Marie Callender’s Chicken Pot Pie: Made From Scratch?

Although Marie Callender's Chicken Pot Pie claims to be prepared from scratch, a closer look at its ingredients tells a different story!I grew up eating frozen Chicken Pot Pie. As a child of a working mom in the 70’s and 80’s, Swanson Chicken Pot Pies were one of her go-to solutions for getting a meal on the table after a long day of work.

While I’m not exactly sure what was in those Swanson Chicken Pot Pies, my jaw dropped when I saw a recent advertisement by Marie Callender.

Marie Callender’s Chicken Pot Pie TV Commercial

Here’s a full script of Marie Callender’s Chicken Pot Pie advertisement:

Marie believes that her chicken pot pie gives you the perfect recipe for catching up with family. So she takes the time to prepare a golden flaky crust made from scratch and mixes crisp vegetables with all white meat and bakes it to perfection. Because Marie Callender knows that making the perfect dinner isn’t as easy as pie, but finding someone to enjoy it sure is. Marie Callender’s—It’s time to savor! And now there’s even more to savor with family sized pot pies.


What so wrong with this ad?

The line that really gets under my skin is:

“So she takes the time to prepare golden flaky crust made from scratch.” (more…)

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Quaker Breakfast Flats … A Healthy Breakfast or a Breakfast Cookie?

Breakfast can be one of the hardest meals of the day, especially if you’re not a morning person. Yes, that “not a morning person” comment needs a big arrow pointing at me. 🙂 So marketing healthy, convenient breakfast foods is literally a goldmine for food companies. But are most of these products really healthy? Let’s take a closer look at one of the newest “healthy” breakfast products on the block—Quaker Breakfast Flats.

Quaker Breakfast Flats market themselves as wholesome and full of real ingredients. But are they healthy, or really a cookie in disguise?


Honestly, these are one of those products I want to love. They’re available in three varieties (Cranberry Almond, Banana Honey Nut, and Golden Raisin Cinnamon), and they sound delicious and healthy. (more…)

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Winning at All Costs. The Problem with Taste Tests

Many people think that choosing a taste test winning brand makes a lot of sense. After all, don’t we all want better tasting food? But after learning what it takes to be crowned a winner, you may want to think twice before choosing foods that have “won” a taste test.

Should you choose a taste test winner? Maybe not when you learn what it takes to win.


Why are taste tests so popular in the food industry?

It shouldn’t be too surprising that taste tests are used by food companies. Obviously, taste plays a powerful role in what brands people choose. Food companies, however, conduct taste tastes for a variety of different reasons: (more…)

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Leggo My Eggo?

Leggo My Eggo! I think more than any other commercial of my youth, those three little words were burned into my memory. Why? I’m not exactly sure. Perhaps it’s that two of the three words are totally made up. Or maybe it’s because the ad’s underlying premise of a father taking food from his son caught my attention. 😕

What's in your waffle? Is it healthy? Unfortunately it's probably not!

But what should we think of this whole fuss over a frozen waffle? Is this waffle worth fighting over? No—especially not in a good way.

What’s in Eggo Waffles?

In fact, after looking at what’s in an Eggo Waffle, I think that’s one battle I’d gladly lose. Why? Here’s a quick run-down of what’s in the top-selling Eggo Homestyle waffles: (more…)

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Is Organic Food Better For You?

Organic foods are growing like gangbusters, but are they really better for you? Is organic worth the higher cost? There are certainly plenty of opinions on both sides of this debate. In fact, people can get pretty vocal on this topic with responses ranging from some swearing by organic to others calling it a huge scam. What’s the truth? Here’s my take on this hot topic.

Is organic the right choice for you, or is it a complete sham?

So What Does Organic Really Mean?

To really answer the question “is organic food better for you,” I think it’s best to start at the very beginning. That means understanding what the term organic really means when it comes to food. (more…)

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Are Muffins Healthy?

Are muffins healthy? And what's really in your muffin? Unfortunately most muffin mixes and pre-made muffins are bad news.Muffins and I go way back. When I was just a little kid my mom would take us shopping and for lunch at our local department store, Jordan Marsh. To be honest I don’t remember much more except for the amazing, Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins you could get with your meal. They were so good mom sometimes would buy an extra half-dozen muffins as a treat for us to eat at home. 🙂

But are muffins healthy? Unfortunately, no. However, thanks to some misleading marketing many people believe muffins (especially those filled with fruit or bran) are healthy snacks. The simple truth is … sweet baked goods and desserts just aren’t good for you despite what many food companies might say. By definition they’re a treat and that holds true for muffins as well.

So why did I share I whole-wheat muffin recipe a couple of weeks ago? I don’t think baking up the occasional batch of muffins is a criminal act. Unfortunately, the story behind many of the store-bought options can get pretty ugly! (more…)

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A REAL Whole Grains Guide and How to Cook 8 Great Grains

This post is by blog team member, Kelly. To learn more about Kelly, check out our team page!


