Naturally Delicious?

Did you hear that? It was the sound of me bashing my own skull against my coffee table.

There I was, sipping Bengal Spice tea, eating breakfast (salmon cakes, broccoli), and watching the Today show. Waking up, saying hello to the day.

Then along came a commercial for Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss All-Natural Coffee Creamer. Given that the standard Coffee-Mate ingredient list looks something like this — water, sugar, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, and less than 2% of natural and artificial flavors, sodium caseinate (a milk derivative), mono- and diglycerides, dipotassion phosophate, cellulose gel, color added, cellulose gum, carageenan, dextrose — I suppose it’s a step forward that the ingredient list for the new Natural Bliss flavors is recognizable as food. (Not food we dino-chow lovers will eat, but not frankenfood, at least.)

According to the commercial and the web site, the new flavors are made from milk, cream, and sugar.


Not bad (although I do wonder what’s tucked into that “natural flavor” ingredient listing).

Here’s the thing that inspired the head bashing… the tagline at the end of the TV commercial was this: Who knew natural could be so delicious?

Have we now actually reached the point in American food where processed, packaged, engineered food is widely understood to be more delicious than real food?!

[bash] [bash] [bash]

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  • David says:

    Congrats on the victory! I haven’t tried your Morrocon Sirloin yet but definitely this week we are giving it a go.
    And as for natural food, and tasting good, I have only been Paleo for a little over 3 months but I can’t believe how many excellent veggies and recipes there are out there that I had never tried before. Rather than giving anything up, we have discovered a treasure chest of yummy food we never would have tried before!
    So glad I found your book, and your blog. Very entertaining!

    • Mel says:

      Thank you! I’m really happy with how that steak recipe came out, and I’m so glad people are getting to eat it! I’m going to post a non-sousvide version this week. But basically, you must rub the steak and grill it, instead of sousvide. Easy-peasy!

      Congrats on making the switch to paleo! I was amazed at how sweet broccoli tastes, after my taste buds transitioned from packaged food to real food.


      • David says:

        I have always loved broccoli, but our biggest discovery is how amazing sautéed greens are, for EVERYTHING! We use them as the bed for so many great things including your curry recipes, my favorite.

  • Yes, it’s gotten that bad, and I don’t understand it – what comes out of my kitchen is far more delicious than anything out of a box, bag or can.

    Congratulations on your win – I don’t own a Sous Vide, sadly, but there’s no reason I can’t make that fig-pistachio butter. It just sounds delicious.

  • Amy says:

    I realize this was not your point, but that Bengal Spice tea is amazeballs. I call it “tiger tea” and drink it every day. YUM.

  • Carly Rogers says:

    I know! Ugg! i made homemade chocolate bars (as a vday treat for the kiddo) (dairy free sweetened with honey ) last night. Looked up Hershey’s just to see what the ingredient list was. The tag line was “pure and simple “. It was full of soy lecithin, prpg, artificial vanilla flavoring. Yuck! Making the real deal was so easy, and only took me 4 ingredients and 5 mins. Why do they have to make it so damn complicated ?

  • Isla says:

    I grew up on boxed ceral, canned soup and immitation crab meat. I’ve had to teach myself the basic life skill of cooking and I’ve got to say my food rocks way more then anything I’ve ever poured out of a box, jar or plastic container. Your fig-pistachio butter is up next!

  • Susan says:

    When you start eating real food, you realize how truly disgusting all that fake food really is.

  • Emily says:

    Congrats on your win! I made the steak and it is DELICIOUS.

    What really peeves me is when I make something that IS natural and delicious and people turn up their noses at it because it has (gasp!) vegetables in it! Or is grain-free! Or I didn’t put sugar in my barbecue sauce. Sigh. Whatevs. Their loss.

  • Heather says:

    I am banging my head on my desk with you. Natural is delicious…duh!! I’m so in love with real food now that eating anything processed tastes chemically to me! Its crazy that people can eat/drink that every day and never know what they are missing.

  • Liz says:

    Yes, it has gotten that bad. It is so bass-ackwards when we are trying to make healthier foods taste like unhealthy foods. Sad.

  • Krista Rodriguez says:

    “truth in advertising” the greatest oxymoron of our times

  • Angie says:

    I used to hear that commercial on the radio almost everyday for some reason and it made me crazy! Of course natural is delicious, but I don’t see that overly sweet, milky substance, in a plastic container as natural. I am glad to see someone else shares in my frustration!

