Now featuring… composite beef from Lean Cuisine… *sigh*

I got a bunch of these frozen dinners at the same time and didn’t know I needed to read the meat ingredients with such scrutiny. The front says “Beef & Broccoli” but the ingredients give the “beef” a different name: SEASONED COOKED BEEF PRODUCT. Nothing says YUM like that, right? Here’s what this sucker has got inside its fake beef-looking self:

  • Beef
  • Water
  • Dextrose
  • Modified Cornstarch
  • Potassium Chloride
  • Salt
  • Sodium & Potassium Phosphates
  • Caramel Color (guess it would be flesh-toned without some help!)
  • Natural flavors (eh? Polonium is ‘natural’ – what flavors?)

Not as horrifying as the fake chicken… but ewwww. Technically, “beef” could be any part of the cow’s flesh. This could be made from cow butt holes for all I know. That’s probably it. Cow rectums, cow uvulas, cow lips and cow eyelids. The stuff on a cow that no one wants. Yeah, buddy. That’s what’s for dinner! Ok – that’s was what I had for lunch. God help me. The food was adequate. The beef tasted fake – like hydrolyzed protein composite fake jerky treats for dogs – but was flavorful. They’ve definitely got a handle on making the fake particle board beef – it’s the chicken that’s a disaster. So sad that any animal had to die so they could do this leatherizing to the poor creature’s flesh. It’s barbaric. But oh well… 270 calories and are you sitting down? Two whole grams of fiber. HA!

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Another day, another composite chicken

That is my new term that I just coined for this crap that these companies are allowed to claim as ‘chicken’ in the packaging that only contains parts of chickens. My lunch yesterday was Lean Cuisine’s Chile Lime Chicken. The front of the package says “white meat chicken in a red chile lime sauce with a medley of roasted corn, peppers and rice.” Unlike the faux chicken lips I had a few days ago, this composite chicken didn’t taste as fake. Probably because it had fewer ingredients in the “chicken” :

  • chicken tenderloins
  • water
  • seasoning
  • modified corn starch
  • sugar
  • potassium chloride
  • yeast extract
  • dextrose
  • spice
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • paprika
  • soybean oil
  • isolated soy protein
  • salt
  • sodium phosphates

Ok – not ‘fewer’ but fewer creepy ingredients. I’m not keen on “sodium phosphates” or “potassium chloride” being in there, but have no issue with salt, paprika and onion powder. I really think most people have no idea that this is not bona fide chicken, but a composite. In the way particle board is indeed ‘wood’ – it is chopped up wood and glue mushed together with extreme pressure and the right amount of heat to make a board. Termites still love it, it’s still ‘wood’ – but it does not occur in nature. Likewise, this ‘chicken’ does not occur naturally out of a chicken’s body. It is bombarded with these crazy chemicals to make particle board composite chicken so that it looks like chicken and tastes vaguely similar. What a load of crap. The rice was good – the chile lime sauce was – eh. A bit too spicy, but not very impressive. I detected no lime flavor at all. The label says “Chef’s pick” and I’m going to tell you, they’re not talking about Chef Gordon Ramsay!

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Real Chicken is Preferable!

I’m starting to bring food with me to work and stop going out to lunch. I can’t afford to eat out all the time – either financially or healthy-wise. I’ve had a number of frozen meals I’ve liked over the years, and some have changed – and even the companies that make the food have changed their MO. Today, I tried Healthy Choice “Top Chef” – Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms. This is a mixed bag. On a scale of 1-5, I give it 3 stars. This is supposed to be a ‘healthy’ choice – right? You have to read the ingredients to know that the “chicken” only contains chicken, but is not actually “just chicken.” No – I’m not kidding.

My hat is off to the culinary engineers that were able to put these ingredients into something that looks like actual chicken – right down to the fiber-like strands… but dear, sweet engineers – it tastes FAKE. Why? Because it is! Just like fake crab meat – it’s an innovative leap in food – but at least fake crab meat is tasty!

The chicken contains:

  • Chicken tenderloin
  • water
  • olive oil
  • 2% or less of isolated soy protein
  • 2% or less of modified potato starch
  • 2% or less of corn starch
  • 2% or less of carrageenan (WTF IS THAT?!)
  • 2% or less of soy lecithin

This, my friends, is NOT real chicken. It LOOKS like chicken breast – on the package and in real life – but no chicken’s breast was sacrificed for this meal. No – only the tenderloin – which is a tender cut of meat located UNDER the breast. SO – this is how you cut costs at Healthy Choice? BLEH! It tastes artificial – that’s why I had to read the ingredients. I would gladly pay more for actual chicken. This crap makes me angry.

Shame on you, Healthy Choice! This is a bait and switch. I scanned the ingredients before purchasing – as I always do, to make sure sucralose was not hiding in the ingredients anywhere. Now, I’ll actually read the meat content. I bet no CEO of the company has their kids eat this crap.

On the flip side, the sauce was adequate, the onions, asparagus, & bell peppers were good – and the scant amount of mushrooms were AWESOME. I am praising God that Healthy Choice has not figured out a way to make artificial mushrooms (yet). Bastards.

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