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Watching Your Weight? Don’t Eat This For Lunch.

Right after I landed in the hospital in my early 20’s and during my health crisis where I found myself very sick and overweight, I searched everywhere for answers. One of the first places I looked was to my friends who were fit and healthy and asked them for advice. At work I sat next to a woman that was on Weight Watchers and she taught me how to count points. I learned a lot from her. A lot of things I never understood until now. She introduced me to the pre-portioned pre-made calorie controlled processed meals you put in the microwave. 

Watching Your Weight? Don’t Eat This For Lunch.

I know that most of you are trying to make the right choices when it comes to your health, and you’re looking for food that’s healthy and quick to make (and maybe even help you shed a few pounds). There are a few “diet” food choices in the frozen food aisle that seem to meet the bill labeled as “Healthy”, “Lean”, and “Smart” – but I’m here to tell ya they aren’t. It’s all too easy to pick these up at the grocery store for a quick low-calorie lunch, but it’s not worth it. As a nation we are consuming these convenience “diet” products every single day, and some of the most popular ones are made by Weight Watchers.

WeightWatchers

Weight Watchers is designed to help you lose weight, but at what cost to your health?

Weight Watchers claims to encourage those on their diet plan to eat unprocessed foods with plenty of fruits and vegetables. That’s great, but then what’s the deal with all of the overly processed packaged foods that they sell in the grocery store? Their products are no different than any other processed food, with many being high in sodium and sugar, while lacking in natural nutrients and fiber. As I talk about in my new book, it’s the same with those “Weight Watchers Endorsed” entrees at Applebees, as they are loaded with sickening ingredients. That’s because the Weight Watchers diet program is really only focused on losing weight, not on health and keeping you in a yo-yo lifecycle so they can keep you as a member!

This is where they’ve missed the ball. 

It’s one thing to lose weight – but it’s entirely another thing to lose weight, feel great, and help your body prevent illness by eating healthy foods and avoiding ingredients with known health risks. The fact that the Weight Watchers “Smart Ones” brand enjoys about $380 million dollars in sales every year, all while fooling people into believing their products are “good nutrition” is just sad – and wrong.  

“… we’re focused on providing you with good nutrition, delicious recipes and great advice to help you make smarter choices” ~ Weight Watchers Smart Ones Website, March 2015 (EatYourBest.com)

There’s nothing “Smart” about Weight Watchers Products.

Weight Watchers products consist of dozens of chemical additives (some of which are addicting) blended together with the “correct” ratios of protein, carbs and fats, with some synthetic vitamins and fiber mixed in to make them look healthy on the “Nutrition Facts” label. Unfortunately, the “Nutrition Facts” label doesn’t tell the real story, and you’ll get a whole lot more than you bargained for when you choose to eat these foods. They’ve got some of the worst rated packaged foods in EWG’s Food Scores database which rates thousands of products based on how healthy they really are, and whether they use potentially harmful ingredients. 

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What you’re REALLY getting when you buy Weight Watchers products:

Genetically modified (GMO) ingredients – Weight Watchers uses a lot of ingredients from crops that are predominantly genetically modified (soybeans, canola, sugar, cottonseed). These crops have contributed to more toxic pesticide usage since their inception, which is unhealthy for us and the environment. The consumption of GMOs has been linked to health disorders, such as kidney and liver disorders and allergies. As recently reported, despite Monsanto’s aggressive PR efforts “GMOs are largely untested, and their long-term effects on our health and our planet are still unknown; they promote the use of dangerous chemicals, and they pose a significant threat to organic agriculture”

When you see any of these ingredients on the label they are likely derived from GMOs: Sugar, Maltodextrin, Corn Starch, Corn Syrup, Soy Sauce, Soy Flour, Soybean Oil, Oil, Canola Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Vegetable Shortening, and Hydrolyzed Protein (complete list here). We asked Weight Watchers if they use any GMO ingredients and they said: “Heinz [Weight Watcher’s parent company] has implemented a policy that prohibits the use of ingredients from GMO sources in regions where such use is not approved by regulatory authority. Heinz also refrains from using GMO ingredients in markets where consumers have expressed low acceptance of foods with GMO ingredients”. When we asked them to confirm specifically whether they use GMO ingredients in their Smart Ones brand in the U.S., they didn’t respond to several emails.

