This article, Uncovering the Truth about Walden Farms is from 2010. A LONG time ago. While I know many still wonder is Walden Farms bad for you, I understand that many use it and love it. And that’s ok.
You’re allowed to love it and use it. I personally do not love it, have tried it since the original article several times and still can’t find much to love.
Please understand I am a food blogger and I make many of my own items including condiments and sauces, so for me – it’s simply not good.
UPDATE: Please when reading this, keep in mind that it is now almost 10 years old. It is also ONE persons opinion and review.
It is okay to have a differing opinion, but it is not necessary to be rude or nasty in a comment.
You don’t have to agree with how I feel or how anyone else feels. For some, I am aware that it is all they can use.
I’m not close minded, I just don’t like the idea of making people think it’s a healthy option, when technically it isn’t. That’s was the original point.
January 30, 2010
Dieters, Natural Eaters, Fitness and Health nuts usually get quite excited when a new company enters the land of healthy eating.
They are eager to try the new products and go to great lengths to find them sometimes.
Even sometimes when its an “older” company but nobody has ever really heard of them and all of a sudden people start talking about them, in the chaos ensues and people are frantically trying to find the products to taste-test them on their own.
That happened recently on a fitness board that I frequent.
Meet the company, Walden Farms. It’s been around since 1972 and I have seen it in grocery stores and other places for the past couple of years.
With my goal for healthier eating, I was bound to come across it, because that’s just what they claim their products are for.
On a quick glance, the company looks impressive, amazing… almost a little too good to be true.
No Calories, Fat, Carbs, Gluten or Sugar of any kind!
It’s right there on their website for the world to see. Those words are truly a dieters dream, as well as a diabetics dream!
I mean, who doesn’t want to lose weight but still get to eat delicious foods at the same time. Especially when struggling with a disease.
No calories? Wow! But is it too good to be true?
In one word, yes.
But honestly I will let you be the judge of that.
From the company website:
Walden Farms irresistibly sweet calorie free specialties are prepared with real fruit extracts, concentrated natural flavors, rich cocoa and other natural ingredients, all sweetened with Splenda. Our savory specialties are made with hundreds of freshly ground herbs and spices, concentrated natural flavors and the finest aged imported and domestic vinegars.
The good news is, they wrote it right on their website. Splenda. Splenda is so darn bad for you.
I don’t even want to get into it you can google all about the horrors of Splenda. Go ahead, its awful.
But it’s there and available and a lot of consumers use it and so do a lot of brands, putting it in their products which many people don’t read the ingredient list on.
I won’t lie, occasionally I do have something with Splenda in it – its in a lot of low cal, sugar free or no calorie products, but the more I read on it, the more I really do not wish to consume the product at all, and I’m working on that.
But even if I overlook the fact that there is splenda in every single item they sell, there are other more problematic things to look at.
First they drag you in saying things like,
Save 330 calories a day, 10,000 calories a month and lose 34lbs a year!
That’s on their chocolate syrup they show dripping over a huge serving of vanilla ice cream.
I’m pretty sure that ice cream is going to counteract that chocolate syrup. But if you eat everything in moderation as the old saying goes, you might be okay. But you might not.
But again, this is not even as problematic as the ingredients in some of their products.
I mean honestly, why would you want to eat a peanut “spread” that doesn’t even have peanuts in it? It’s FLAVORED to taste just like natural peanut butter.
You can literally purchase a good blender and blend peanuts and make your own. Controlling how much sugar goes in if any, if that’s what you need to watch, etc.
But peanut FLAVORED spread? Uhm. No thanks, because I’m pretty sure the other stuff you put in there with it, is simply awful – check out this next one.
Their strawberry spread features “strawberry flavor”, “natural flavors”, and cellulose gel (also known as Cellulose Gum) (this sounds so amazingly disgusting just reading it made me feel sick!) in addition to the ever-present Splenda.
So what is cellulose gel? As a whole, it’s not necessarily a bad thing, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found no evidence that cellulose gum/gel is dangerous or hazardous and considers the additive generally safe. Ok. That’s fine.
But did you know it’s indigestible? We shouldn’t be putting things in our body that are not indigestible. It’s just not a GOOD idea. I guess it won’t kill you if that’s your thing.
Wouldn’t you rather just have real strawberry preserves? The natural sugar in the REAL strawberry preserves might be higher, but its NATURAL sugar… not artificially concocted stuff.
Several of the products have maltodextrine, cellulose gel, several types of vegetable gums and one more little tidbit I learned along the way – only the suggested SERVING size contains no calories.
So if you use more, you’re getting some calories you might not realize were there! And those serving sizes are often VERY tiny.
In addition, I did some research on the reviews of the companies products. I found more negative reviews than I did positive (though there are some positive – they look a lot like the ones in the comment section below).
However, the vast majority of the people said the food tastes “gross”, “inedible” “disgusting”, “tastes like battery acid”, “the texture is like eating paste” (and that was for marshmallow fluff) and a bunch more descriptions and adjectives – some not worthy to even be said on my site.
I mean, no offense but nothing I’ve tried has tasted even remotely like the real thing its pretending to be.
And most of it really is gross or has a weird aftertaste or the taste itself almost tastes like chemicals unless you mask or hide it in something.
There were a few compliments on some of the products, but for the most part, they seem to generally not taste good at all. Good to know. I won’t be buying any.
Hungry girl doesn’t even like it! Not that she’s not the be all end all of anything, but she is smart and she does her research. And she TRIES it.
The saddest part about all of this, is that companies like Walden Farms give other good, solid, natural products a bad name. Obviously you’ll do what you want, but this serves as a warning to what WF thinks is okay for us all to eat. Yes, in some cases the products are cheaper than the natural stuff, BUT… shop around. Look. It might be worth your health.
I’m still reeling from that disgusting description of strawberry spread!
Nicole Cook is the owner/editor of Daily Dish Recipes, a lifestyle blog with an emphasis on food/cooking/cocktails and much more.
She calls the Midwest home – Missouri to be exact. Coffee is her go-to drink, music is her vice and she is endlessly tethered with devices to her online world. She loves all things planner, lives for her great big family and loves her pets endlessly!
Her motto in life: Live Simply, Dream Big, Be Grateful, Give Love, Laugh Lots. Always, always laugh lots.