Fans of the ABC reality show series The Bachelor and its various spin-offs may have noticed an odd quirk about the televised dates: Nobody ever appears to eat anything. Refinery29 took a look at the culinary side of the popular reality shows to uncover why date food usually goes untouched.
On The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, 20-plus singles competing against each other live in a Malibu mansion, but despite the grandeur of their living quarters, the food situation is less than luxurious. Contestants have to cook for themselves—no fancy personal chefs here. According to Ashley Spivey, a former Bachelor contestant, despite the mansion's pantry being stocked with plenty of junk food, the women tended towards simple, healthful foods like eggs, yogurt, sandwiches and salads. Often times at night, the mansion's residents would switch off who prepared the meal for everyone. "On my season, Britt was a classically trained chef, so she would make things like bacon jam or roasted tomato soup," Spivey says.
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Other contestants, such as Tenley Molzahn, used nutrition knowledge to the house's healthful advantage. "I'm gluten-free and also a holistic nutritionist, so I was always trying to show off my skills when I had the opportunity, especially with my gluten-free baking," Molzahn says. While the contestants aren't allowed to make their own grocery runs, they are allowed to request specific foods on the group grocery list. According to past participant Jaclyn Swartz, one of the girls "was raw [and] vegan at the time and 99.9 percent of the girls were gluten-free."