Eat Your Veggies!

One currently popular item in our household is pictured here: Veggie Straws. In particular, my oldest daughter Sarah, normally very constrained around junk food, eats these things the way a normal person eats cake and ice cream. The ferocity with which she attacked the Veggie Straws forced me to double check the packaging to make sure the ingredients list didn’t end with, “Contains no more than 2% of the following: artificial coloring, artificial flavoring, and morphine.”

Wait, wait … did I say “junk food”? These are veggie snacks. How on earth could veggie snacks be junk food? To answer that, I present my “A Chip By Any Other Name” essay from last year:

There are two kinds of people in the world: those that divide the world into two kinds of people and those that don’t. Since I am squarely in the former group, today I will divide the world into people that bring their lunch to work and people that don’t. And, once again, you will find me in the first group. I do it for a number of reasons: It’s not a big deal. It’s actually more convenient. And it costs a lot less, that’s for sure.

Rather than bringing a prepared lunch each day, I prefer to keep lunch fixin’s at work. Under this scheme, I can assemble sandwiches on demand. When certain ingredients run out, new ones are rotated in. It’s not a bad system, except for those rare days when all ingredients run out at the same time. (Most likely because I left them on the stupid counter at home, right next to the ice cream.)

On foodless days such as these, I must choose the lesser of many evils:

  1. Buy one of those who-knows-how-old ham & cheese sandwiches from Vending Machine Number One. ($4.25)
  2. Skip that and proceed to Vending Machine Number Two for a bag of Funyuns and some meat sticks. ($0.50)
  3. Venture out for a burger, fries, and shake. (Easily $8.00 for a halfway decent set)
  4. Go hungry. (Free. But I’ll end up falling back on Option #2 around 3:30 anyway…)
  5. Make a grocery store run. (Priceless)

Last Monday was one such day and I opted for Option #5. So off I went for a loafa bread, a containera milk, and a sticka butta. Er, I mean … a loaf of bread, a containera lunch meat, and a package-a cheese. After procuring these items, I realized what I really wanted needed was something crunchy to go along with this fine sandwich-to-be. So it was off to the Chip Aisle.

The Chip Aisle. Oh, what a place. Rank upon rank of snacks salute you as pass through their midst. You flitter with heady joy from side to side, childlike wonder in your eyes, as you survey the thousands of salty possibilities before you. But beware, brave knights! If you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further, for death awaits you all in nasty, big, family-sized bags.

chips.jpgAnyway, back to the point of this pointless story. I ended up buying a bag of Veggie Chips. They’re packaged in a very healthful-looking, green bag. Said bag proclaims the chips therein are made with “real natural potatoes, tomatoes and spinach.” The photo here shows one chip each of potato, tomato, and spinach.

Now because they’re called Veggie Chips and come in a fancy green bag, I can only suppose they’re hoping people don’t realize what’s really going on. The top three ingredients are: potatoes, oil, and salt.

Potatoes, oil, and salt? Hmmm… well, okay. I suppose if you think about it, regular potato chips are “veggie chips” as well. Heck, even Doritos, when you get right down to it, are “veggie chips.” Just because one is sprinkled liberally with Cool Ranch molecules and the other with spinach powder doesn’t make a bit of difference to your bottom line.

And that’s the moral of the story. Don’t be swayed by frilly packaging or marketing-speak. You know better. (And you know you know better.)

Me, I don’t think these chips are very good without gobs of sour cream and onion dip. I’m heading back to the fridge for some right now.

4 Responses to “Eat Your Veggies!”

Lesley said
March 24, 2009 at 5:18 am

I wish they woudln’t even call them things like “veggie chips” because a lot of people probably really do think they’re “good” for you. A lot of people are definitely swayed by frilly packaging or marketing-speak. (I used to be one of them for sure!)

Helen said
March 24, 2009 at 7:54 am

So right! Unfortunately the only “healthy” alternative in the chip aisles are either processed pressed chemicals (baked) or something that causes “anal leakage” (fat free varieites). Gross. Just give me good old Lays.

Jennifer said
March 24, 2009 at 10:13 am

I actually like these chips that they sell at Whole Foods called Beet chips. They are actually made from beats, and they are baked and have salt on them. Now, I hate beets, but I LOVE these chips. Although you can’t buy them all the time because they are like $4.99 for a small container!

Now, I am off to heat up my lunch which I bring every day too for pretty much the same reasons you mentioned. I have a fantastic stir fry for lunch!

Tuscanystone said
March 24, 2009 at 4:50 pm

I still can’t get used to you guys calling crisps, chips and chips ,fries!

The way I see it, all crisps are bad. Eat them only when drunk in a pub and feeling peckish, that way, you don’t really care what’s in them 😉

Tusc 🙂