Hidden MSG ingredientsThese should especially never be in a “diet” food because MSG ingredients trick your brain into eating more and have been linked to headaches, obesity, depression, and mental disorders. Many of the Weight Watchers “Smart Ones” frozen meals are loaded with hidden MSG ingredients like hydrolyzed proteins and autolyzed yeast extract.

Preservatives – The preservatives used by Weight Watchers (phosphates, nitrites, BHT) are on EWG’s dirty dozen food additives list of the most dangerous ingredients in our food. The typical American diet is full of phosphate preservatives because they’re found in most heavily processed foods, and regular consumption is associated with chronic kidney disease. The nitrites used by Weight Watchers in their “Smart Beginnings” Canadian Bacon English Muffin Sandwiches (and other products with cured meats) have strong links to cancer. Just like Kellogg’s and General Mills, they add BHT to some varieties of Weight Watchers cereal, which is associated with cancer in some animal studies and believed to be an endocrine disruptor that messes with your hormones (which can also lead to weight gain!).

Partially Hydrogenated Oils – It’s outrageous that a seemingly nutritious brand would stoop to using partially hydrogenated oils in their products considering they are linked to 7000 deaths! These oils contain harmful trans fats, which are really unsafe to eat and the FDA is considering a ban. I found partially hydrogenated oils in some Weight Watchers frozen dinners, snack cakes, and ice creams.

Unhealthy Oils – Cheap oils like soybean oil are processed to death, hexane-extracted, and loaded with omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids that promote the risk of inflammation, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases

Caramel Color – There are 4 levels of caramel coloring and “Level IV” caramel coloring is the most widely used. It’s created in a laboratory by reacting corn sugar with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and temperature, which produces the byproduct 4-Mel. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) petitioned the FDA to ban caramel coloring in 2011 due to safety concerns and the cancer risk of allowing this ingredient in our food. We asked Weight Watcher’s Smart Ones (via email) whether the caramel color in their products is Level IV, and they didn’t respond. If I don’t know which type of caramel color is in a product, I refuse to buy it.

Fake Flavors The substances used to make these flavors are kept secret from the public, so you don’t know what’s really in them. Artificial and natural flavors are complex mixtures of chemicals added to manipulate the taste and smell of processed food. These flavors also can be designed to have addictive qualities, that leave you unsatisfied and wanting to eat more. Nearly every Weight Watchers product I looked at contained a “flavor” ingredient. 

Added Sugars – Weight Watchers really piles on the added sugars, using different types which you might see on the ingredient list labeled as sugar, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, molasses or corn syrup. One of the worst is high fructose corn syrup. Not only is it generally made from GMO corn, but it’s been shown to contribute to the development of diabetes

Enriched Flour – This really has no redeeming qualities and is essentially dead food. It’s been stripped of fiber and nutrients, and then artificially enriched with synthetic vitamins and minerals. Wheat has been heavily hybridized to make it easier for the food industry, is believed to be contributing to an increase in celiac disease, and may be sprayed with Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. 

Carrageenan – Even this “food grade” carrageenan is linked to intestinal inflammation and can be contaminated with degraded (non-food grade) carrageenan. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Research Council of the United States have both determined that degraded carrageenan may cause cancer.

Parabens – You’ve probably heard about parabens in cosmetics, but may not realize they’re in food too. Parabens are endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are linked to breast cancer (sources: 12, 3, 4) and reproductive problems. Weight Watchers uses paraben ingredients in some of their desserts, like their Red Velvet Cakes and Coffee Cakes.

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Does it ever take 100 ingredients to make lunch?

I kinda lost count, but there’s over 100 ingredients in the “Weight Watchers Smart Ones Salisbury Steak” meal, loaded with GMOs, preservatives, unhealthy oils and hidden MSG ingredients, making this one of the absolute worst processed products I’ve ever seen (and that’s saying something).

Should you be counting points or counting chemicals?

