Friday, September 7, 2007

Ritz or Ryvita?

I have been packing Ryvita crackers (also known as crispbread) in Caroline's lunch. I buy the Light Rye and the Fruit Crunch for our family. Caroline used to love Ryvita crackers until I introduced graham crackers. Now she just likes them. The crackers are made with whole grain rye but they are not produced in Michigan or anywhere else in the US. They are made more than 3700 miles away in Poole, England. If I think food should be sourced as close to home as possible, why am I buying Ryvita when there are other crackers that are made right here in the US? In addition to providing Caroline with food that is grown/raised without harmful chemicals and that is sourced as close to home as possible, I want to provide her with high quality nutritious food. I checked out the food labels of other crackers like Ritz (which appears on the Childcare Center menu from time to time) and was appalled, but not surprised, to read the long list of ingredients.

Ritz crackers: enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), soybean oil, sugar, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, salt, leavening (baking soda and/or calcium phosphate), high fructose corn syrup, soy lecithin, natural flavor, cornstarch.

As a general rule, I don't buy food that contains ingredients that I don't recognize or that are hard to pronounce. And I never buy food that contains "natural flavor." Why would anyone want to buy a product that tastes so awful that it needs something called natural flavor to be added to it in order to make it palatable? To me, these are red flags that warn of food that is highly processed and that contains ingredients that might be harmful to your health. Ryvita crackers are the polar opposite of Ritz crackers when it comes to ingredients.

Ryvita Light Rye crackers: whole gain rye flour, salt

That's it. Just whole grain rye flour and salt. Until I can find a similar cracker that is made closer to home, I will continue to choose Ryvita over Ritz.


Anonymous said...

please tell me where i can purchase this crispbread-ryvita.
i love it. I live in Mpls, MN
Thanks BERT

Betty said...

Hi Bert, I usually buy my Ryvita crackers at our local food co-op but most grocery stores carry them. There are two food co-ops in Mpls - East Side Food Coop and Linden Hills Coop. One or both of these might carry Ryvita. If not, check the crackers section of your local grocery store. Good luck and I hope you like them. They are wonderful with a slice of cheddar cheese.

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