Bethenny Frankel, Skinnygirl, Real Housewives Businesses

Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic

So what's in Skinnygirl margaritas? It's definitely not the worm.

Former Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel is having to do a lot of explaining after her hot-selling line of cocktails was abruptly dropped by Whole Foods this week after the chain rejected her claim that that the ingredients she touted were "all natural."

Here's the skinny on the controversy...

A spokesperson for Beam Global, which bought Frankel's line of cocktails, confirmed to E! News that the diet margarita does contain an "incredible small amount" of a widely used food preservative.

"Skinnygirl Margarita meets the highest quality standards, is as natural as it can be while meeting consumer expectations for shelf stability, and we stand by it 100%," read a statement from the company. "In order to keep the product as fresh as possible, an incredibly small amount of a very commonly used FDA-approved beverage preservative is added. Skinnygirl is made with as few ingredients as possible and its flavor ingredients are indeed natural."

Per the New York Post, that preservative is supposedly sodium benzoate, which is often found in salad dressings, fruit drinks and carbonated beverages (not to mention creates that whistling noise you hear as a main ingredient in fireworks).

In Whole Foods' view however, Bethenny's failure to disclose the chemical prompted the store to yank the product from its shelves.

"This product had been offered in about a dozen of Whole Foods Market's 310 stores. After discovering that it contains a preservative that does not meet our quality standards, we have had to stop selling it," a Whole Foods rep tells E! in a written statement.

You have to wonder if the organic grocery mavens did their research. Or if they just took the Naturally Thin author at her word, like the promise she makes on her website when she says Skinnygirl contains "all natural ingredients, no preservatives or artificial colors" and is the "margarita you can trust."

For her part, Frankel shrugged off Whole Foods' move to drop her two-year-old product.

In a statement she released to Access Hollywood, the natural foods chef and overnight liquor mogul didn't exactly deny allegations she misled consumers in the mood for a low-calorie alternative. Instead, she tried to spin the unhealthy additive as best she could.

"Skinnygirl cocktails were created to solve a problem: to create a line of guilt-free cocktails allowing women to drink the indulgent drinks they actually want to drink with as few ingredients as possible," Frankel said. "I'm not making wheatgrass here. If I could put an agave plant and some limes on a shelf I would. [The Skinnygirl Margarita] is as close to nature as possible, while still being a shelf-stable product."

Bethenny also fired back, saying it was her decision, not the grocery chain.

"With all due respect to Whole Foods, we were in a dozen of their stores and have decided not to continue in these stores," the reality star added. "They represent an infinitesimal fraction of our business. We are, in fact, the fastest growing spirits brand in the U.S. We were bound to piss someone off and everyone loves to try to tear down a success. This is a non-event. I haven't lost even a wink of sleep."

And why would she considering she reportedly sold Skinnygirl back in March to Fortune Brands' Beam Global for a whopping $120 million.

Watch: Bethenny supplies the cocktails on Chelsea Lately

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