Earlier, I identified the Big Brother 7 “slop” food as oatmeal. Instead, it’s “a just-add-water, nutritionally fortified porridge mix,” according to TV Week, which investigated the food. I was wrong, and I regret the error and the implication that producers just chose oatmeal instead of something so much more complex and fascinating.
The houseguests are allowed to prepare this product any way they like, just as long as they don’t add other foods to it. They may, however, use condiments, as long as they come from an approved list. Those allowed condiments are, according to TV Week:
“balsamic vinegar, olive oil, red wine vinegar, rice vinegar, vegetable oil, hot sauce, ketchup, BBQ sauce, mayonnaise, mustard, pickles, relish, salsa, soy sauce, steak sauce, Worcestershire sauce, honey, black pepper, garlic salt, crushed red pepper, salt, vanilla, basil, bay leaves, cinnamon, leaf oregano, paprika, parsley, rosemary, brown sugar, artificial sweetener, powdered creamer, white sugar, tea and protein powder.”
The site also unearthed the full ingredients, if you’d like to buy something similar or try to make your own, although who knows if all these chemicals are commercially available. The ingredients are as follows:
“Natural oats, proprietary blend of whey protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, wheat protein isolate, milk protein isolate, natural and artificial flavors, vitamins and minerals (vitamin A palmitate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, cyanocobalamin, vitamin D3, alpha tocopherol, niacin, biotin, pantothenic acid, calcium carbonate, magnesium oxide, zinc oxide, copper gluconate, manganese sulfate, ferrous sulfate, folic acid, potassium iodide), cellulose gum, salt and acesulfame potassium.”
Executive producer Allison Grodner takes credit for changing the punishment food to this porridge. Oh, Allison! So creative! She also told TV Week that she and other producers tested it first and farted as a result. “I ate it for a meal. We all did around here before it got to them,” she said, “so I can only imagine it after eating it for a week.” She adds, “It’s really bland, but because it’s got protein it’s got a bit of an aluminum taste.”