  • Kristen says:

    So I heard on the radio yesterday some stuff about kid foods. This reminded me of it so bare with me. Danimals drinkable strawberry banana yogurt- no strawberries or bananas. Eggo blueberry waffles- no blueberries! The list went on and on. I don’t buy that junk but there are people out there thinking they are giving their kids fruit!

    In other words food labels make me crazy. We are being tricked into eating junk and aren’t being taught how to avoid it.

  • Angie says:

    I used to think “junk food” was just food that wasn’t healthy for us… Now it seems manufacturers are actually selling junk and labeling it as food. No wonder our society has such health issues.

  • NJ Paleo says:

    I know! And to be honest, “kids” food is the absolute worst with regards to fake chemicals and gross ingredients. Geez. Why is it considered “normal” to load yourselves and your kids up on unpronounceable added chemicals, copious amoutnts of salt, and sugar to the point of making one’s head swim! My kids are considered “weird” at school because their lunches consist of a lot of fruits and vegetables but no fruit roll-ups, chips, or processed snack foods. But guess which kids excel at several sports, are in the “gifted program, are rarely sick, and excel in school band? Coincidence? (Sorry for the rant, but it’s a peeve of mine).

  • Magess says:

    The thing that I find funny is that they’re basically saying, “New creamer for your coffee made from… CREAM!” So old it’s new again.

  • Joe says:

    One of my pet peeves (I have many) is the trick of deconstituting milk and then putting it back together in weird ways to get some kind of franken-dairy. In the example above “non-fat milk” and heavy cream? Whut?, but not too bad.

    In Actimel probiotic yoghurt (the clue is in the name) drink:

    Yogurt (skimmed milk, skimmed milk concentrate/ powder, cream, yogurt cultures), Skimmed milk, Sugar/Liquid sugar (sucrose 8.4%), Strawberry (2.1%), Dextrose, Milk mineral concentrate, Stabiliser (modified tapioca starch), Natural Flavouring, Acidity regulator (sodium citrate), L. Casei Danone cultures (Lactobacillus casei DN 114001), Vitamins (B6, D),

    I count 5 different milk products, of which 4 could be condensed (literally) into 1 or 2. Whole milk and possibly cream. Just…retarded.

  • Sharon F says:

    I can’t understand how a product like “creamer” ever came to be to be honest. In most parts of the world, we all just use milk or, if you are feeling particularly indulgent, cream.

    I live in Australia and there isn’t even such a thing as creamer on the shelves.

    • David says:

      Sharon. It’s because US food processors, working together with their food scientists AND the FDA are creating artificial Frankfoods in an effort to find an outlet for the surplus of food products the US govt. continues to subsidize corporate farmers to produce.
      Kills me to even write that sentence!

  • Alexandra says:

    I feel the same exact way! People do not understand that they aren’t eating food, they are taking in chemical junk. Educate yourselves, know whats going in your body and in return live a long healthy life!

  • Celly says:

    Anything that has to be commercial ized just avoid. If they are having to jam it down your throat that ‘this product is great! CONSUME!’ run really fast in the opposite direction. I grew up eating healthy ‘thanks mom!’ but when I broke out on my own it went down hill. Now getting back to healthy I feel better and have eliminated problems. I am a crazy label reader now and get shocked by the amount of stuff that they put in a product that is ‘natural’ AMAZING!

  • Patti says:

    Just received Well Fed in the mail. When I was in the Army in basic training, all we had was real food. I felt great! When I finished I could not eat a candy bar because it was just too sweet. Years later…..well, I’m excited to boot that crap out of my system! And I love Bengal Spice too. It makes a great “iced” tea in summer too.

  • Lisa says:

    Hi Melissa,
    I just recieved your book from Amazon. Thank you for putting it all together.
    On your subject of “healthy” coffee mate” I was addicted or at least had a serious habit of drinking my coffee with the hazelnut junk in it. After years, seriously, of wanting to quit, i finally did it in November. It’s thanks to the Paleo crowd, I’m getting it together finally at 48. You rock.

    • Mel says:

      Thank YOU for taking the time to stop by… so nice!

      Congratulations on giving the hazelnut creamer the heave-ho. I’m sure it was unpleasant to give it up, but now you’re free. YAY!