Weight Watchers Smart Ones Salisbury Steak*:  Cooked Salisbury Steak Patty (Beef, Pork, Water, Onion, Textured Vegetable Protein Product [Soy Protein Concentrate, Caramel Color], Seasonings [Maltodextrin (Corn), Salt, Hydrolyzed Soy And Corn Protein, Dry Onion, Dry Garlic, Flavoring, Yeast Extract, Spice, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, Extractives Of Rosemary, Beef Extract, Modified Corn Starch, Flavor (Triacetin, Butter Acids, Flavorings, Butter Esters), Rendered Beef Fat, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean And Cottonseed Oil], Soy Protein Concentrate, Bread Crumbs [Bleached Wheat Flour, Salt, Dextrose, Yeast, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean And/Or Cottonseed Oil], Caramel Color) Gravy (Water, Modified Cornstarch, Beef Base [Beef Concentrate (Roasted Beef And Concentrated Beef Stock), Hydrolyzed Corn And Wheat Gluten And Soy Protein, Yeast Extract, Salt, Corn Oil, Sugar, Corn Maltodextrin, Chicken Fat, Flavor, Dextrose Soy Lecithin], Dehydrated Onion, Burgundy Wine [Burgundy Wine, Salt, Sulfites], Mushroom Base [Sauteed Mushrooms, Sugar, Salt, Canola Oil, Flavoring, Onion Powder, Potato Starch, Hydrolyzed Soy & Wheat Proteins, Caramel Color], Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein [Corn Gluten, Soy Protein, Wheat Gluten], Xanthan Gum, Chicken And Beef Stock Flavor Blend [Potassium Chloride, Corn Syrup Solids, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Dehydrated Beef Stock, Dehydrated Chicken Stock, Corn Maltodextrin], Granulated Garlic, Spice, Caramel Color), Cheese Sauce (Water, Stabilizer [Modified Cornstarch, Maltodextrin (Corn), Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Mono- And Diglycerides (Soy), Annatto And Turmeric Extract], Nonfat Milk, Whey Powder, Cheese Powder [Granular And Blue Cheeses (Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes), Whey, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil Whey Protein Concentrate, Lactose, Maltodextrin (Corn), Salt, Sodium Phosphate, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Yellow 5, Yellow 6], Salt, Flavor Blend [Salt, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Natural Butter Flavor (Modified Corn Starch, Corn Syrup Solids, Butter Flavor, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil), Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, Spices], Cheese Flavor [Enzyme Modified Cheddar Cheese (Cheddar Cheese [Milk Cultures, Salt, Calcium Chloride, Enzymes], Water, Disodium Phosphate, Enzymes, Salt, Xanthan Gum), Corn Maltodextrin, Whey, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Salt], Flavor (Water, Cream (From Milk), Salt, Butterfat, Natural Flavor, Propylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum], Butter Flavor [Whey Solids (Milk), Enzyme Modified Butter, Corn Maltodextrin, Salt, Dehydrated Butter, Guar Gum, Annatto And Turmeric (Color)]), Cooked Enriched Macaroni Product (Water, Enriched Semolina [Semolina, Niacin, Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid]).

*Red indicates that the ingredient is an unnecessary additive, a non-organic/conventional animal product, a synthetic vitamin or mineral, or is possibly derived from GMOs. 

Don’t worry, great alternatives exist and I’ve made it easy for you!

I don’t think eating these processed frozen meals are healthy for anyone. You owe it to yourself to stop buying these toxic products. Even when you’re super busy, it pays off to take some time out on the weekends to prep some food that’s ready to eat during the week. You can put some of these in the fridge or freezer and have them ready to put in your lunch bag before you head out the door. Here’s several quick recipes that you can whip up with fresh ingredients at home and are easy to pack:

If you’d like more help with meal-planning and delicious organic recipes that can help you lose weight (or simply feel great), check out my monthly Meal Plans for Health program. This program blows the Weight Watchers processed-to-death meals out of the water. Watch the video, and see what the program is all about here

If you know someone who is on Weight Watchers and consumes these processed foods or needs to re-do their lunch box, please share this post with them!

Xo,

Vani 

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143 responses to “Watching Your Weight? Don’t Eat This For Lunch.

  1. Have you done an expose on Cottonseed oil yet?? If not, please do. It’s a real scary one, and it is in lots of snack products. Keep up the good work.

