This is one of the biggest examples of this aggregious crap that is happening in our food supply. And many people under 40 don't even know any different, because these products have always been like this for them. Below, is the current ingredient list for a Swanson Salisbury steak TV dinner:
Gravy (Water, Mushrooms, Onions, Modified Corn Starch, Sherry Wine, Flavor [Salt, Beef Stock, Beef Fat, Maltodextrin, Potassium Chloride, Hydrolized Soy, Corn and Wheat Gluten Protein, Yeast Extract, Vegetable Stock (Carrot, Onion, Celery), Natural and Artificial Flavors, Potassium Lactate, Onion Powder, Dextrose, Sugar, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, Soy Sauce (Soybeans, Salt, Wheat), Modified Corn Starch, Tomato Powder and Citric Acid], Wheat Flour, Onion Powder, Sugar, Cream Powder Blend [Heavy Cream, WheyProtein Concentrate, Whey], Caramel Color, Salt, Yeast Extract, Spice), Cooked Salisbury Steak Patty (Beef, Water, Pork, Textured Soy Protein Concentrate with Caramel Color, Bread Crumbs [Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Enriched with Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Dextrose. Contains 2% or less of Yeast, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Soybean and/or Cottonseed), Salt], Soy Protein Concentrate, Seasoning Blend [Maltodextrin, Salt, Grill Flavor (Soybean and Cottonseed Oils), Modified Food Starch, Corn Syrup Solids, Smoke Flavoring], Salt, Dehydrated Onion, Caramel Color, Sodium Phosphate, Garlic Powder, Spice Extract, Eggs, Spice), Mashed Potatoes (Water, Reconstituted Potatoes (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate), Cream, Margarine [Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil with TBHQ and Citric Acid as Preservatives, Water, Mono and Diglycerides (BHT, Citric Acid), Beta Carotene for Color (Corn Oil, Tocopherol), Vitamin A Palmitate], Butter Concentrate [Butter (Cream, Salt), Flavor], Salt, Potato Flavor [Potatoes, Water, Buttermilk, Butter Oil, Salt, Natural Flavors, Soy Lecithin, Calcium Chloride, Tocopherol, Enzyme]), Green Beans, Brownie (Sugar, Water, Wheat Flour, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil with TBHQ and Citric Acid as preservatives, Water, Mono and Diglycerides (BHT, Citric Acid), Beta Carotene for color (Corn Oil, Tocopherol), Vitamin A Palmitate], Acacia and Xanthan Gums, Sodium Bicarbonate [Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil], Salt, Natural and Artificial Vanilla Flavor [Water, Propylene Glycol, Ethanol, Caramel Color, Vanilla Extractives]), Sauce (Water, Sugar, Margarine [Soybean Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Water, Salt, Whey, Soy Lecithin, Mono and Diglycerides, Natural Flavor, Beta Carotene (Color), Vitamin A Palmitate], Salt, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil with TBHQ and Citric Acid as preservatives). Contains 2% or less of: Margarine (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil with TBHQ and Citric Acid as Preservatives, Water, Mono and Diglycerides [BHT, Citric Acid], Beta Carotene for Color (Corn Oil, Tocopherol], Vitamin A Palmitate). Soy, Wheat, Eggs, Milk.
And here is a scan of a package of the same TV dinner from 1975:
And here is the 1975 ingredient list:
Beef, Beefstock, Fried Potatoes, Apples, Peas, Reconstituted Onions, Water, Enriched Wheat flour, Sugar, Enriched Bread crumbs, Eggs, Margarine, Carrots, Tomatoes, Salt, Celery, Modified Food Starch, Vegetable oil, Nonfat Dry milk, Flavoring, leavening, Dehydrated onions, and caramel color.
The only difference is the new one has a chocolate brownie in place of the apple cobbler, and mashed potatoes in place of tater tots... but we all know this would not make any appreciable difference in the additives and preservatives.