Q: What is the "slop" that the "Big Brother" contestants have to eat?

« Back to Q & A

Adam Thomlison / TV Media

Punishment and light humiliation have been a staple of reality TV from its earliest days. In a figurative sense, that's what "slop" is. But in the literal sense, it's just oatmeal and nutrient powder.

We know this because CBS actually released the recipe, in case fans wanted to get into the shoes of a struggling "Big Brother" resident.

Slop was introduced midway through the show's history (though only in the Canadian and American versions, which offers all sorts of joke opportunities about food culture). It exists as a punishment, originally for residents who lose a food competition, though it's since become a sort of hovering threat throughout the show.

The official ingredients are: water, steel cut oats, unflavored protein powder, and vitamin and mineral powder.

Two things jump out from that list: First, the total absence of flavor, hence it being a punishment. Second, it's pretty nutritionally complete. That's on purpose, since unlucky contestants have to eat nothing but this for whole days at a stretch.

However, inoffensive though it is, slop has been the subject of some controversy (like so much else on the show). A contestant in Season 9 passed out, on camera, while on the diet because she has hypoglycemia (that is, she suffers from chronic low blood sugar). The incident forced the show to soften the punishment a bit.


Have a question? Email us at questions@tvtabloid.com. Please include your name and town. Personal replies will not be provided.