Here's The Truth About Those 'Bachelor' Food Dates

Earlier this season, The Bachelorette's Chad Johnson made a name for himself with his outspoken remarks and by chowing down on lunch meats throughout the night's rose ceremony. Chad's very public eating provided some hilarious moments on the show, but it did get me wondering about something: do people eat the food on the dates on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette ? Because even on food-themed dates, there seems to always be a whole lot of plates left on the table, and not much actual eating going on. However, the answer to this isn't a simple yes or no, as you might think.

Food has long been a big part of the Bachelor franchise. In addition to Chad's deli meat extravaganza, Ben Higgins had several food dates with his contestants on The Bachelor, where he indulged in donuts with future fiance Lauren B. and learned that Jubilee does not like caviar. But that season's actual eating-of-the-food feels rare, as more often than not, it seems like the food shown on the show gets left on the plates, untouched. So what's the deal? In 2013, host Chris Harrison wrote about date food in Entertainment Weekly during Sean Lowe's season and said that the contestants do get to eat the food. "One thing many fans should be satisfied with is the fact that Sean and Catherine ate on camera," he blogged. "I get asked all the time if they ever eat the food on these dates. The answer is yes but you don’t always get to see it, so I’m happy you finally got to see some people eating."

But Lowe experienced his dates and the food differently, according to his 2015 tell-all book For The Right Reasons, where he claimed he was banned from eating the one-on-one date cuisine. Don't worry, though; Lowe revealed that the contestants were actually fed before the date, so no one was starving while on the one-on-one — and, according to the star, the food ban is actually for technical reasons. "We ate in our rooms and then went out for dinner, where we would be given beautiful food arranged nicely on the plate," he wrote. "This was just for show. No one looks good eating, and microphones pick up all kinds of chomping."

Former Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky shared her own sentiments on eating The Bachelor date food with E! Online in 2013, giving pretty different reasons for the lack of eating on-camera.

"There is food on camera, people just usually don't eat that much on camera because you are so focused on the date. I remember food always getting cold on my dates because we were mostly focused on getting to know each other...Your time with the Bachelor is limited. You don't want to waste it eating. You want to get to know him and let him get to know you! But as soon as the date is over, you stuff your face! At least I did."

Off-camera, though, there's no worry about sound, focus, or any kind of food-related issue at all, apparently. In an interview with Wetpaint, former Bachelor contestant Katie Levans revealed that the house is loaded with lots of food and alcohol. "Oh my god, there’s so much food," she said. "It’s weird, but the mansion becomes your home so it’s kind of like a really jacked up, well-stocked sorority house. The pantry, fridge, freezer, etc. were all overflowing with food to accommodate everyone’s dietary restrictions."

If only on-camera eating were as free-for-all as that. Still, regardless of what actually happens during those dinner scenes, I do know one thing for sure: The Bachelor and The Bachelorette knows how to make all that date food look good.

Images: Levy Moroshan, Jean Whiteside/ABC