Picture-Perfect Food (NOT!)

By: Consumer Reports Email
By: Consumer Reports Email

Boxed, frozen, or canned-Americans spend more than 100 billion dollars a year on processed food-more than any other type of food.

What's pictured on the packages often looks delicious, so it can be a real disappointment when food doesn't match. Consumer Reports gets lots of complaints!

Tod Marks of Consumer Reports says, "Now we had a lot of people complain to us about the food that really doesn't resemble the pretty pictures on the box. So we decided to buy a cartful of products."

Consumer Reports' trained testers evaluated more than three dozen products-everything from broccoli to bacon to sweet treats.

Marks says, "Some products did appear as pictured. But we found others whose photos didn't come near reality."

Take a package of Tabatchnick Tuscany Lentil Soup that shows pretty red and green vegetables. But where are they once you heat up the soup?

And the spaghetti and meatballs on the Banquet box do look appetizing. But the actual meatballs are smaller and the spaghetti is in pieces, not strands.

And while the Barbecue Steak from Healthy Choice does look like what's shown on the package...there's less than you'd expect.

And "Lean" is right with the Lean Pockets Pretzel Bread Sandwiches. It shows chunky filling on the box...but the pockets Consumer Reports bought were far from full! So what can you do when your food isn't picture-perfect?

Marks says, " i suggest you complain to the company, because the worst that can happen is, well, maybe they'll give you and apology. But the best that can happen, you get a free product."

If you spot a product where the food doesn't measure up to the picture, let Consumer Reports know. You can e-mail the information to SellingIt@cro.consumer.org.

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