What's Really In Big Brother's Slop

Big Brother might just be the most ironically Orwellian show ever conceived. Named after the dystopian overlord in 1984 (via Insider), the CBS series even has a stuffed owl named Orwell. Yet while it alludes to a bleak literary portrait of life in a suffocating surveillance state, the show not only embraces surveillance as entertainment; it effectively invites viewers to see things from the perspective of a benevolent Big Brother. Talk about double-think.

Doubling that double-think (quadruple-think?), Big Brother is billed as a reality television show despite being a marathon of contrived challenges and unrealistic living conditions. Contestants have been tasked with clinging to swinging ropes for as long as they could. They've clung like an army of barnacles to a wall styled after a pirate ship. Competitors live together and systematically vote to evict each other in hopes of winning $500,000 at the end. You know, kind of like the real world – the MTV version.

Even the show's punishments can have an Orwellian flavor, namely the taste of Big Brother Slop. Debuted during Big Brother All-Stars, Slop replaced peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as the penalty for losing food competitions, per Big Brother Wiki. Seemingly made of bland oatmeal and malice, it has a revolting taste and texture while being deeply nutritious, turning a healthy meal into oral torture. But what's really in this stuff?

Slop puts the 'gruel' in 'grueling'

CBS advertised Big Brother 19 by unveiling the recipe for Slop (via Big Brother Wiki). It starts with three-and-a-half cups of plain steel-cut oats that have been simmered in 12 cups of water for about half an hour. Then comes a cup of unflavored whey protein isolate and half a cup of unflavored soy protein. To top it off, four teaspoons of vitamin and mineral powder are mixed in. BuzzFeed Video had a series of brave souls and with even braver tongues try Slop. Testers likened it to eating sand, sawdust, and "grainy wet paste." One person compared its scent to that of cheese.

This regrettable concoction sounds like the perfect fuel for 1984's Two Minutes of Hate - or in this case, "Too Many Minutes of Ate." Of course, these testers only got a taste of the awfulness. But when a houseguest on Big Brother loses a challenge and becomes one of the "Have-Nots" of the group, they're only permitted to eat Slop for a week. However, that doesn't necessarily mean a Have-Not's mouth will taste like a beach for a week. They are allowed to spruce up their Slop with condiments. As Online Big Brother describes, the list of acceptable flavorings includes ketchup, balsamic vinegar, mayonnaise, pickles, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar. Though, it might taste most like the salty tears a tongue undoubtedly cries after eating that stuff for consecutive days.