Make A Difference

I’m a big snacker.  I love munching on something when I’m studying and while I usually lean toward veggies and fruit every couple of weeks I start craving something salty (ladies?) but I don’t want to break the calorie bank or eat a lot of junk (hydrogenated oil and such).

Medora Snacks is a company is run by two women, not just any women but mothers.  As a big fan of strong women running successful businesses (hey Mommy!), I want to support them.  Linda is a former candy distributer who got interested in healthier ways to snack- you can thank her for helping make Soy Crisps so popular.  Lu is a grandmother and with her love for cooking and baking is passionate about the mission of healthy snacks put forth by the company.

The company has a variety of snack- Corners which are popped corn tortillas, Pogos which a potato cheese sticks, Puccis which are pizza flavored snacks and Sotos which are multi-grain snacks.

Lu was kind enough to send me a few samples to try.


*Sea Salt* Ingredients: Yellow Corn, Sunflower Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sea Salt

*Zesty Ranch* Ingredients: Yellow Corn, Seasoning (buttermilk, sea salt, maltodextrin, onion powder, tomato powder, autolyzed yeast, garlic powder, dehydrated can juice, vinegar powder (white distilled vinegar, maltodextrin), natural flavors (paprika, parsley, extractives of turmeric, basil, spices), citric acid, lactic acid, malic acid), Sunflower Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil

I love tortilla chips.  In fact, they’re one of my favorite salty snacks.  These are great because they’re not too salty and have all the flavor that I love but are light and airy.  I loved the sea salt flavor but the zesty ranch was awesome.  Ranch is one of my favorite flavors!


*Classic* Ingredients: Pizza Crust (Wheat Flour, Corn Meal, Salt, Baking Soda, Toasted Bread Flavor), Water, Mozzarella and Parmesan Cheese (Cheese (Part-skim Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes], Whey, Buttermilk Solids, Sodium Phosphate, Lactic Acid), Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Pizza Seasoning (Tomato Powder, Cheddar Cheese ((Cultured Milk, Salt, Enzymes}, Whey, Buttermilk, Salt, Disodium Phosphate], Onion Powder, Spices , Garlic Powder, Romano Cheese [(Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), and Disodium Phosphate], Natural Flavor, Citric Acid, Extractives of Paprika, Autolyzed Yeast, Dehydrated Garlic and Spices.

*Tomato Basil* Ingredients: Pizza Crust (Wheat Flour, Corn Meal, Salt, Baking Soda, Toasted Bread Flavor), Water, Mozzarella and Parmesan Cheese (Cheese [Part-skim Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes], Whey, Buttermilk Solids, Sodium Phosphate, Lactic Acid), Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Pizza Seasoning (Tomato Powder, Cheddar Cheese [(Cultured Milk, Salt, Enzymes}, Whey, Buttermilk, Salt, Disodium Phosphate], Onion Powder, Spices, Garlic Powder, Romano Cheese ({Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes}, and Disodium Phosphate], Dehydrated Garlic, Tomato Pieces, Basil, Oregano, and Spices.

First, I’ll be honest. These don’t taste like pizza.  They are incredibly delicious but not pizza 🙂  They’re really unique and like the corners are really light.  While I could eat the Sotos out of the bag, these were definitely a side dish with some soup (hearty tomato soup and these was a great combo) and they’re a great salad topper!



Ingredients: MultiGrain Bits (wholegrain corn flour, rice flour, whole oat flour, wholegrain wheat flour, sugar, salt), Seasoning (sugar, spice, cinnamon, malic acid, salt and natural flavor), Mid Oleic Sunflower Oil, Sesame Seeds

Oh my! These were my favorite.  First, how cool is the flavor? Zesty Cheese, Olive Oil and Lemon.  What a great combination.  I also love the mutigrain base and the flavor of these.  Another great salad topper.  It took care of my craving and got me to eat an extra large salad… Always a good thing 🙂

I love this company and supporting strong women.  The snacks are delicious and a great way to deal with certain cravings in a guilt-free way!  The bags are just the right size too and even if you eat the whole thing (which I did on occasion :oops:) you’re not doing too much damage.

Gnu Foods is a small company that makes all natural, great tasting foods that help address specific nutritional needs and health conditions.

This five year old company is really trying to make a difference by providing good food, that tastes good, and that is healthy to all.  They believe that “Real health makes us feel good inside and out, physically and emotionally.”  With obesity and diabetes running rampant in our nation, even in our children, we must do more to help prevent this.

