March 18, 2010

Organic Dried Fruit by Peeled Snacks Favorite of Oprah

Last month on another blog, I reviewed Peeled Snacks not so favorably for their food additives. The company read my review and kindly sent me the organic version of their dried fruit. Peeled Snacks Organic Fruit Picks Variety Pack comes in five flavors: pine-4-Pineapple, Cherry-go-round, Apricot-a-lot, Apple-2-the-core, and Banan-a-peel.

Organic or 100% natural single serving snacks that you can grab-and-go! We offer eight delicious varieties, featuring large pieces of dried fruit or dry roasted nuts. Our snacks are a natural source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. They have no trans fats, no hydrogenated oils, and no artificial flavors or colors. They are also cholesterol, wheat, gluten and dairy free.

Apparently Oprah has called Peeled snacks her "favorite afternoon snack". I do like the organic varieties better than the preserved ones; however, I think that packaging is a concern. There is very little fruit in each package, as it is designed for a snack, but it seems excessive for just four pieces of dried fruit (that's what I found in the pineapple package). One of the biggest problems I find with snack products is packaging. You are much better buying in bulk and reusing containers for snacks.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 17, 2010

Roasted Seaweed Snacks from Korea

I am addicted to seaweed snacks, as are my kids. Sea's Gift Korean Seaweed Snack (Kim Nori), Roasted & Sea Salted is absolutely delicious and the perfect salty snack. It melts in your mouth and it is easy to devour a whole package before you know it.

  • All natural Korean seaweed snack

  • Roasted in sesame oil; Lightly salted with sea salt

  • Abundance of minerals & vitamins

  • Low calorie; No cholesterol; Healthy Snack

  • Wonderful nutty flavor

The only drawbacks to this wonderful snack is the packaging. It is heavily packaged for a little bit of seaweed, and each package comes with a "moisture absorbing packet". I understand this is necessary, but I wish they would include more seaweed in each packet. It is also a drawback that this product is shipped the all the way from Korea, but I really do love it and forgive these faults for the occasional treat.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 11, 2010

European Union Bans Overfished Bluefin Tuna Upsetting Japan

The European Union (EU) has joined a worldwide ban on Atlantic bluefin tuna because the species has been over-fished. Unfortunately for sushi lovers, especially in Japan, raw tuna may be hard to acquire and unethical to consume as a result. The Guardian explains:

Raw tuna is a key ingredient in sushi and sashimi in Japan, the world's main purchaser of bluefin. Although the ban would not prevent the fish from being caught, it would end the trade between European fishing fleets and Japan, where about 80% of captured bluefin ends up.

"This is like telling the US to stop eating beef," said Kimio Amano, a 36-year-old broker at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo who joined about 100 other dealers - many clad in work boots and shiny waterproof overalls - to chant slogans calling for better use of the ocean's resources.

Amano's analogy is flawed, since cattle are part of agribusiness and not wild creatures. I don't support the cattle industry's practices of inhumane treatment.  I do understand Amano is trying to make a cultural not environmental analogy; however, I would think the Japanese would also want to protect this species important to their diet. 
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 8, 2010

Spilled Milk Organic Cookies Use Fair Trade Chocolate Chips

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The Rabbit Hole Bake Shop makes delicious organic "oatie" cookies.

As the creators of Spilled Milk, we always choose to venture down the rabbit hole. We're very excited to share our newest venture, Spilled Milk Oaties. Enjoy their organic and whole grain goodness and rich, comforting flavors. Take a deep breath and smile, because these cookies are brought to you from two friends who truly believe life is a little easier when you can laugh at spilled milk.

These cookies come in four flavors:

  • peanut butter cocoa oatie
  • apricot oatie
  • chocolate chip oatie
  • ginger oatie

Not only are these cookies made from organic ingredients, but the chocolate is Fair Trade certified.  I'm a big cookie fan, and these taste like cookies made at home with wholesome ingredients.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 5, 2010

Hippie Chips: Peace, Love, and Gluten Free

Rock and Roll Gourmet has several snacks that appeal to the hippie in all of us. With a slogan like "Peace, Love, & Gluten Free", who wouldn't want to try a flavor called "Woodstock Ranch" or "Memphis Blues Barbeque". Hippie Chips are all natural, but they are not organic. Personally, I think the flavored varieties are overdone, but the plain "Sea of Love Salt" was tasty.

Hippie Chips are the best tasting and most unique baked potato chip in the world.

Every chip's shape is as individual as you are. They are ultra light and low in fat and calories.

With superlative taste and exceptional texture, Hippie Chips will awaken the free spirit in you!

Don't Worry, Be Hippie!

Rock and Roll Gourmet also make Sweet Emotions. These snacks are also baked, made from multigrains and have only 60 calories. My daughter thinks they taste "a little funny", and I prefer simple organic chocolate when I need to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Rock & Pops is a flavored popcorn line by the company.  I just have a hard time getting behind snacks that are not organic.   

I think the gimmick of these products is cute, but in my opinion it is a little overdone. I am not sure if it is just another attempt to make money off of the 1960s or provide a healthy snack.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 4, 2010

OSU: Eating Garlic Reduces Your Risk of Cancer

The health benefits of garlic, besides warding of vampires, has long been known. New research conducted at the Ohio State University (OSU) has found "hints at garlic's cancer-fighting potential".

Researchers have designed a urine test that can simultaneously measure the extent of a potential carcinogenic process and a marker of garlic consumption in humans.

In a small pilot study, the test suggested that the more garlic people consumed, the lower the levels of the potential carcinogenic process were.

