Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Looking for a gluten/soy/dairy/grain-free protein bar option? How about some cricket bars?

Disclosure: I received product and/or compensation in exchange for this honest review.
Sometimes I'm really excited about a review and other times... well, not so much. While I ate my share of insects as a child, I eventually outgrew that habit. So when I was contacted by the good folks at Exo about doing a review, I was a bit hesitant. After all, they wanted me to review their protein bars made out of cricket flour. Somehow, that just didn't appeal to me.

However, I do have a daughter who has eliminated gluten and dairy from her diet, so I thought they just might be a good option for her since the bars are gluten/soy/dairy/grain-free.

Ounce for ounce, crickets use 20x less resources than cattle, produce 80x less methane, and use 1000x less water. The UN Food and Agriculture Association reports that eating insects can help reduce world hunger, boost nutrition, and reduce pollution. That's something you can't say about GMOs (not if you're being honest).

Recently mentioned in Treehugger's 7 food trends of 2015 that embrace health and sustainability, the Exo cricket-flour protein bars definitely have a place in the diets of many Americans looking for a healthy dose of protein (10 grams) in their energy bars. They're also ideal for those with a gluten intolerance/celiac disease or dairy intolerance. People concerned about the environmental impact of our protein sources, like cattle, are also apt to choose cricket-flour bars. But what about the picky eater?  

My two-year-old granddaughter, Marley, is a picky eater. But once she tasted the Blueberry Vanilla bar, she was frantically making the sign for "more." Just look at that face!

She gobbled down the first bar and begged for more. Even her big sister, six year old Laura, enjoyed a bar with her daddy.

I sent some bars home with my daughter, Bethany, to try. She's been anxious to try cricket flour, since she's not always happy with the gluten-free options out there. As a matter of fact, her husband is hoping to back her a birthday cake out of cricket flour. 

I called Bethany to ask what she thought of the bars. She said she enjoyed them and that the peanut butter and jelly one really did taste like a PB&J sandwich. Bethany mentioned that you need water close by as you're eating one because of the density. 

With the 10 grams of protein, one bar would really serve someone well as a meal replacement. The bars are also low in saturated fats and sugars, although, as a diabetic, I still found the carb count a bit too high for my consumption.

That said, I must confess I did not sample the cricket bars. Even though 80% of the world is known to eat over 1600 species of insects, I just kind of want to stay in that 20% that doesn't. 

But the grandkids and kids tried the bars. When I asked Bethany if she would buy them, she didn't hesitate to say "yes." I made the deal sweeter for her, and for any of you who are wanting to try the bars. Through the end of 2015, you will receive 20% off your order when you type in the code GREENGRANDMA at checkout.

Cases of the bars are just $36, so the discount would take them down to a mere $28.80. Or you can try the four-bar sample pack at $13 minus 20%. Free shipping applies to all orders over $45 and there are additional discounts available when you join the Exo Elite program. Click here for details. 

Even though I didn't personally try the bars, I still give Exo two green thumbs up. They have a product that meets so many needs while keeping the environment in mind.

Check them out. Click here to order, and don't forget to enter the GREENGRANDMA code to receive your 20% off discount!

So what do you think? Would you eat cricket flour? Would you serve it to your kids? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Saturday's March Against Monsanto... will it make a difference?


On Saturday afternoon, I participated in the March Against Monsanto in Pittsburgh with two of my daughters, son-in-law, three of the four grandchildren, and some friends. The weather was perfect and the march went well without any disruptions. People along the route cheered us on with applause, thumbs up, and honking horns. I was, however, disappointed in how few people attended. With only 150 of us marching, I couldn't help wondering where everyone else was. After all, a whole lot more than 150 people are anti-Monsanto in this city. 

That said, I will not be marching next year because I am on the faculty of a writing conference in Lancaster, PA that weekend. But I'm sure that won't stop my children from participating.

One of my other daughters asked me a question the next night at dinner. "Do you really think it's going to make a difference?"

I've thought about that question a lot over the last day or so. Yes, I do think it makes a difference. Will thousands of people worldwide participating in a march convince Monsanto to shut its operations? Of course not. But it will raise awareness. When people start asking questions, they start learning the truths about Monsanto. Truths not tarnished by the millions of dollars Monsanto throws around trying to convince people of their worth in society... money that buys government officials and government agencies. When you consider whose "truths" benefit whose wallets, it's not hard to decipher motivations behind research. Do organic farmers have something to gain by convincing consumers to boycott Monsanto? Naturally. But not nearly as much as Monsanto and their cronies benefit by perpetuating the lies they tell and the poison they sell.

Loved seeing little ones involved

My daughters and me

Grandbaby :)

Delighted that my former roommate joined us!

Waiting for the March to begin

Here we go!

How precious are these little ones in their own "float"?

I encourage you to get involved. Sign petitions. Talk to people. Call your elected officials. And next year... MARCH. Do it for your children and your children's children.

And if you've already participated, let me know in the comments below. Where did you march?

I received permission to post pictures of the children from all of the parents prior to doing so.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Weekend quote by Browning

The year’s at the spring
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hillside’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven -
All’s right with the world!
~Robert Browning

Friday, May 22, 2015

If we didn't have birthdays...

Today, in honor of my birthday, I'm posting a poem by Dr. Seuss. My sister, Tina, made a huge poster for me when I was young and this is the poem she wrote on it. 

If we didn’t have birthdays, you wouldn’t be you.
If you’d never been born, well then what would you do?
If you’d never been born, well then what would you be?
You might be a fish! Or a toad in a tree!
You might be a doorknob! Or three baked potatoes!
You might be a bag full of hard green tomatoes.
Or worse than all that…Why, you might be a WASN’T!
A Wasn’t has no fun at all. No, he doesn’t.
A Wasn’t just isn’t. He just isn’t present.
But you…You ARE YOU! And, now isn’t that pleasant!
Today you are you! That is truer than true!
There is no one alive...who is you-er than you!
Shout loud, “I am lucky to be what I am!
Thank goodness I’m not just a clam or a ham.
Or a dusty old jar of sour gooseberry jam!
I am what I am!
That’s a great thing to be!
If I say so myself, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!” 

~ Dr. Seuss

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