I was all set to review another cracker for today but I tossed that out the window because I need to talk to you about a cracker love affair I have going on right now.
It started with Triscuits. We all know Triscuits, right? The wheat cracker that puts on airs and pretends to be healthy for you. “But it’s wheat! And there’s fiber too!” I used to love Triscuits! The Rosemary and Olive Oil being my favorite flavor. They were crunchy, a little salty, and went perfectly with hummus. I thought I was doing alright.
Then I read the ingredients list.
Pfftttttt You’re not kidding me Nabisco, the Triscuit ingredient list isn’t so hot. That’s for the Rosemary Olive Oil flavor. Just in case you don’t want to click the link, here’s what the ingredients say, bolding mine:
Ingredients: WHOLE WHEAT, SOYBEAN AND/OR PALM OIL, MALTODEXTRIN, SALT, SPICES (INCLUDES ROSEMARY), MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE (FLAVOR ENHANCER), ONION POWDER, NATURAL FLAVOR, OLIVE OIL.
Soybean AND/OR Palm Oil? It could have one or it could have both? Are we playing some sort of oil game? “Oooo which one are we going to get?” while crossing our fingers wishing it’s one or the other.
Maltodextrin is a starch that is used as a sweetener to foods. It’s an additive that isn’t needed. Don’t be fooled by articles claiming “it’s all natural and derived from natural plants or vegetables.” Same can be said for HFCS and we all know that’s not good stuff.
Monosodium Glutamate = MSG. I love how they sugar coat that by calling it a “Flavor Enhancer”. I don’t about you but I don’t want MSG in my food, thanks.
What is “natural flavor”? Does anyone know what that even means?
And then there’s olive oil which is good for you! But it’s at the end of the ingredient list and since ingredients are listed by weight that means there is very little of it present. Bonus, if we picked a winning box which contains both Soybean and Palm Oil AND Olive Oil, that’s a hell of a lot of oil in a cracker isn’t it?
You can see why I kicked Triscuits to the curb. And in case you’re curious, the ingredients for plain Triscuits are:
Ingredients: WHOLE WHEAT, SOYBEAN AND/OR PALM OIL, SALT.
Still playing the game of chance with the soybean and palm oil ingredients. Why would I want to do that?
But I loved them! So my plan was to find an alternative and that’s when I discovered 365 Brand Woven Wheat Crackers. Admittedly they could use a different name. Come on Whole Foods, Woven Wheat? Like someone’s going to pull something out of the box resembling an area rug their grandma made. Let’s work on a new name!
Oh snap! Triscuit just got crack slapped by Woven Wheat! Woven Wheat has two ingredients.
Whole Wheat and salt. None of this AND/OR bidness. No added oils, “flavor enhancers”, and no vague “natural flavor” addition, and no phoney “but it’s really okay” food additives.
Just wheat and salt.
YES! This is an ingredient list I can live with. This is the type of ingredient list I want on my foods. Short and simple.
If you’ve done the Triscuit thing and you’re looking for a better alternative, please check these out. They can be found at Whole Foods stores which are all over the place. So go get yourself some Woven Wheats! And maybe together we can help them come up with a better name. Just kidding, Whole Foods! Woven Wheat is totally cool! (P.S. Not really.)