Good news for garlic lovers and those with cancer in their family tree!

Image: Bellybytes

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

February 26, 2010

Really Natural Cookbooks: Bob's Red Mill Cookbook: Whole & Healthy Grains for Every Meal of the Day

We've long been fans of Bob's Red Mill products and were delighted to receive a copy of this great company's cookbook.

f cooking healthier meals at home is your new resolution, look no further than Bob's Red Mill's extensive collection of high-quality grains, flours, and other mouth-watering products. The Bob's Red Mill Cookbook will help introduce new whole-grain ingredients into all of your daily meals, without a huge investment in pricey, difficult-to-locate, limited products that do more to take up space than change nutrition habits. Whole-wheat flours, brown rice, whole beans, and legumes have become prevalent in supermarkets everywhere, but among the hundreds of products milled at the Bob's Red Mill plant are also blue corn flour, quinoa, amaranth, teff, and all varieties of nuts and seeds, and they can be integrated seamlessly into any diet to delicious effect.

The unique, family-owned mill has been in the business of producing healthy whole-grain products for over 30 years, and they provide here more than 350 recipes for all sorts of everyday meals: morning food, snacks and sides, main courses, soups and stews, and sweets, with plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free dishes. This practical and comprehensive cookbook is an outstanding collection of reliable recipes that reflect the Bob's Red Mill product quality, product diversity, and dedication to healthful eating. Becoming a more inventive cook is a stepping stone to a healthier outlook, incorporating better ingredients for a better life.

Bob's Red Mill Cookbook: Whole & Healthy Grains for Every Meal of the Day includes many wholesome recipes. From zucchini chocolate muffins to wheat berry minestrone, you are sure to find many inspirations to add more whole grains into your diet. This cookbook also includes "Gluten-Free Baking Fundamentals", as well as many recipes safe for Celiacs.

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy of this cookbook. No prior assurances were given as to the positive or negative nature of the review in exchange for the product.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

February 23, 2010

Vegan, All Natural Chocolate Pear Cabernet Sauce Made with Organic Agave Nectar

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If you are looking for a unique gourmet spread, look no farther than A Perfect Pear from Napa Valley. Their all-natural, vegan Chocolate Pear Cabernet Sauce is sweetened with organic Agave nectar.

Made with premium Guittard chocolate, organic agave, cabernet juice and a hint of pear. Pour over a cabernet poached pear, vanilla ice cream or spread on brownies. Heat slightly and use as a fondue dipper with fresh strawberries.

I have yet to try this unique sauce heated, but it is delicious straight out of the jar. It is sort of expensive at $11 for 13 ounces, but it really does last a long time and is quite a treat. Another bonus is that a portion of profits is donated to children's charities.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

February 19, 2010

Zero Calorie Skinny Water Uses Artificial Chemical Sweetener Splenda

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When sent a box of Skinny Water, I became suspicious of this product's marketing because use the word "skinny" in its title. Of course, drinking a flavored water will not make you thin, but I also don't think the company is trying to make this claim; however, flavors have names like "crave control" and "shape", and they include health fad foods like goji berries. Skinny Water comes in six flavors:

My concern with Skinny Water is its use of the artificial sweetener Splenda (sucralose). The safety of this artificial sweetener has come into question. Women to Women explains:
The FDA has no definition for "natural," so please bear with us for a biochemistry moment:
On the other side of the argument are responsible experts who say that Splenda is unsafe -- the latest in a succession of artificial sweeteners that claim at first to be healthy, only later to be proven to be full of side effects. These authorities say that Splenda has more in common with DDT than with food....

Splenda is the trade name for sucralose, a synthetic compound stumbled upon in 1976 by scientists in Britain seeking a new pesticide formulation. It is true that the Splenda molecule is comprised of sucrose (sugar) -- except that three of the hydroxyl groups in the molecule have been replaced by three chlorine atoms.

I found nothing wrong with the flavor of Skinny Water, but I don't think that people trying to lose weight need to sacrifice their health by using artificial sweeteners. Natural sweeteners may be used in moderation with a healthy, whole foods diet and exercise as part of any sensible weight loss plan. Besides, artificial sweeteners are turning up in our waterways and drinking water causing much concern for our health and the environment.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

February 18, 2010

New Organic Dairy Standards Mandated 30% Grazing Diet

Large "organic" dairies have come under criticism by consumers for inhumane treatment of livestock. Green Living Ideas reports on the practices used by Horizon Organic:

It is the Idaho dairy farm where the image is most depressing and contradicts the Horizon label that promises cows "make milk the natural way, with access to plenty of fresh air, clean water and exercise." OCA describes one Horizon corporate farm:

At a Horizon dairy farm in central Idaho, the cows don't look that happy. Four thousand cows live in a stark landscape of sagebrush fields, long silver barns and open-air sheds. Jammed in crowded pens atop the hardpan of the Idaho desert, the cows are fed a diet of alfalfa, hay, grains and soy, all certified organic. Only occasionally do they eat fresh grass.

The USDA has responded by tightening organic standards, well sort of. Treehugger reports:
New USDA Organic Regulations
The new rules go into effect in June of this year. They state that at least 30 percent of food cows' ingest must come from grazing. If the dairy farm is located in a mild climate like California, cows will be expected to graze even more than the 120 days mandated as a minimum by law. Organic beef standards will also be tightened. Organic cattle, goats, buffalo, and sheep must be able to graze as well. Although in the last four months of life, certain diet regulations can be eliminated.
Personally, I don't feel these standards go far enough. 30% does not ensure the animals do not spend the majority of their time in feedlot situations.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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