Lesser Evil Snacks: Empty Calorie Free Chips & Popcorn

Nancy Kleeger

The fabric of our snacking society has changed dramatically over the last decade, due in part to the hoards of  information about making smarter food choices infiltrating our nutritional radar: in the home, in the stores and even in the cinema, with movies like "Supersize Me", getting the message across to Americans that we all should take note of what we are feeding ourselves, and especially our children. 

This revolution of smarter eating has no doubt been the catalyst to an all out healthy snack war between battling companies, each one trying to outdo the other.  Just stroll through any snack isle and you will see lots of clever marketing and  claims to the "new, new" trendy food item that promises you and your kids extra brain power AND shiny, healthy, hair for life . The proclamations that adorn these boxes and bags are now so familiar to us all I can ask you to close your eyes and recite them with me: No trans-Fats, Gluten Free, No Cholesterol, Whole Grain....you know them all! This is what Malcolm Gladwell means by " TheTipping Point."-- everyone is now jumping on the bandwagon to be on trend.

There are a bevy of beauties in this category, so many, that the choices can become overwhelming. How do you choose?

For those of us who want to buy better food AND feel good about supporting local companies, there is a short list of great options, and Lesser Evil, a company located in Wilton with facilities in Danbury where their products are made,  has differentiated themselves by creating a brand and a snack that I had not seen or tasted before, utilizing Chia in 2 of their most popular lines. No more ch-ch-ch Chia jokes here, as the research on the benefits of this superfood negate embarrassing visions of Chia Obama and Chia Newt.

The line includes Chia Pop - gourmet popcorn with ground chia flour. Aged White Cheddar, Classic Theatre Style and Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper, only 40 "Organic" calories per cup with a whopping 5 grams of fiber, are all delicious and an easy way to get your kids to snack on something wholesome! -- and no, you cannot taste the Chia!

Their Chia Crisps, made with black beans and milled Chia, are a real winner and apparently selling very welI (even Dr. Oz is a fan!).   I tried the Feta and Black Olive flavor which I devoured, their Crunchy Dill Pickle which actually tastes just like a dill pickle, Southern Barbecue, my kids' favorite , and Jalape√±o White Cheddar, a feisty,popular contender. With one serving boasting 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein, Lesser Evil has earned bragging rights to their trademarked term, EC Free, which stands for " Empty Calorie" free. I thought this was brilliant branding on their part as it is so true that so many snacks we buy claim to be good for you but have very little nutritionally to offer.  With Lesser Evil's EC Free foods, you won't feel the need to keep on snackin' because of the nutritional content. Guilt will become a thing of the past.  

They also make an Organic Kettlecorn  and a potato based snack called Krinkle Sticks, offered in 4 flavors.

Doing good for you food and doing good for the community ( they have a relationship with Autism Speaks), Lesser Evil is making their mark in our area and is intent on not only providing you with healthier food choices, but to also help promote a healthier lifestyle--check out their fantastic blog for more on that subject!

In the area, you can find these great tasting products at Stew Leonard's, Fairway, Mrs. Green's, Stop& Shop and Wegman's. 

If we can go from Chia Pets to delicious Chia Crisps that taste like a dill pickle, where will we be in another 10 years?-- Can anyone say,  "Non-GMO, Organic, High Fiber, Gluten Free, All Natural Snack I.V.'s? Children, line up!

Visit Lesser Evil at www.lesserevil.com