For those watching their carbohydrate intake, even healthier snacks may require dietary disclaimer. Plantain chips, delicious, nutritious, but packed with carbs, so you can’t mow down on these while you’re going for your leanest and meanest body weight.

As for who does plantain chips correctly, TERRA® does, when they use plantains, coconut oil (not the planetary scourge of palm oil) and sea salt. Again, plantain chips are a carb budget-buster for someone on a Ketogenic Diet, but for everyone else, crunch away.

Sure there were. That’s how many were in the freshly opened bag, uh huh. TERRA® Plantain Chips with Coconut Oil and Sea Salt, crackle to an A.



Some of the essentials missing in processed foods are digestive enzymes. Natural foods, contrariwise, are designed to help us metabolize the nutrients in them. Nice. Mangoes, as an example, are nutritious, and they have enzymes to help with absorbing those nutrients.

Natural Grocers Organic Dried Mango go simple with the packaging and go astral with flavor. Sweet (sugar from nature’s kitchen so released more gently into the body, too), tangy, delicious, get a B.



Beets, oh brand name CRUNCHIES®, are a root vegetable. Yet, underneath the brand name, even for beets, you use your slogan, PURE FRUIT IN EVERY CRUNCH®, for beets, the red ones, root vegetable.

Misidentifying the food group doesn’t bode well, but we will try them, nonetheless. Freeze dried, so again a texture reminiscent of popcorn, but chewing transforms the crunchiness to a paste, beet paste.

CRUNCHIES FREEZE-DRIED BEETS, sure ain’t fruit, hug the ground like a root vegetable, for a C.



Nuts! They have the sort of fats that are actually good for the body. They’re “nutrient dense” which means a lot of good stuff in a small package. Seriously, if you’re ever trapped on the proverbial desert island and a shipping container of mixed nuts and water purification/desalinization equipment washes ashore, you’re going to be just fine.

Organics brand Nut Trio, roasted almonds, cashews and pecans, with sea salt, crunch their way to an A, even without the survival scenario.



Uh oh, Spaghettios, which typify heat-n-eat food, are a product of Campbell’s, nearly a mega corporation in their own right, but who belong to the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, the GMA, which definitely is a mega conglomerate.

The GMA maximizes profits in astonishing and somewhat sinister ways. They have industrialized food production by methods that are hard on the environment, and they manufacture food with dubious ingredients. Spaghettios fail with an F.


Here’s the deal. If you want to go full-on aficionado with your coffee, you have got to roast the beans, or know someone who does. Because there’s an art to roasting coffee beans so one may free but not lose the essence. And Vern, he has mastered the art.

Casper Coffee Roasters prepares coffee that is so aromatic that visitors standing in your kitchen will be enticed by the coffee in a covered dish, in the cupboard. The conversation will inevitably lead to brewing a pot of coffee, and again being amazed by coffee.

Casper Coffee Roasters demonstrate the rewards of attention and follow-through, and earn an A.


Readers noticed a stand-in spokesmodel for today’s review, Kai, a rez-dog and refugee of pipeline protests. The reason to mention this is because that’s all we know about her. Breed, for example, is a guess. She is the most intuitive dog ever, so up to the task of posing for a photo.

For reasons having to do with the permeability of cell membranes in the body, the cooking oil a household uses is actually an important choice. We’re made of cells, after all, so them working at optimum health shouldn’t be hindered by certain saturated fats, and some do.

Luckily, coconut oil is good for you, helps those cells do their thing. So, instead of having to drain the grease off your fried potatoes to avoid a heart attack, the flavorful oil lingering on your food is beneficial to your body. That’s the dif. Garden of Life Coconut Oil gets a stand-in and an A.


People have access to more sugar now than ever before in the history of humankind. And our bodies aren’t made to process so much sugar, and burning up our ability to metabolize sugar just because we live in a world with doughnuts, that’s stupid. Avoid sweets.

AriZona Green Tea may even believe they’re better than the supernaturally sweet colas with their phosphoric acid to hollow your bones, but they’re not any better than the worst idea ever, to chug down a near toxic dose of sugar from high-fructose corn syrup.

Coming from monoculture, often, this concentrated syrup could be infused with traces of glyphosate, if we want to really go off the deep end of conspiracy theory. So, back to the beverage, AriZona Green Tea is too sweet and leaves the mouth with a thin film of shellac, F.



Non-dairy creamer, of the powdered variety, it’s gross. As much of the stuff that has been manufactured over the decades, however, powdered cream must be filling a demand niche somewhere, the need-milk-like-substance-but-no-refrigeration niche, apparently.

Or, they could be foisting the stuff on us, somehow making a market where preferences are otherwise inclined. Whatever the reason for the popularity, if one must, one should choose a non-dairy creamer that at least begins with ingredients that are actual foodstuffs.

Native Forest Coconut Milk Powder starts with coconut milk, but then bastardizes it with the powdering process so it’s difficult to mix in, and somewhat sour, thus, C.




There are some conceptual hoops we need to jump through to make sure this makes sense. First, the pH scale, 0 to 14, low to high, acid to base, and neutral is 7. Second, the human body thrives only in a narrow range of the pH scale, between 7.35 and 7.45.

See? Only two hoops, and it got us to people needing to be just on the alkaline side of pH neutral. And the body is set up to keep us in that essential range. We can make it tough. Eating something with a lot of sugar and fat will acidify the body and stress the balance.

Or, we can eat a lime, which helps alkalize the body, setting off a myriad of health benefits through biochemistry. The benefits include lowering blood-sugar, -pressure, and strengthening bones (alkalizing the body keeps our metabolisms from mining our bones for calcium).

For the reasons covered in our basic chemistry lesson, limes, the little green citrus fruit, zing to an A.

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