Stop messing with my food!


I complain a lot about all sorts of things. I suppose that means I’m getting old and cranky and have nothing better to do. This time it’s about people messing with my favorite foods. Again. Changing stuff to make it healthier for me. Well who the hell asked ’em to!?

I’m not one to hold a grudge, but do you remember back in 1990 when McDonald’s made the big change with their fries? Took the beef fat out of their frying oil. Ruined the world’s best fries. I used to buy parts of my meals at other drive-ins and then go by McDonald’s for the fries. Since they changed them, I rarely go to McDonald’s anymore. The fries just aren’t worth the trip, and the rest of the menu never was that great.


Then there was last summer. I’ve talked about it so much, I thought for sure I’d written about it, but apparently not. Anyway, sometime last summer I happened to notice and buy Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch ice cream. Wow! Instantly my new favorite. Thought I’d died and gone to heaven. A few weeks later, or perhaps two pints later (I go through a pint a week at most, and often much less), I settled down for another bowl of my new fave. Yuck! What the hell!? A bad batch? The rest of the pint was tossed.

The next time I went to the store, I was browsing for a replacement flavor and suddenly noticed — it wasn’t Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch anymore. It was Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla Toffee Bar Crunch. That’s what I’d bought the last time without noticing the label had changed.


A little Internet research revealed that Ben & Jerry had changed their recipe, substituting their own (putrid) toffee for the Heath Bars because Heath uses GMOs. I was furious. And I wrote them and told them so. I have absolutely no problem with GMOs, but they apparently do, or think their customers do. (I wondered if they polled their customers about it first. Had there been a demand, an uprising, for GMO-free ice cream?) They replied with platitudes, boasting about their determination to used only the finest ingredients, blah, blah, blah. And included a coupon for a free pint of ice cream. And much to my surprise, about 6 weeks ago, they sent me three more coupons for free pints and suggested some flavors I might like (all with caramel, not toffee).

Okay, so at no cost to me I found Americone Dream is pretty tasty. And Salted Caramel Core’s core is too salty. But I’m not letting them off the hook for ruining a really fabulous flavor when no one asked them to. And then using deceptive labeling to try to pass it off as the same product.

Which brings me to my latest disappointment/discovery. Original Wishbone Italian Dressing. Not Robusto or Mediterranean or Lite, but Original. I’ve bought it for as long as I can remember. My favorite, never-fail, always delicious salad dressing. Used in salads, marinades, sauces, and probably other things I’m not remembering at the moment. About two months ago, I settled down to enjoy a bit of salad and thought the dressing tasted kind of “off.” A little too vinegar-y, with less of the smooth, rich, something-or-other taste I was used to. Maybe it was past its expiration date or had spoiled or something. After all, it takes a long time for one person to use up a bottle of salad dressing. So I tossed it.


A few weeks ago I bought a fresh bottle, and a week after that, forgetting I’d bought the first, bought another one. So, two big bottles in the fridge. This evening I fixed another salad and sprinkled it with my favorite dressing. And you guessed it. The taste was off. Again. Suspicious, finally (at my age, I always suspect my senses or memory first), I checked out the label. Nothing really warned “New Taste!” Just something about vitamins being better absorbed.

So I went online and sure enough, on their website, Wishbone brags:

Try our improved Wish-Bone® Italian salad dressing, bursting with more herbs & spices. We took our original famous Italian salad dressing recipe, already filled with Italian herbs and spices, and then we packed it full of even more herbs, seasonings and flavors for an extra zesty boost of flavor you’ll love! No high fructose corn syrup.

Why the hell would a company change a formula that has been so good and sold so well for decades? Decades! I’m guessing the additional herbs and seasonings are an effort to cover up the deletion of high fructose corn syrup. (Wish I still had that old bottle so I could compare the ingredients.) I personally think there’s no problem with high fructose corn syrup or any other sugar — in moderation. It’s just sugar. Scarcely different from other sugars (sucrose, galactose, maltose). I’ve yet to see an explanation of why, suddenly, high fructose corn syrup is evil but other sugars aren’t. (Maybe beet sugar and cane sugar producers are out to get corn producers?)