    1. Actually she once said that cottonseed oil is the worst vegetable oil because it is not regulated since cotton is a fiber crop. She exposed it, albeit incorrectly as is often the case. Cottonseed oil is as regulated as any other vegetable oil crop. Very comparable to any other vegetable oil.

  2. Thanks for this great post. I know a good friend of mine who has worked for weight watchers for years. She did lose weight on weight watchers initially, but she is still over weight. I am afraid of her reaction to this article, but I will share it anyways. I feel compelled to share this since the ingredients on the products in this article are horrendous. Most people just don’t understand the health implications of consuming such a product. As for cottonseed oil Kobi, it is the most horrible oil for sure. Cotton is not even a food crop so it is sprayed even more than other food crops. I am so glad to know there are people like me who won’t touch these foods.

    1. Cottonseed oil is considered a food crop and regulated as such. It is not “horrible.” It is very similar to all other vegetable oils.

  3. Nestle supposedly has Water rights over distribution in California.
    Joe Biggs of Infowars is investigating this,
    can you help him?
    SR

  4. Weight Watchers is a great program and not everyone eats the pre-packaged foods. I cook all my own fresh food and count my points.

  5. This post is missing a few pieces. The meal to which you refer was designed for people on a diet who are still seeking a comfort food. This is probably why it is their most complicated label. There are several smart ones meals with far more simple and “clean” labels – additionally, the seemingly helpful list of alternatives you’ve provided do not help to fill that hole (people seeking steak and mac and cheese may not necessarily want to replace it with a quinoa salad. I sure wouldn’t). I think this piece is overly critical and presumptuous, as these meals are an attempt to provide low-calorie, convenient alternatives while still maintaining a specific target consumer base. Some of your “unnecessary” ingredients ARE in fact necessary, in the food industry as it stands. The preservatives have recently been taken out of the meals. FYI not every food company is evil and trying to kill everyone.

    1. I agree with you completely. I’m on Weight Watchers and it’s an excellent program with a lot of support. It’s also consistently rated one of the best weight loss programs. I very rarely eat the packaged food and 99% of the time I prepare my own stuff. But sometimes, as someone who works full time and goes to school, I grab one out of convenience. And, like you said, for the comfort.

    2. Oh but I believe they really don’t give a crap about the people they are feeding and only care about their pockets. Who needs 100, 50 or even 20 ingredients to make mac n cheese…it’s pasta, cheese, real butter and milk..

  6. This is one of the reasons I left their program. They don’t make you buy their food or snacks, but they do a war lower. Values for low fat and highly processed items that are not necessarily clean or real food.

  7. It always amazes me that people would defend wrong, then attack you for voicing your opinion. The question is not which foods are bad, and why some are okay. If weight watchers are promoting healthy eating lifestyle, NOTHING they put out should deliberately harm you. They are capitalizing on their name, brand, and goodwill with people who are trying to be healthy. That trust from the consumers should be respected, not traded in for dollars. Some of their products help people stay fat. Then you purchase more of their products to help you loose the weight gain, and the circle continues. If a doctor cures 60% of his patients, and kill the other 40%, is he /she a good doctor? Still want to defend weight watchers because only some of their products are bad? What makes them different from Monsanto, or Kraft? One drop of poison infects the entire water supply.

    1. I agree, that is the reason I just quit WW. Every meeting ended with a “reminder” of which of their “yummy” snack foods was on sale. People left with armloads.

    2. Carol, after tons of research, I have come to the same conclusion as you did. You put it perfectly!

  8. As much as I agree thay these meals are unhealthy and should not be consumed, I think you’re a bit harsh on Weight Watchers. I joined WW two months ago and have lost over 15 pounds….without eating Smart Ones or any of their other products. WW has taught me to portion and make healthy food choices. They have a database full of recipes, and have not once suggested I eat Smart Ones.

  9. I think it is more important to clean our bodies of the chemicals and other not so friendly toxins in our food and stick as closely to real food as possible so that while we are trying to lose weight we can also get healthy. I think that’s Vani’s message and I agree with that. I have been eating organic now for a while and have noticed a world of difference in my health and my weight. Thank you Vani for all of your help.

