Posts Tagged ‘GMO’

OatWorks® Smoothies

OatWorks® Smoothies

The people at OatWorks® (http://oatworks.com) were nice enough to send me some samples of their new oat powered fruit smoothies to review! I received the samples a few days ago, and this is what I thought:

  • Packaging Apparence – The beverages come in nice, sturdy bottles with a matte finish plastic label. I felt that the logo and color scheme appropriately represents this health conscience product.  There was enough clear area on the bottle to adequately see the product on the inside, and the top was easy to open. All of the information was easy to read, and promotes having the addition of oat fiber (two bowls worth), along with being vegan friendly, gluten free, dairy free, non-GMO, and kosher.  They do not add any ‘boosts’ like the other brands, and rely on only the natural juices for the nutritional value. The ONLY comment I can make about the bottle is that it has a slight raised texture on the base which I though was a wrinkle in the label, but it was the actual shape of the bottle underneath…not a big deal to me.
  • Product Appearance – All of the varieties I sampled had the expected and appropriate color (Strawberry Banana, Peach Mango, Pomegranate Blueberry), but were just a tad duller than some competitive products, as well as the images on their website. They looked a lot smoother in texture than some other RTD smoothies out there which is a plus for me.  The smoothies were not overfilled and did not look like anything on the inside settled to the bottom…meaning I didn’t really have to shake it before drinking. This is most likely due to the addition of guar and xanthan gum. I also noticed there were no visible oat pieces or specs in the drink, which again is a plus for me.
  • Drinking Experience – I was pleasantly surprised when sampling each of the varieties.  I did not pick up any earthy oat flavor, just a smooth, and sweet profile like the label suggests. They are pretty much spot on with the amount of sweet vs. tart, with my favorite being the strawberry banana.  I personally like a little more strawberry flavor in my smoothies, and it delivered just that.  I did not pick up any gritty or graininess in any of the varieties, and the consistency was just thick enough to leave a refreshing, bright aftertaste…in a good way.  I also felt that the 12oz portion was the perfect size for a beverage like this.
  • Value – After doing a little research, the cost per each bottle is right between the two major brands you would find in the refrigerated section at your local supermarket, however, you have the added benefit of a longer shelf life with these since they do not need to be refridgerated. Now the per/oz cost is a little on the high side, but as previously stated, I think this 12oz size it much better for a single serving, making it a great 160 – 170 calories per bottle.  Some of the other brands have a much higher calorie count than that, but just remember this is a fruit smoothie, so you will see sugar kind of high on the nutrition panel…this is to be expected though.
  • Overall – This was a fantastic product that I look forward to having more of in the future. I felt it was the perfect size, the consistency was very smooth without having any grittiness, and the flavor was spot on.  The price is on the high side, but in-line with the competition, however you can store it longer since it does not need to be refrigerated. I give OatWorks® Oat Powered Natural Smoothies4.5 out of 5!

NERDSTEAK is more than happy to review any food, beverage, restaurant, CPG or equipment items you have to offer.  Feel free to contact Mike directly at chefman316@aol.com to arrange for shipping of samples, or to schedule a review.

ID-100170122I feel that the most important thing people should learn in the modern world is fact finding.  Due to technological advances, most humans (especially in the US) are trampled with information.  This could be advertisements, interviews, reviews, news articles, magazines, social networking, blogs plus everything else you can think of.  The problem is that with this increased stimulation of information, there is also an even greater amount of bad information.  Word of mouth accounts, false reports, endorsements, negative feedback, consumer reviews, viral trends, and outright opinionated information that is spun to sound ‘factual.’

As this relates to food and consumer packaged goods, most people do not have a real grasp of what they are eating. Words like low-fat, low-sodium, cholesterol free, trans fats, GMO’s, preservatives, gums, strange long words on the ingredient statement…your opinion of these things may be negative, but how much of your opinionated conclusion is based on fact? How much is based on what some non-expert told you, or what you read in the news, or from an advertisement paid for by the company trying to sell it to you, or a pro/anti group with their own opinion bias?

I am not here to show support, or to give my negative opinion on these topics, but I will say my opinions of things in the food industry are based on facts.  In some cases, I do not have factual information, but I will NOT supply a stream of negative information because I assume something is bad.  I will stir up the pot with one example, and would love to hear your thoughts on fact finding in the food industry:

There is not enough 3rd party, extended testing done on GMO foods to conclude if it is harmful to the masses.  Everyone has their opinion, and yes, some companies that handle to production of GMO products may not be using appropriate methods to make money, but both sides of the good/bad for you argument do not contain enough information for a valid conclusion.

Thoughts???

ID-100167763Here are a few fancy food terms that will make you sound like a culinarian at you next kegger…

HEIRLOOM – such as ‘heirloom tomatoes’.  These are types of food items that have never been developed for large scale agriculture.  They are usually grown in small quantities in parts of the world you have never been to.  These varieties of grown food have no hybrid varieties, and utilizes natural pollination methods.  Generations after generations grow one particular variety of crop without the interference of ‘The Man’.  In other words, This is the same strain of plant, or seed that was around 75, 100, or even thousands of years.  For all you natural fans, this means no GMO’s of any kind, and due to ‘survival of the fittest’, they grow great in whatever region they are from, but have a tough time anywhere else.  Expect to pay a little more than your average variety, and if you grown them yourself, make sure you get some kind of confirmation that your seeds are actually heirloom, due to shenanigans.

ANCIENT – such as ‘ancient grains’. Very similar to heirloom, these are grains, seeds, or plant life that have been unchanged for 1000’s of years like quinoa, amaranth, spelt, Kamut, and many others.  These are very different from mass produced corn, rice, and common wheat that have been selectively developed for years for optimal growing. Ancient grains are said to be super healthy, usually containing high amounts of protein, fiber, and nutrients.  Some of these grains are still not safe for people with wheat allergies, but some are, so do your homework. You will also pay a little more for these, and they usually have a long cook time compared to what you are used to.

ARTISAN – such as ‘artisan pizza crust’.  Unfortunately, this word as no standard of identity in the food world and lost most of its meaning when the food marketing professionals of the world slapped it on everything.  Originally, it stated that a skilled food craftsman created, developed, or cooked your food item.  It means that your product is not manufactured, but made by a person, you know…with his or her own hands and the sweat on his or her brow (hopefully not dripping into your food).  Small cheese, beer, or bread makers who create things from scratch usually would call their products artisanal.  But, as stated earlier, it now just means a little better than a standard product.  There is no one to regulate this term, so use it however you like.

NOTES – such as ‘flavor notes’.  This wine has notes of late harvest elderberry and raisin yada, yada, yada.  It means it kind of taste like it has ‘XYZ’ in it.  You can use this word if you have no idea what something really tastes like, but want to put your two sense in.  Say something like, “very strange, I pick up some notes of lawn trimmings and wet dog in my PBR”.

FORCEMEAT – such as ‘uuummm forcemeat’.  Take your charcuterie terminology to the next level!  This term describes ground lean meats blended with fat and usually formed in some way.  Yes kind of like sausage.  Actually, it is exactly like sausage, and I recommend using this term as much as possible.

CRUDITES – Yeah, those platters of vegetables with ranch in the middle all packaged real nice from your grocery store…thats what crudités is.  Raw vegetables with sauce.  Classy.

GASTRONOME  – Call yourself this, because it means you like fancy food shenanigans.

What are some of your favorite food terms???