So once again one of my favorite foods has been ruined because some health nuts somewhere decided that after all these decades (7.2, to be precise), suddenly my food isn’t good for me and they’re going to change it. If they want to change their foods and diets, fine. But there are foods I’ve enjoyed for a long time, that I’m still alive to talk about, and that I’d have liked to enjoy for some years to come.

23 thoughts on “Stop messing with my food!

  1. Yes. When they change things, they change things – and some of us little people who don’t know what’s good for us can tell the difference.
    That dressing was the basic – the standard – you might explore others, but some days you just wanted normal and ordinary. No brainer stuff.
    For those loosing weight, high fructose corn syrup is bad as it can actually trigger you to gain weight. So what? Sugars also can add pounds. (at least sugar is honest and not chemically made which causes other issues) Not everyone is drinking salad dressing or trying to lose weight.
    Remember “new coke”? Companies seem to forget customers buy what they like and want – and can wander off if disappointed.

    1. At least new Coke was a new product and advertised as such. We had an option to buy old or new Coke (didn’t we?). But with the products I mentioned, there’s no option. And both the ice cream and the dressing were changed on the sly, hoping consumers wouldn’t notice. I really resent that. Especially the dressing. That’s been a staple for me. Always, always on hand. I’d try others, have others around off and on, but that was the one I could count on to always hit the spot.

      As for the health food people, the food police … I doubt very much that my death certificate will say I overdosed on GMOs or high fructose corn syrup.

      1. Ditto. Sneaky only creates anger – and these days someone always finds out!
        TIred of feeling “taken care of”….has anyone noticed what these really old people (100+) say they have eaten all their lives? I’m with the 100 year old (who looks much younger) woman last week who celebrated with her usual e Dr. Peppers a day.
        Please let us take care of ourselves – honestly don’t trust those making choices for me – without even knowing me or getting my permission

        1. I saw her on TV. Made me want to run out and buy a truckload of Dr. Pepper. Which is what she’d better do before DP decides to change their formula and remove the high fructose corn syrup or the GMOs or something else.

          1. DR Pepper rolled in a bunch of cases for her.
            Here we can get the real sugar Dr. Pepper. Many places actually import real sugar Cokes in bottles from Coke’s MX facilities across the border. It’s a trendy thing here – in grocery stores, Vietnamese fish markets even.

          2. I’d be jealous of your proximity to the border if I still drank sugared soft drinks. I switched to the diet stuff many years ago and now the real stuff tastes like syrup. If American bottlers keep messing with their formulas, I can see a real market here for the MX stuff.

  2. D’oh! Just found somebody’s post from 2006 (!) complaining about a change to the Wishbone Italian recipe. I know I’m sometimes slow to pick up on things, but this is downright embarrassing. Maybe there’s been an additional, more recent change. Or maybe I just haven’t really been focusing closely enough on my salads (more likely the main course, or the TV in front of me).

  3. “My favorite, never-fail, always delicious salad dressing. Used in salads, marinades, sauces, and probably other things I’m not remembering at the moment.” Gawd, that sounded so perverted. HEH!

    Americone Dream. Ah, yes, that was my gateway back into eating ice cream, as I no longer have to listen to any whining about someone else’s lactose intolerance. Do you like caramel ice cream? Not vanilla ice cream with caramel stuff in it, but caramel ice cream. B&J Triple Caramel Chunk is pretty good! It’s caramel ice cream with a caramel swirl and chocolate-covered caramel chunks that are like tiny Rolo candies. Vanilla Caramel Fudge is my vanilla flavor, and Chocolate Therapy is my chocolate flavor. Chocolate Therapy only has 250 calories a serving, too. You know, so that if you eat a whole pint in one day, you can still salvage the day with a sensible dinner that includes a salad with perverted dressing.