    1. Vani did not say Weight Watchers was evil and trying to kill everyone. She invites consumers to read the ingredient label and investigate. I agree not everyone wants to substitute cheesey comfort food for quinoa salad. But Vani is a health food advocate and these WW ingredients are simply not Healthy.

  10. this is the Passover season and the best time to buy non high frutose ingredients
    in the products for Passover. If you go to the market and look for canned
    pineapple or applesause you will find just the fruit and real sugar but not the
    processed bad preservatives. We use mostly fresh everything and make or
    own soups minus the pea soup(we can’t eat peas or lentils or beans right
    now. Plenty of receipes on line for kosher cooking.

  11. Vani, I absolutely LOVE what you are doing and what you stand for. I am most curious though as to why start with Weight Watchers? jenny Craig and Nutrisystem are pretty much ALL about the boxed food so why not them first??

    I would love to understand! Thanks, Cindy

    1. The companies who she promotes and who pay her (companies in the “Shop” page) are probably paying her to do this. While she calls out shills and shills call out her, she is a shill for some of the listed companies 🙁

  12. Please do not discount the Weight Watcher’s Program for weight loss, especially for the morbidly obese, who have lost all hope of being a “normal” weight again. I totally agree their prepackaged and frozen food is chemical laden. Weight Watchers needs to address that and improve their ingredients. But maybe frozen and packaged foods is the only hope someone has to lose the weight and learn fresh cooking in the meantime.
    The program DOES promote healthy eating and cooking fresh and local. They also have a vegetarian program. The Leaders are totally motivational and leave you with a feeling that you can lose the weight for good and maintain it for the rest of your life. The leaflets they pass out at each meeting are full of healthy recipes, and fitness tips for getting you through the week until the next meeting. Weighing in at each meeting is so powerful and gets you through the week to the next meeting. The “lifetime” achievement is to give you an option to come back to meetings if you gain a few pounds, NOT to keep you coming back for their benefit. There is NO CHARGE for lifetime members that are a few pounds above their goal weight. Please address these facts in an apology to the program. Thank you.

  13. I never ate the Weight Watchers meals, but I have eaten Healthy Choice and Stouffer’s. I don’t think I’ll eat those meals anymore! I know this is way off topic, but I had a question. I am considering trying out homemade deodorant and saw that most of the recipes I could find had cornstarch or arrowroot. Then I saw online that arrowroot is supposedly bad, especially for pregnant women. Do you know if arrowroot really is bad? Also, is cornstarch bad? Thank you!

    Meg

  14. i’ve never had health issues growing up but about 8 yrs ago i decided to do the weight watchers thing and then i started having pain in my back for a whole year. doctors couldnt figure it out.. come to find out i needed my gall bladder taken out. i am convinced weight watchers caused this.

    1. Weight Watchers did NOT cause you to have your gallbladder removed, that is absolutely insane. Your gallbladder processes fat, if you are overweight it probably wasn’t working properly and it started forming stones, hence the pain. I had my gallbladder removed as well, I know the pain you speak of. But seriously, your gallbladder has NOTHING to do with Weight Watchers unless they were telling you to consume nothing but high fat and high sugar foods. And that’s not what the program promotes.

  15. so rather than just denigrate a brand which may or may not measure up nutritionally and them promote your own healthy eating products that may or may not be also nutritionally dodgey and with a picture of copious quantities of food why not go after the REAL culprit here in the U.S. and elsewhere… Gluttony, otherwise know as overeating. Yeah I know its simply not fashionable to actually eat less and buy less of your sponsors food products but if you actually went on a crusade to teach to eat healthier and eat right sized meals you would stand a chance of actually making a difference in peoples lives. the plain fact of the matter someone eating 3500 Calories per day and doing little or no exercise who swaps out the unhealthy ingredients for direct replacements of 3500 Calories of organic food will be no better off. Teach that person what an actual portion size LOOKS like for all the things they EAT, tech them that they should not diet but rather change their overeating lifestyle to eat right sized meal and it far less than they think. and that being a little hungry at times is completely OK. Teach people to teach themselves to learn about food… Its not so sexy and does not get you sponsor kickbacks quite the same, but if you found 20 or 200 people to take a 12 month learn and reduce challenge you would see amazing differences. If 99% of people on weight watchers today learned what I did about life style change and portion control they would lose the weight and keep it off and find keeping it off is almost effortless IF you learn to eat right sized meals.

