soy than you can shake two sticks at.

That’s just for starters. The ingredients list goes on and on. Literally. If we were trying to win a prize to find a cheap food with the most ingredients ever, we might have actually won here.

No, this isn’t even remotely close to like mom used to make (unless she had a degree in chemistry). Is there a point where something is so overly processed and so full of chemicals that it becomes impossible to even truly consider it “food” anymore?

Please people. Take a moment to consider what’s actually on the end of your forks.

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About the author

Melissa Dykes

Melissa is a researcher and writer on anything that will help people make better decisions regarding what they are putting in their bodies to get healthier in this toxic soup we're all living in.

Mark - April 5, 2014

I’m never eating a TV dinner again. So gross.

Ursula - April 11, 2014

Yuck, that is just absolutely gross! And, having eaten it many years ago, it certainly tastes gross, too.

sharon crawford - April 13, 2014

How totally discusting! I have never eaten one and now…never will unless it was a matter of life or death. They shouldn’t even be allowed to call that food! BLEECCCHHHH!

Richard E. Villamana - December 31, 2017

I ALWAYS read the labels on anypurchase of food/food products.
I don’t buy them when they contain names of chemicals I can’t spell or pronounce. I don’t buy anything w/corn syrup. Imagine an Italian who makes his own pasta and tomato sauce seeing corn syrup as one of the products in the spaghetti sauce you can purchase in the supermarkets! I think that most people DO READ LABELS.

Richard E. Villamana - December 31, 2017

Why are you ‘moderating’ my comment (except for a grammatical/spelling typing error)?

    Lisa Egan - January 2, 2018

    I didn’t – I’ve been off for the holidays and just saw your comment. – Lisa

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