Good Health Crispy Original Apple Chips – A Tasty Snack Wrapped In Bullshit
How do you take apples, turn them into a snack food that’s somewhat healthier than potato chips – but not nearly as good for you as the original apples – and get people to buy them, thinking they’re making a smart healthy choice?
If you’re Good Health, you do it through deceptive packaging, featuring beautiful pictures and questionable wording.
I was decidedly perplexed when I first looked at my bag of Good Health brand Crispy Original Apple Chips. The first thing I noticed was “30% LESS FAT THAN POTATO CHIPS!” I figure if I’m eating apple chips, I’ll expect, say, 100% less fat than potato chips. Confused yet undaunted, I continued on.
The bag also shows a beautiful picture of wholesome apples spilling out of a basket. At the very top, the text reads, “Sliced Red Apples.” Ah, so simple and healthy, right?
Not really. Turns out they fry up these tasty little bastards. They aren’t just your basic dried fruit. The apple is sliced, with the skin still on, and fried in sunflower, safflower, and/or canola oil.
But of course they don’t use the word “fried”; instead, they “cook” them “to a golden crisp,” carefully leaving out any real mention of the vat of hot fat the Sliced Red Apples are dropped into. You’ll never know they’re fried unless you read the fine print on the back of the package, notice the fat content and the oil on the ingredient list, and make the connection.
The part that really disappoints me is the true but intentionally deceptive claim that they are “unsulphured.” Now, if you’re health-conscious and you’ve bought dried fruit, you probably know that much of it is preserved with sulfur dioxide, which makes it look better. Many people prefer fruit without sulfur; it can add a chemical taste, and it can cause reactions in some people – particularly those with asthma or otherwise susceptible respiratory systems.
The thing is, fried foods aren’t preserved with sulfur; it’s used with raw dried fruit. By pointing out that there’s no sulfur, Good Health is inviting the consumer to believe that these chips are just raw dried apple chips, only they’re healthier than most because they have no sulfur. Well, they’re not.
Good Health, what you’re doing here is like selling a diesel car and advertising that it uses less gasoline. Or maybe it’s nothing like that at all, but either way, it’s still shady. Boo, I say! And not Halloween “Boo!”…more like Philadelphia Eagles fan “Boo!”
They’re crispy, just as the name suggests, with an initial bite that feels and crunches somewhat like a kettle potato chip. There’s a decent level of sweetness, provided by corn syrup, which they point out is not high-fructose. There’s also a mild tartness, which would probably come from the apple itself if it were raw, but here it seems to come courtesy of added citric acid.
Compared nutritionally to potato chips, there are some advantages here. There are only 15mg of sodium (1% USRDA), so that’s far less than potato chips, which range from 95mg to 170mg in the plain varieties I saw in my quick search. There is also a lower fat content, although their claim of 30% less only applies to the fattiest brands I found. For several brands I saw, the difference was closer to 20%, and those weren’t reduced fat varieties. Calories will also be a little less with the apple chips, which have 140 per serving as opposed to the potato chips I saw in the 150-160 range.
However, when you compare these to real dried apple chips, these have far higher fat content (7g/serving vs. 0g) and far more calories (140 vs. 29).
Again, to be fair, these are tasty little bastards. But I’ll never buy them.