Tracey, I was going by what the programs said. …

Comment on A Comparison of Actual “Banquet” Frozen Dinners with their Box Cover Photographs by Joe.

Tracey, I was going by what the programs said. They stated outright that many companies use this technique. I personally know of no such “law” that you mentioned. Of course, in all due fairness, I am not an expert or involved in any field related to this issue (or a lawyer). I will say this, if you know of such a law (or regulation), you should list it in your statement. I would never argue with facts, if you actually provide them. But don’t expect me (or anyone else) to just take it as fact without some type of details.
I simply stated what the programs I saw had said. And those programs did disclose their sources at the end, as well as give details. My original statement was not an attack on anyone. It was simply my opinion about said products, as well as the details from those programs.
And on a personal note: “Way to misinform people” ???? How exactly did I misinform anyone. I stated what the program said, and my opinion of these products.
You stated, “After watching all those shows on Discovery, you should know that it is illegal for a company to take pictures of “fake food”. They ONLY use real food – they can make it look as wonderful as possible, but it isn’t fake.”. How exactly do you know what they use or if it’s fake. Your stating it doesn’t make it true. Back up such statement with more than just snide comments if your going to attack a benign statement. If and when you do, I will happily deffer to your expertise.

Joe Also Commented

A Comparison of Actual “Banquet” Frozen Dinners with their Box Cover Photographs
Malcolm, I believe Tracey was aiming those comments towards my statement above, not you/yours.


A Comparison of Actual “Banquet” Frozen Dinners with their Box Cover Photographs
The problem isn’t so much the final cooked product as it is the package photo. It is almost never a photo of the actual food, but a photo of fake food made by professionals to look as good/appetizing as possible (to increase/motivate sales). Most industries do this: Fast Food, Grocery stores, Restaurants (menus), Frozen/Packaged meals, etc…..
And yes, just cooking the Banquet meal out of the package without any “clean up” will produce a less than appetizing product. It doesn’t help that these meals are put together by machine at a rather high speed, with an emphasis on speed/quantity versus appearance.
I saw a program on one of the Discovery family of channels (Discovery, TLC, Science Channel, etc..) that went into details about the industry of photographing food/menu items for companies. It was very informative and a bit upsetting. A good example is to compare a Whopper or Big Mac you buy at the restaurant with the image of the same product on a TV ad, Circular/coupon, or even the menu board at the restaurant. The difference is like night and day.
The bottom line is they are never going to look the same because it would cost too much to make that product look that good while still having the same convenience (In other words fast/instant cooking).
As for the taste, most of them are actually pretty good. I just don’t understand why all major manufacturers of frozen vegetables can produce an excellent tasting product, but Banquet has to use the worst tasting corn on the market. I mean come on! What are they using Maze, or is it cattle feed? And the least said about their attempts at fried chicken, pizza, and chicken nuggets, the better.
This is all just my experience and 2 cents worth.


Malcolm Bedell is co-author of the critically acclaimed "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road," as well as the junk food blog "Spork & Barrel," and "Brocavore," a blog about food trucks and street food culture. His contributions include Serious Eats, Down East, Eat Rockland, L.A. Weekly, The Guardian, and The Huffington Post and his food truck, "'Wich, Please," was named "Hottest Restaurant in Maine" for 2015 by Eater. Finally, he finds it very silly to be trying to write this in the third person.