Trader Joes Soy Crisps Have Changed. More Calories, Less Iron and Calcium
August 2009 Editor's Update: Trader Joe's has discontinued the Soy Crisps. Read more here.
Soy Crisps are one of my favorite healthy snack foods. Sort of like a chip, but with an impressive dose of protein...about 7-8 grams/serving. I love the crunch and taste--which for the BBQ flavor means a salty/sweet mix.
Calorie for calorie, Soy Crisps are a better choice over chips or other crisps (rice or potato). Months ago I created a chart comparing the nutrition profiles of Soy Crisps to a bevy of popular chip brands (Doritos, Tostitos, Baked Lays etc.). If you are interested, click this link and scroll to the bottom for the pdf file.
However, I will have to update this file, because Trader Joe's has suddenly changed the nutrition profile of its chips! And it's all BAD NEWS.
I first noticed that the packaging had changed and once I started snacking, the flavor and "look" of the chips also seemed altered. I was curious. Why the change? The new chips are more mild, less crumbly, and really much more like Whole Foods' crisps. Did Trader Joe's switch suppliers? I have no idea, but it is a possibility because the "Packaging and Distribution" address is now Monrovia, CA, versus Needham Heights, MA.
What also changed is the nutrition profile. NOW, one serving has 120 calories (versus 110), 3.5 grams of fat (versus 2g), 230 mg sodium (versus 160mg), 3 grams fiber (versus 2g), and 3 grams sugars (versus 2g).
The 8% RDA of calcium is NOW ZERO! Iron used to be listed as 10%; it is NOW ZERO too. There is still a trace amount of Vitamin A (2%), but no Vitamin C.
WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH COMPANIES SUDDENLY CHANGING THE NUTRITION INFO WITHOUT A WORD ABOUT IT TO THE CONSUMER?
Remember the brouhaha over the labeling switch for Robert's Gourmet's Pirate Booty?? A woman actually sued the food company for 50 million buckaroos because the incorrect fat grams listed impeded her healthy diet. The tasty snack food initially claimed 2.5 grams of fat when in actuality a serving had 8.5 grams. That is 240% mistake! The label now lists the fat grams at 5.
McDonalds paid $10 million after it was sued over a false claim that its French fries were cooked in 100% vegetable oil. Oops.
Pulmuone Wildwood, a maker of organic and natural foods produces a very tasty veggie burger. I could not believe the low calorie and fat counts. And then suddenly the label changed and the fat count tripled and the calories went up a lot too. I actually emailed the company and asked what happened and the nicest gentleman from marketing called me and explained that there was an error in their software -- it didn't take into account cooking method and these burgers are FRIED.
And more recently frozen yogurt purveyor, Pinkberry, found itself swirled in controversy over its "yogurt", "all natural" and "low calorie" claims. The company denied any wrong doing, but did up the published calorie counts and admit that there are additives in the frozen confection.
So what is my point? Read labels. Because often these changes just "happen." If something seems too good to be true it probably isn't true. Will I still buy the soy crisps from Trader Joe's? Absolutely. The taste, low calorie count and protein make them a very sensible snack. BUT, I do feel less good about them...Where did that iron go?