Fin lives in California's Central Valley and is interested in social issues.
Popular and Tasty....but..
Well, these sure taste pretty good as far as most similar products go. You would think from the cover that every bite is filled with tomatoes, spinach, carrots and other healthy eating options. You might just think you can skip the vegetables all together if you consume a bag or two of these a day.
But think again. If you look closely at the cover of the bag, in the lower left hand corner, you see the words "Vegetable and Potato Snack". I'm not kidding. It's really there. What it really should say is: a colorful potato chip designed to trick you into eating something healthy, but that would not only take up too much space, but it might shine off potential buyers altogether.
It's All in the Ingredients
Now, if you look at the contents of the package, in other words the ingredients label, you see: a lot of oils, some "SPINACH POWDER", "TOMATO PASTE" and "BEETROOT POWDER" - for color. I'm not even sure what beetroot powder is, but I know that beets and beetroot are not the same. I don't think consuming a powder, or a paste actually counts as fully as the whole vegetable content.
What else you will notice is that along with the names of things that sound familiar or a bunch of salts and sugars. I don't think a healthy diet should consist of oils, salts, sugars, or spices - particularly if the spices are used for the sole purpose of color. I could be wrong however. I have to confess that I am not a nutritionist, but I generally think it is safe to exercise on the side of caution and say that it is a good thing to avoid anything too salty and anything too sweet. It tastes good yes, but your body doesn't need this stuff.
It's all on the label
Most consumers do not look at the nutritional information on the food they buy. The government started making labeling for food products back in 1906 because unsavory manufacturers would sometimes use deceptive and even fraudulent practices when selling their goods.
One source indicates: " 'The Gould Amendment required all packaged foods to have the "quantity of their contents plainly and conspicuously marked on the outside of the package in terms of weight, measure or numerical count.' " The information label as we know it, was actually developed in 1990 the source says, however, I thought I can remember it going back much further than that.
The source indicates that even in our modern era, efforts are being made to initiate adjustments to food labels that accurate provide consumers an idea of the true contents. If you look at the nutrition label above, you see that the saturated fats prevail and there are higher levels of sodium than you would expect. The nutrients are almost absent, with items such as potassium, iron and calcium not being what you would expect from a vegetable serving.
Consequently, the U.S. became the first country to enact mandatory food labeling in 1913 when it passed the Gould Net Weight Amendment to the 1906 Act. The Gould Amendment required all packaged foods to have the "quantity of their contents plainly and conspicuously marked on the outside of the package in terms of weight, measure or numerical count.
— From an article "The origins and evolution of Nutrition Facts labeling"
Of course there is a narrative on the label. And it sounds pretty promising. i actually, as I get older, find myself taking time to look at the label and see what the manufacturer has to say about the product. I didn't see any warnings indicating that consuming this could cause cancer as I did on some other veggie snacks. I do however see a comparison which says that per 1 oz serving, this product has only 7 grams of fat compared to 10 grams in a similar amount of potato chip. That doesn't really seem that significant to me. But they did feel the need to point this fact out.
You are also encouraged not to feel guilty about eating these and that they taste good. Now, I think that is something worth pointing out. Most people don't really feel guilty about snacking and of course, the fact that snack items appeal to the palate is why people engage in this leisure activity in the first place.
But even though this product has "30% less fat than the leading potato chip" (I am not sure which brand is in the lead to be honest with you), I would probably opt for the latter because it is tastier and in fact, I know exactly what I am eating.
With this product, I am not sure.
How Do They Look; How Do They Taste?
well, as you might guess, these look like little straws. In fact, I think there are people out there who would be willing to stick these into a glass of soda and sip away.
They're hard little, hollow pieces of colorful stuff and crunch up nicely. They are pretty tasty, if you are partial to bland flavors. There really isn't much to them. I was honestly a bit frightened of these initially because I was that popping one of these into my mouth would be like licking a a tomato or a lemon. Not so.
You taste the potato, that's for sure. They're almost like chips, with a little spice to them and little less bite. A potato chip has a nice after taste. These, are just kind of so so.
Yes or No?
Do I recommend these as a option for the snacker? Sure. They aren't bad when it comes to munching between meals.
Would I advise someone to eat these? Well, no. But then again I wouldn't recommend that anyone drink a glass of gasoline - and not just because of the gas prices.
Can these substitute for a meal? Sure. You can go ahead and eat a bag of these and then go on the water only diet for a few weekends. I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun with that.
But seriously, if you were under the impression that these were actually a "healthy" item to chow down upon between regular meals, please give that notion some serious reconsideration.
But if you want a fun snack and have your coworkers say things like "Oh wow, veggie snacks, healthy!" you can take them to your job and show them off - just like I did in my clear plastic snack sized baggies (they really make these). And that really did happen.
When my coworker presented that reaction to me, I politely tried to correct her by explaining that the authenticity of this advertised product is up for question. Her eyes glazed over, and she yawned and looked at me and then started to talk about various kinds of staplers.
You may not really care, but now consider yourself informed.
And try and make some good choices as consumers.
© 2022 Fin