One of the things that dairy does – milk, cream, butter – is hide oiliness behind creaminess. Only in nature’s kitchen is this done so well.

An everyday example of this disguise is cream in a cup of coffee. If one uses heavy whipping cream, then tiny puddles of melted butter will appear on the surface of the coffee, and it’s still delicious.  And stepping down the butterfat, table cream, half-n-half, milk, it still delivers creaminess, not oiliness.

Therefore, the alchemical challenge for dairy-free is to seclude the oiliness behind creaminess. Not going so well.  We can deduce that daiya tried to take on Mother Nature’s speciality because cheese sauce is the right test and because the photograph on the package certainly looks creamy, but it’s too smooth.

For at least the effort to untangle the oiliness/creaminess paradox, Daiya’s Deliciously Dairy-Free Deluxe Cheeze Sauce (and because they acknowledged the need for progress by calling it cheeze) gets a C.

Daisy Girl Organics, Kanzi apples

Sure, the present administration is hostile to the regulation of industry, even if industry would go so far as to prefer the cost effectiveness of using chemical warfare on food crops, nerve gas pesticide. Organophosphates, related to sarin gas, work by attacking the nervous system of any sort of critter, and plants don’t have nervous systems, per se.

We do. Our nervous systems are the hosts of pretty much everything we are, spiritual planes, afterlife, and dimensional shifts aside. So we’re going to have to use market forces, the trench warfare of consumer spending, to show growers that organic produce sells better, because folks don’t like even traces of chemical weapons on their food.

Daisy Girl Organics Kanzi apples exemplify crispness, juiciness, sweetness, and peace of mind, and kindness to ecosystems, which earns an A.


Why would a landlubber eat seaweed? Well, the planet is mostly sea, so we can give a boost to sustainability by eating what there’s most of, and the oceans, terrestrial dwellers, contain 99 percent of the living space on our little blue planet.

Whoa there, planet hugger, what if we’re just wanting a snack. SeaSnax, how do they taste? Bland, honestly, a mere hint of the bountiful sea. It’s the texture that rocks. It’s great, from crunchy to smooth as does a good pork rind, only vegetarian.

With all the benefits, nutrition being one, and a bump for creative spelling, SeaSnax get an A.


Birch Benders gluten free Waffle mix

Birch, Birch, Birch, thank you. Sincerely. Some of us love pancakes, and some fewer of us couldn’t have them. Gluten, you see. It’s troublesome for an unfortunate few, and if ever there’s the right time to use the word ubiquitous, this is it because gluten is everywhere.

To be fair, we also have gluten to thank for the heavenly texture in certain foods, the crunchiness and softness of French bread, for example. And to take out the gluten often does unfortunate things to the texture of gluten-free foods. Birch solved the texture issue.

Mostly, they’re a tad spongy, but close enough to perfection for the gluten deprived. They’re easy to make, rubber spatula recommended for mixing. A cup of mix, three-quarter-cup of water, but don’t pour in all the water right away. Mix thoroughly, then adjust for consistency.

A trick is to find the optimum medium heat. The skillet has got to be hot enough to brown both sides but take long enough to cook the pancake batter. And this batter is on the stubborn side, taking a while to really heat and needing an extra splash of coconut oil between cakes.

It doesn’t have to be coconut oil. That was just so we could add vegan to our gluten-free pancakes. Birch gets an A.

Revitin Toothpaste

Toothpaste isn’t just scouring power for your teeth. But that’s how it’s treated. Add a mild abrasive, something to freshen breath, and you’re good. Never mind that casual attitude towards toothpaste means a convenient and profitable way to dispose of industrial byproducts.

At least that’s what revitin developer, Gerry Curatola, DDS, says is going on with toothpaste. Things you don’t want to ingest, or absorb, are in most toothpaste. Don’t get Dr. Curatola going on fluoride, either, and he’s a dentist. Also, toxins aren’t even the worst of it.

Think of them, the billions of life forms that live with us, bacteria. What if we need them just as much as they need us? Well, turns out we do. Research suggests that many of these freeloaders are actually helpers, symbionts. Star Wars fans can think of them as midichlorians.

Waging chemical warfare on our little friends only wipes out the good symbionts and leaves room for unfriendly survivors. Instead, toothpaste can do everything, freshen breath, whiten teeth, fight cavities, yet it can bestow these benefits by a much more gentle formulation.

For the original thinking behind its development, supported by a couple tubes of consumer testing, revitin toothpaste gets an A.

Natierra, Freeze Dried Organic Roasted Corn

They’ve really stepped it up a notch in freeze-drying. Nature’s All can somehow remove all the water from a fruit or vegetable, so whatever juicy morsel it once was, now it’s as dry and fluffy as popcorn. Some flavors, however, don’t merit the magic process.

FATHER: Remember how you liked the freeze-dried mangoes? This is the corn. It’s light and crunchy, and tastes like corn on the cob. (HE pours some kernels in HER hand. SHE samples and doesn’t like them.)

DAUGHTER: Does it though?

FATHER: Okay, the first picking of corn, before it gets sweet, maybe grilled a tad too much… .

DAUGHTER: (Still grimacing with disgust) Does it, though?

The grade for strictly the roasted corn flavor, schoolmarm gives it a C, generations X, Y, and especially Z, give this a resounding F.

Dang, Coconut Chips

Every flavor of coconut chip that these guys make is dang good (see that smooth product placement). All good, some flavors so good, you’re sure they’re not good for you, somehow, but these delectables are worth a little guilty pleasure.

One flavor, clearly indicated by packaging color, is so far better than good, that it will work in opposite of word-of-mouth advertising, because the last thing anyone is going to do is tell others how good it is, once he or she has discovered ambrosia. People will keep this color as a selfish secret. Because, damn.

The superlative color, flavor, would skew the grading curve, so that one gets reduced, by a lot, to an A, which averages all products to a sturdy B.

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