    1. LOL. Perverted dressing. I can always count on you to notice stuff like that. 😉

      I’m not a big ice cream eater, as I pointed out. But when I do indulge I usually go for a vanilla base with good chunky, crunchy stuff in it. I like caramel, but the one you describe sounds like an awful lot of caramel. And although I like chunks of chocolate or fudge swirls, I don’t like actual chocolate ice cream. Cherry Garcia has been a go-to for a long time. And I like to keep Vanilla Bean Vanilla on hand during strawberry season. My all-time favorite isn’t even sold here — Braum’s Cherries, Pecans, and Cream. Braum’s is an Okla-based company. 🙁 Oh yes, nuts. I’m big on flavors with nuts. Pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts. Peanuts, not so much. Loved maple walnut in NY. Can’t find it here.

      Americone Dream reminds me a bit of childhood, when Drumsticks were a favorite thing to get from the ice cream man.

  4. Seems a lot of wheels that aren’t broken are being fixed. Agree that many attempts to pander to a perception of the latest swing in public opinion are not changes that please many of us.

    1. Public health opinion is often just a segment of public opinion. So much of it is based on fads, incorrect information, gossip, special interest groups, etc. Ice cream has always been an indulgence, never intended to be “healthy.” People who want to avoid certain ingredients should eat other foods. Or lobby for new products. Especially when it comes to health and diet fads. I’ve lost track of how many have come and gone in my lifetime.

    1. I have no brand loyalties. I’ll try any flavor, any brand, that looks good, but it has to be real, full-fledged ice cream, not ice milk or froyo or any other “pretend” ice cream.

  5. Just ran across this post as I’ve been wondering for years why I don’t like how Wishbone Italian tastes anymore, even though I keep trying it over and over. Thought it was just my taste buds changing, so decided to see if I could find anything on it! (It’s thicker too)
    I KNEW IT!
    I’M NOT NUTS!!!
    Darn it, now what the heck am I supposed to use when I get that summer salad urge. Maybe I’ll try making my own….

    1. Yep, I thought my age or meds or something was messing up my taste buds. I’m SO unhappy with this. Have yet to find another dressing I like as well, that satisfies no matter what my mood is. I think I’m actually eating less salad because of it.

      I used to make a lot of Good Seasons Italian dressing, but the last time I tried (for the first time in a very long time), I didn’t like it. Apparently I didn’t use the same kind of oil or the same brand of red wine vinegar. You might want to try that.

      And boy oh boy do I understand your distress!!

        1. The fresh ingredients would probably be good, but way more trouble for me than is worth it. I’d use dried too. I live alone and buying anything fresh usually means lots of waste. I probably wouldn’t even use up all the dressing after I made it. Can’t remember the last time I used up an entire bottle of dressing. Hope this recipe turns out to be delicious for you!

  6. Tried Wishbone Italian Dressing today on our chicken wings. Marinated it for a couple of hours before barbequing. Really disappointed.with the results! We use to love the flavor of BBQ chicken when it was marinated in Wishbone Italian Dressing! Not anymore!

    1. I used to use it as a marinade, too. And yep, it’s just not the same anymore. I don’t understand why any company would change a best-selling product to cater to a single segment of the population. Non-GMO, high fructose corn syrup free, gluten free, etc. If these things affected the majority of the population, or if the majority of the population was demanding these changes, I might understand, but as it is, no.

  7. I had a similar experience, except with Wishbone creamy Caesar, thatis more vinegar than creamy, at this point. Like you, this had been my favorite dressing for years. It’s such a disappointment.

  8. I had a similar experience, except with Wishbone creamy Caesar, thatis more vinegar than creamy, at this point. Like you, this had been my favorite dressing for years. Now, I have to slog through all the Caesar dressing offerings to find one I don’t despise.

... and that's my two cents