Comments: Our question is this: When did Better Homes and Gardens stop using real food? Have we not been paying attention? Its books from a couple of years ago had real food, but this one is chock full of refrigerated or frozen egg product, heat-stable granular sugar substitute, fat-free mayonnaise dressing, frozen fat-free whipped dessert topping, low-calorie liquid sweetener, sugar-free pancake and waffle syrup product, (which is apparently different from) maple-flavored syrup, and fat-free cream cheese (the manufactured product we detest most on earth).
Now, we have no problem at all with the publishers of this world producing diet cookbooks. We have a huge problem with the publishers of this world producing diet cookbooks and acting as if they're mainstream cookbooks!
There's not a word on the front or back cover or the first few pages about this being a low-calorie, diet book filled with substitute food products. It says "good for you" and "wholesome." If eating engineered foods on a daily basis is better for us and more wholesome than eating real food, we have much bigger problems than can simply be put down to red states or blue states.
There are a few other issues where we take exception. Are the references to shredded orange and lime peel what most people call zest? Must our meatless tomato sauce be "purchased?" Yes, it most likely will be, but if we had the uncontrollable urge to make some tomato sauce, may we not do it? Does everyone know that specifying a "12-inch Italian bread shell" in a pizza recipe is essentially a reference to the trademarked product "Boboli?"
All recipes include nutritional information per serving, as well as an estimate of the preparation and cooking time involved. There is a chapter of slow-cooker recipes, which mostly look fine, but the special-occasion chapter recipes don't look very special.
If you're selling a diet book, call it a diet book. People will flock to it. As a diet book, this looks good, and the signs of Better Homes and Gardens' very lofty production standards are visible everywhere. But don't try to fool people who don't want a diet cookbook into thinking that this is mainstream cookbook. It is not.