Part One of Bruce Bradley's Whole Grains GuideIn a recent post I touched upon the benefits of REAL whole grains over their processed counterparts and shared a recipe for batch-cooking brown rice to help streamline meal prep. Today I thought I’d dig a little deeper into the world of whole grains, expanding beyond basic brown rice and sharing Part One of my REAL Whole Grains Guide. Understanding whole grains can be a challenge, but let’s start at the beginning and answer some simple, yet complicated questions: (more…)

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What’s In Your Biscuit?

What's in your biscuit? You might be surprised with some of the highly processed ingredients your biscuits have baked into them.
It’s probably not that surprising that biscuits aren’t the healthiest food around. Even traditional, homemade recipes feature white flour and plenty of fat—sometimes even fake fats like shortening.  But what happens when you mix Big Food and a big biscuit? Unfortunately it’s a real dietary disaster! And while food companies continue to try to market their biscuits as “fresh” or “homemade,” all it takes is one look at their ingredients, and you’ll know they’re tricking you. Here’s some of the most common ingredients I found as I took a closer look at Big Food’s biscuits: (more…)

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Red Velvet: The Latest Fashion Trend in Food

Check out the latest fashion trend in food, and why you may want to avoid it!I discovered red velvet cake many years ago when I lived in the South. As a displaced yankee living in North Carolina I looked on with horror when it was served and couldn’t help but ask, “what makes this cake so red?” … only to be further stunned by the nonchalant reply, “a bottle of red food coloring.” Even though the concept of REAL food had never crossed my mind back then, I remembered hearing about the dangers of red food coloring. “Red” had even disappeared from bags of M&M’s for a while. So I couldn’t help but wonder, “could this dessert kill me?” (more…)

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The Evolution of Cheese: Real Progress or Profits At All Cost?

Bruce Bradley documents the scary evolution of cheese from REAL food to an industrialized mess“What is cheese?” Seems like a pretty easy question, right? Unfortunately it may be much more difficult to answer than you might think since over the years a lot of changes have happened to what’s called cheese.

Although the exact origins of cheese are unknown, the process is believed to date back more than 4,000 years ago. Like many discoveries cheesemaking is believed to be the result of an accident that occurred when an Arabian merchant stored milk in a pouch made from a sheep’s stomach. When the rennet (an enzyme produced in the stomach of ruminant animals) combined with the milk and the warmth from the sun, violà—cheese was created. (more…)

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Frozen Sauced Vegetables: Friend or Foe?

What's really in your bag of sauced, frozen vegetables? Another Big Food surprise.When I worked at General Mills I had the chance to do some channel marketing for the Green Giant brand. This involved coming up with retailer-specific plans for how to grow the brand at customers like Wal-Mart or Costco. What always amazed me, though, was how the ingredient label of even vegetables could be so complicated! Although I didn’t think about it much back then, it’s kind of ironic that those veggies that had been doused with lots of extra additives were called “value-added” vegetables within the company. Sigh. 🙁

Now while almost every piece of rationale dietary advice says we should eat more vegetables, what about these bags and boxes of sauced-up, frozen veggies? Personally, that’s where I think it can get a bit more complicated. In my book eating real vegetables of almost all sorts is a step in the right direction, but since many people don’t realize all the crazy ingredients that can be in some of these frozen vegetable mixes, I thought it would be worth sharing. After all, knowledge is power, right? So here’s the scoop on what’s in some of those bags of frozen, pre-sauced veggies, and you get to choose how to act on it, okay?


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The Top 17 Health Claims Big Food Uses To Keep You Buying More and More

Learn former insider Bruce Bradley's Top 17 Health Scams Big Food Uses To Keep You Buying More and MoreIt’s Weight Loss Season (again)! If you’ve watched any TV the past couple weeks you’ve seen it happen before your eyes! The ads for diet plans and diet aids are streaming before us. And after months of pushing indulgence the food industry is now promoting health … or at least its version of health.

As a former food marketer who’s run countless processed food businesses in many categories, I understand how the food industry works. And this isn’t the first time I’ve written about Big Food’s paradoxical concern over weight loss. From the insanity of a “weight loss season” wedged between the holidays and the Super Bowl, to the deception of weight loss carpetbagging brands like Kellogg’s Special K, the food industry’s insincere attempts to make us healthier only accomplish one goal … making them boatloads of profits!

But after watching too many misleading ads to count and walking through several traditional grocery stores this week, I decided to share the latest ways the food industry is trying to scam us. So here’s my list of the TOP 17 ways you may be tricked with health claims: (more…)

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In Bruce Bradley's Ultimate Clean Eating Guide this former processed food marketing executive shares why he quit processed foods, how he did it, and outlines tips and steps you can take to lead a happier, healthier life!


End the confusion! Learn what’s really in your food and how to take simple steps toward eating healthier!