Gnu works hard to do this and even offers a section of their website with tips for parents.  Despite being a ‘nonparent’, I still find the information fascinating and hope that I can share this link with my students’ parents.  Generally speaking, it’s hard to find information on childhood nutrition as it can be a very individual topic based on the child’s guidelines which make even general information hard to come by.  I love that Gnu uses their site to provide some quick facts that are easy to understand and retain.

They also have a really awesome feature that shows “what they’re reading” which directs you to some great, accessible nutrition books.  They also have a general “fiber and your health section” for adults.

How do they taste though?

Gnu bars are seriously yummy!  They have a light sweetness and are chewy like a chewy fresh baked goodie.  Which means I loved them!  There are a lot of yummy flavors: Banana Walnut, Cinnamon Raisin, Orange Cranberry, Chocolate Brownie, Peanut Butter, Lemon Ginger, and  Espresso Chip.


My favorite flavor suprised me… with a chocolate flavor you’d think it would have been that, but…


Ingredients: Gnu High Fiber Blend™ (whole rolled oats, organic whole wheat flour, wheat bran, organic kamut, psyllium, flax, millet), chicory root inulin, fruit juices, rice dextrins, apples, canola oil, walnuts, rice, plums, banana, wheat protein isolate, natural flavors, baking powder.

Banana Walnut was my favorite.  It was like a bite of heavenly banana bread without too many walnuts (like the flavor not the texture of walnuts).  I loved it.

The other flavors were good but cannot compare to the Banana Walnut flavor.  I want you to try all the flavors and let me know which is your favorite.  I do love the nutrition stats on these bars because they’re the perfect size for me.  They’re big enough to carry me from my early lunch hour (usually around 11:30am) and when I get home (around 5:00pm).  It’s not so big that I can’t have dinner till 8:30 but the fiber keeps me satisfied enough that I’m not chewing my arm off when I walk in the door, and then make a sensible dinner!

“Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.


Yesterday, I went to the Capital Area Food Bank.  The CAFB serves the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia (DMV).

There are 700,000 hungry people in the DMV area.

Of those, 200,000 are children.

The CAFB depends on corporate and local food drives, but get most of their food from Giant Foods and Safeway.


The CAFB offers many programs to serve this segment of the population  They offer a brown bag service that gives a bag full of groceries for the elderly every week.  They also have a Kids Cafe and a weekend bag program that gives children on the free and reduced lunch programs in their schools, food during off school hours, as many of them would not eat otherwise.

19% of those served are under the age of 17

11% of those served are over the age of 65

Along with these programs, they have a “shopping floor” where area agencies and shelters can get food to feed those involved with them.  That’s where I worked yesterday.

Aug 3, 2009

It was amazing, heart breaking and hard all at once.  Amazing because there was a little elderly lady who came in who donated a small bag of canned goods and a note that said “God Bless.”  Not to judge by appearances, but surely this was a big gift for her.  Heart breaking when we found boxes of opened goods and others that mice had gotten to.  It was hard to think that the food would not go to families in need, but the CAFB takes the food and gives it to some pig farmers so it doesn’t go to waste.  It was hard because stocking shelves for hours can be back breaking and at times it wasn’t fun.  I just kept reminding myself that I wasn’t doing it for anyone, not the other volunteers, not the coordinator, just to help in the best way that I can.

There are countless ways that you too can help fight hunger in your community.

*Find a local food bank and donate a couple of hours of your time- we’re all busy but that time you spent vegging on the couch watching Real Desperate Housewives Marathons could have been spent helping others, that’s what DVR is for.

*When you go grocery shopping and find a steal, grab a few extra and have a bag set aside for donations- If you’re a Costco member and you get a mega 6 pack of pasta, give one away, you’re still getting a great deal and a family of four won’t have to worry about dinner one night.

*Support businesses that are doing more. Shoprite and General Mills are offering a Blog It Forward program.

ShopRite Partners In Caring, a regional hunger-fighting initiative is partnering with General Mills to raise awareness about the issue of hunger.  the ShopRite Partners In Caring program has donated $2 million annually to local food banks – $20 million to date.  In these troubled economic times, there is more need for food assistance than ever in our communities and we need to get the word out!  That’s why we’re asking for your help.General Mills and ShopRite will donate one box of cereal to a food bank in ShopRite’s trading area for the first 30 people who comment on your post.

That’s right… another way to help is to leave a comment on this post.  Most of us don’t know what it’s like to be hungry.  We are “starving” if it’s been too many hours since breakfast.  There are many out there who know true hunger and if 10 seconds of your time can make a difference, do it.

Please support Partner’s In Caring and All Vegged Out in this effort. I know this isn’t a traditional giveaway because you aren’t getting anything, but someone will definitely benefit.  Sometimes it’s worth being selfless!

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