We are pleased to finally have nutrition facts ready for you. Voila, our new back label. Starting Saturday we’ll have a handout available at farmer’s markets. Wholesale cases of the 12 oz Originola bags should start going out with the nutrition facts on each bag starting this week. Within another month we should have it on all our 12 oz bags of Originola.*
A few thoughts: Granola is not Brussels sprouts, and the truth is, our granola is high in calories. While it’s an exceptionally healthy alternative to potato chips or tiramisu, it shouldn’t replace Brussel sprouts (or tiramisu either, in my opinion).
Still, for most people, eating high calorie granola for breakfast would be far better then their current choice.
Here’s my misgiving about nutritional labels: they seem to imply that we should all be obsessing over calorie counts. To me this seems similar to obsessing over how much gas I put in my car. I could feel great about only putting in a half gallon—that is, until I actually need to go somewhere. Then I’d need another half gallon, then another, and another. The only guarantee of focusing on how little I could put in would be that I’d obsess about it as I keep running to the gas station. The 100 calorie fad seems grounded in this kind of craziness.
I mean, God save us from getting fat off of low-fat Crème Brulee flavored pudding pops or 100 calorie packs of whole wheat breakfast thingys. And if your low-fat frozen waffle (which you covered in margerine and maple flavored corn syrup) leaves you craving a full-fat deep-fried, sugar coated donut by ten, then maybe you should re-think your breakfast.
Granola needs to be high in calories in order to keep you going through a morning of hard work without getting hungry. Brussels sprouts are not intended to sustain anyone for 5 hours. Personally, I try to eat a large bowl of granola or muesli around 6 or 7—usually about as big a bowl as I can possibly eat. Usually it lasts me until 1 or 2. So even if this involves, perhaps, 600 plus calories for breakfast, it averages out to a hundred calories or so per hour without feeling hungry. Plus I thoroughly enjoyed it.
At some point I’ll plan to spell out some of our thinking behind our various ingredient choices. Certainly there’s thought behind each of them, even though we are still learning, adjusting, and striving to make our granola as healthy as it is tasty.
Disclaimer and invitation: While I’m a hack nutritionist—just like I’m a hack chef—one reason we chose to make granola rather than Crème Brulee flavored pudding pops is that we value health and health education and hope our refugee employees (and their communities) and customers alike will benefit
from their involvement in our company. If any of you have training in nutrition and would like to offer suggestions on making our products better for you (without compromising taste) we are eager for your input. Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to comment on this blog entry.
* This label is for Originola only. We don’t have the analysis for muesli, yet, though we plan to fairly soon. While it’s impractical expense-wise to order a nutritional analysis for our changing recipes of the month, most of our granolas use similar ingredients and quantities, so it’s safe to assume that the calories and nutrition will be in the same ball park. Also, we intend to put the 12 oz label on the one-pound bags for the moment, at least until we can adapt that label to reflect servings per bag accurately.