Barring the bars (Day 284)…

lara bar

I’ve never been a big fan of PowerBars, or really any food that comes in bar form. Clif bars are OK for long bike trips, as are certain flavours of Lära bars (banana cookie and cinnamon roll in particular), and for breakfast on the go, the Nature Valley granola bars are pretty decent.

But that’s just it — these bars encourage eating on the go, which isn’t good for anyone’s digestive system. Plus it means shoving something in your mouth while doing something else, and that’s no way to appreciate a meal. On top of this, there are all the preservatives required to keep these things on the shelf for months or even years at a time, as well as the unrecyclable foil packaging they come wrapped in (and the cardboard box that contains the whole bunch).

It’s not just the bars that are a problem, either — there are individually wrapped cookies, individually wrapped crackers, individually wrapped brownies, cake wedges, sandwiches, veggies and dip, patties and more, all of which can easily be made at home and transported, if necessary, in reusable containers. So from now on, I’m not going to buy anything that’s sold in a single-serving portion, unless it comes without packaging.

Image courtesy of this site

7 Responses to Barring the bars (Day 284)…

  1. Sarah says:

    I agree with all your concerns, but sometimes they are the easiest(I eat them between my surgeries) I did find on the web though a mix to make your own. It has the dry ingredients and you add the rest. Each box makes 12. I haven’t tried them but they have to be at least as good as the cliff bars. They are at http://www.homemadeenergybars.com

  2. shanecrobinson says:

    Way to go! I have reduced down to larabars only – they have the best ingredients hands down! All whole foods – no patented, trademarked ingredients, like Clif. I don’t eat them regularly, but can’t entirely eliminate them as they just are too good for skiing and kayaking snacks. Anyone found a good alternative in active situations … I have had too many ziplocks break or smooshed fruit in my backpack.

  3. sue says:

    I’ve found that I can make my own “lara bars” at home. Get some walnuts, figs, and cranberries (or whatever other dried fruit you like), plus and spices – like cinnamon – that you want and pulse it up in the food processor. Press into a pan and cut into cubes. It keeps for weeks if kept covered someplace cool (the fridge, or garage this time of year). My daughter *loves* these. She also likes homemade granola bars a’la Alton Brown – check out the food network site for his recipes – most can be made with ingredients bought in the bulk aisle.

    It’s just as well htat you’re giving up Nature Valley. Not sure about in Canada, but south of the border, their granola bars have HFCS. booo!

  4. Martha1955 says:

    There’s nothing like good old-fashioned homemade (or not) trail mix. I travel with it to spare myself the dilemma of shelling out good money for bad food.

  5. Isle Dance says:

    Yeah. Won’t share a bad food reaction to one of these items, but will say homemade/custom bulk trail mix is the way to go!

  6. cheaplikeme says:

    Oh, this is a toughie! But I have limited my consumption. I found a recipe for oatmeal breakfast cookies online that is quick and easy and stores in the fridge for quite a while. And then you can manipulate the ingredients to be as organic as you want (and, they’re cheaper!).

  7. Green Bean says:

    I completely agree with you on this one! I’ve barred (pun intended) all single serving (or even 2-3 serving) packages from our house. That packaging just adds up and there’s no way to recycle it. It just goes into the garbage. Instead, I’ve found some nice reusable containers for when you must eat on the go (as I sometimes must with my two preschoolers).

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