Wednesday, January 13, 2010
What? Vegetables in a Manwich? Isn’t that junk just sodium-laden tomato paste that you add to ground beef and spread over a hamburger bun to make the most disgusting homemade meal possible?
While the girl speaks this nonsense, the fine print at the bottom of the screen claims: “Each ¼ cup serving of Manwich contains a ½ cup of vegetables.”
Now, I know it has been a while since I did fractions in grade-school, but how does a half cup of veggies fit into a quarter cup of Manwich?
This type of marketing just marks the beginning of a developing trend where manufacturers of terribly unhealthy products, “fortify” or “infuse” their products with some vitamin, some bacterial culture (i.e. BL diarrheais – get it? Makes me laugh every time), or some other BS in an effort to dupe consumers into thinking they are consuming a health food.
Anyways, back to the Hunt’s Manwich Sloppy Joe Sauce.
So while the math may make little sense, the claim is: eat Manwich and you get a serving of veggies – two birds; one stone type of deal. Thus there is no need to consume actual fruit and veggies, because Hunt’s takes care of all that for you.
But what exactly is in a can of Hunt’s Manwich Sloppy Joe Sauce?
The label on the can is interesting as it lists the nutritional information per 1/7th of the can – just another reminder why it is important to read labels carefully. Once we get our calculator out we get the following per can of Manwich:
280 kcals composed almost exclusively of carbohydrates (large majority is sugar). I must admit though, the fact it has no fat and basically no protein came as a bit of a surprise. In fact there’s not a whole lot of anything in Manwhich – except an insane amount of salt.
That’s right, one can of Manwich contains 2870mg of sodium! (As a reference, it is suggested adults consume 1,500 mg or less of sodium on a daily basis). You better have some water handy – you’re going to get a tad parched!
And what are the main ingredients of Hunt’s Manwich?
“Tomato puree (water, tomato paste), high fructose corn syrup, distilled vinegar, corn syrup”
So where is the serving of vegetables? High fructose corn syrup certainly doesn’t count (Read Travis’ post on the evils of high fructose corn syrup).
Tomato paste? Well, that must have some semblance of tomato in there. Of course, for tomato paste to be the “serving of vegetables” in Manwich, you would have to agree with the culinary definition of tomato as a vegetable, rather than its botanical (and more accurate) classification as a fruit.
So there you have it: one can of Hunt’s Manwich Sloppy Joe Sauce contains a boat-load of sodium and some tomato paste. Maybe you shouldn’t do away with eating real fruit and veggies just yet.
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