The other day, my friend Jaime K of Save the Kales! posted a video about Twinkies–which have 39 ingredients–being cheaper than carrots, which are just pulled out of the ground. The food industry subsidizes crops that are unhealthy for us (corn and soy, which get manufactured into ingredients such as HFCS, dextrose, soy protein isolate, and lecithin), making those products cheaper than healthy, whole fruits and vegetables.
In addition to bringing up issues of unhealthy, processed foods being cheaper than whole foods, the video brings up another point: why do the foods we eat contain so many ingredients? Every vegan understands the plight of reading food labels and not knowing what half the ingredients listed even are, much less whether they’re vegan (is that confectioners’ glaze made from corn or bugs?).
Well, I’ve got good news for you ingredient readers: It just got easier. There’s a new brand of bars on the market, That’s It fruit bars, whose products only have two ingredients each: fruit and fruit. No preservatives, no added color, no “what the hell is this even” chemicals. All in the convenience of a grab-and-go bar.
“But wait,” you say. “What’s so inconvenient about just grabbing an apple?”
Well, if you’re like me, you’re allergic to raw apples, along with a variety of other fruits. I was a little wary of trying these bars, but since my allergy is very slight and doesn’t cause anaphylactic shock I decided to try them out anyway. Luckily for me, even though the bars are vegan, non-GMO, kosher, gluten-free, nut-free, and diabetic-friendly, I was able to enjoy every variety with no reaction.
In fact, when I opened the bars, they reminded me a bit of a softer, thicker fruit leather. Each bar is made of one whole apple and a certain amount of some other fruit (1 apple + 1 pear; 1 apple + 10 cherries; 1 apple + 3 apricots), and you can see actual little pieces of the fruit in the bars. I want to say they look like fruit particle board, but they’re better than that because they don’t have any added glues… just what naturally is part of the fruit itself.
I expected to like cherry best, but my boyfriend and I both agreed that apricot was our favorite. It tasted like, well, apricots and apples. The cherry was a runner up, with a nice tart flavor. The pear was my least favorite; I found it to have an almost grainy texture and it wasn’t as sweet as the others.
So yes, I really like the convenience, healthiness, eatability and flavor of these bars, but to answer the question that every good review includes: No, I wouldn’t buy these. Why not? At $19.99/box of 12 retail value, these bars come in at around $1.66 each, which is a tad pricey for my poor college-student budget.
Maybe in the future the government will start subsidizing what’s healthy for us instead of following the money of big lobbies, and That’s It will be able to offer their bars at a lower price than something with about as many ingredients as a Twinky, but I wouldn’t count on it happening anytime soon.