  16. Omg. Shut the front door! I think I’m going to be sick. I have done weight watchers for years and lost 150lbs! Omg. The chemicals. All of my weight loss has been a LIE. thank you babe for opening my eyes!

    1. Chemicals are minimal compared to the health issues your extra weight would have caused……blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, joint issues to name but a few…good job!

  17. The Benbrook link is not a strong argument because they did not take into account yield. The amount of pesticide used per acre increased by 7%, but the yield went up 30%, thus the amount of pesticide used for the same yield, actually decreased. There are other arguments out there, but this one should not be used.

  18. Hi, I’ve just started reading your blog and I’m very interested.
    I was just perusing your entries and noticed that you teach readers to distrust a lot of specific brands and restaurants. I want to be sceptical when choosing my diet. So.. what makes it ok to trust you? What kind of experience and qualifications do you have?

  19. Great post – I did weight watchers about 12 years ago, BEFORE all of the accompanying food products existed. It was a wonderful program that taught me about a balanced diet and portion control, and to this day I still have the guide and points calculator! unfortunately, weight watchers and the majority of diet plans get greedy and started with the frozen and prepared foods to diversify the products their loyal customers can purchase.

    For the past 5 years I have been living in Chile, a country with a great selection of vitamin rich fruits and veggies (the food here is actually more nutritious than other parts of the world because of the amazing nutrient rich soils) and very little processed food. it has forced me to make everything from scratch and now when i visit home (the US), me and my husband are always SHOCKED by the crap people put in their bodies.

    When we go to chain restauarants in the US (Chilis, Ruby Tuesday, etc.) we get sick to our stomachs, same with frozen foods. The only thing we can stomach that is prepared are Amy’s organic soups and vegan burritos.

    I challenge anyone who loves the convenience of frozen foods to go 1 month without them and then see if they can stomach them again, I bet you they can’t!

  20. “MSG ingredients trick your brain into eating more and have been linked to…”. The problem with modern diet advice is we use the phrase “linked to”. What does that mean? It means that correlation was demonstrated when they gave a survey to some people (cohort).

    If it’s not a randomized control, it’s not going to tell you much of anything, and it is very likely to give you the wrong answer.

  21. Anything that comes prepackaged and in the freezer section contains a lot of sodium. It’s used to preserve food. I always remember what I learned in school about people at sea for long periods of time, they canned their food but were getting sick because the food would spoil. I think it was pirates lol I’m not sure. Look at a box of Lean Pockets, everything on the label is low…except sodium. Since becoming a parent, I’ve noticed an influx of parents wanting preservative free foods for their children but then are in complete shock when there’s mold found in the pouch or jar. Without a preservative food spoils quicker. I’m not saying food with preservatives are better by any means, but I would hope that we could find a way to make a better preservative than sodium. I think I made sense but probably not lol. And I’m okay with that lol.

  22. Processed food in India is getting more and more in recent times. It is really scary to see the long list of chemicals in the food. Hope they have listed everything. ..But consumer have a choice – Reject processed food, stick to food as close as possible to the natural form.

  23. Never went for weight watchers but always ate whole grain cereals and fresh fruit , cottage cheese, some honey for my mid day meal and never worried about weight gain.

  24. I need some information on Medifast. Any good information on it. I would like a friend to get off of it and back to real food. Any help here?

  25. I lost weight with weight watchers. I have kept most of it off. No one requires members to eat their foods. I did eat a lot of processed food then, worst was Cool Whip and Healthy Choice meals. I learned that I lost much better with real food.

    Real food and exercise have helped me keep off.

  26. TVP was mentioned…..that stands for “Textured Vegetable Protein”…..which is used a lot in Vegetarian cooking…..I purchase it DRY and add water and it is similar in texture to oatmeal….it reminds me of TOFU which also absorbs the flavor of other ingredients in recipes. I understand the concern regarding unnecessary chemicals in processed food and do agree we need to read labels. TVP however is NOT harmful.

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