Monday, April 4, 2011

Does this Count as a Serving of Fruit?

School's back in session which means back to the bag lunch.  Bag lunches save so much money and calories.  I love knowing the only food I will eat at work is the food I bring from home.  There are no convenient vending machines or coffee houses nearby; although, Burger King is a short jaunt down the road!  Anyway, I tend to get into ruts with my lunches- I'll bring salads everyday for two weeks, or almond butter sandwiches.  This results in boredom and feeling repulsed by the food by day 10.  Then it's back to the drawing board.  With the marathon of school beginning, I picked up a new convenient snack to pack in my lunch box.
I had my first fruit strip on Saturday and OMG- amazing.  I loved that it captures the taste of pomegranate without all of the work of digging into a pomegranate and staining clothes.  The taste rocked, but I couldn't help but wonder, what's the difference between these and a fruit roll up?  So I compared the ingredients.
source
Love that first one, but then... corn syrup, dried corn syrup, sugar, partially hydrogenated... I've read enough.  No thanks. 

Here's the list of ingredients in the Full Circle Real Fruit Strip: organic apple puree concentrate, organic apple juice concentrate, organic pomegranate juice concentrate, natural flavor, citrus pectin, ascorbic acid, purple carrot and black carrot and blueberry juice for color, organic lemon juice concentrate.

Obviously, the organic ingredients are awesome.  What a difference in getting color from carrots and blueberries instead of Red 40, Yellow 5 & 6, Blue 1, and Red 3!  These fruit strips seem much more natural to me than the fruit roll up! Just as I was reminiscing about my awesome first fruit strip, I found a cheaper alternative on my quick trip to Aldi last night.
 I checked out the ingredients in the Fit and Active fruit strips and here they are: apple puree concentrate, apple juice concentrate, natural flavor, ascorbic acid, citrus pectin, pomegranate juice concentrate, vegetable and fruit juice (purple carrot, black carrot, blueberry) for color, lemon juice concentrate. 

Sound familiar?  Both fruit strips contain the same ingredients- just in a different order.  This would explain why they taste identical.   Both are delicious.  The Fit and Active brand ran $0.20 cheaper per strip each.  I really like that price and will probably alternate between buying the organic and the conventional. 

The nutrition facts are also very similar.   Per 1/2 oz fruit strip: cal 45, fat 0, sodium 1%, fiber 1 g, sugar 1 g, protein 0, vitamin C 100%, iron 2%.  After all this analysis of ingredients, I'm still left with the question, does this count as a serving of fruit?

Would you consider this a serving of fruit? Or at least half a serving?

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