Food Labeling Lies: Are Snapea Crisps Healthy?

By Carole Bartolotto, MA,RD

I think we all know that food manufacturers care more about their bottom line—money—than they do about our health. They will say just about anything to sell their products including manipulating serving sizes and making outrageous claims. Let’s take a look at one example.

If you’ve ever had Snapea Crisps, you’d know they are tasty and they seem to be healthy—at least based on the claims on the packaging. But can these claims be trusted?

The package says it’s a “snack salad” and is “baked.”

On the back it says, “Your Salad Never Got Such a Lift!” and that the company, Calbee, has a “….Mission of delivering the farm fresh goodness of vegetables to your table.”

I checked out their website and it says that, “SnackSalad was developed for the many customers who wish to get the healthy benefits of eating salad and fruit more often, but to do so in a more delicious way.”

All of these claims lead you to believe that you are eating something that is healthy and equivalent to a salad. In fact, this product is often found in the produce section of the market.

I think many people believe that Snapea Crisps are puffed peas. But actually they are ground-up green peas, genetically modified corn oil, white rice, salt, and preservatives, formed into a pea shape, and baked! A review of the Nutrition Facts reveals that 1 ounce of these crisps has 150 calories and 8 grams of fat. The more information I gathered about Snapea Crisps, the less they sounded like a salad. And the more they sounded like a bag of potato chips.

Both Snapea Crisps and Lay’s potato chips have 150 calories, similar grams of fat per ounce, and are highly processed. The difference between Lay’s potato chips and Snapea Crisps is that you know you are eating junk food when you grab a bag of chips. However, many people think they are making a healthy choice if they choose Snapea Crisps.

Is there a better option? Why not try sugar sugar snap peassnap peas? With just 41 calories for an entire cup, you can get a tasty, crunchy, low-calorie snack without any processed carbs, white rice, or calorie dense fat.

The moral of this story is to pay attention to the labels and claims on processed foods. More importantly, stick with whole foods as often as you can. I love Michael Pollan’s quote from his book Food Rules, which certainly applies in this situation.

“If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.

See my update on Snapea Crisps here.

Copyright © 2012 Carole Bartolotto, MA, RD. All rights reserved.

28 thoughts on “Food Labeling Lies: Are Snapea Crisps Healthy?

  1. Great post, Carole! I find it absolutely amazing that corporations routinely get away with this kind of dishonest labeling and advertising, but consumers have to fight to get basic information about what’s in food and other products.

  2. I picked up a bag the other day and read the ingredients and came to the same conclusion. I’ve eaten these before but never again! I believe peas are a pretty big GMO crop as well!

  3. Thank you! I just read this after searching to see if my favorite snack is made from gmo corn. :( I’m sad but wiser. Bye bye Calbee snapeas. BTW, how did you find out that it comes from gmo crops?

    • You are welcome. This is what they say…Some US crops (corn and soy) have been enhanced using biotechnology. It is not possible for us to say which products have those ingredients. It’s likely that products with corn and soy contain biotech ingredients.
      The good news is Trader Joe’s brand (Trader Joe’s right on the label) sources all their foods to be free of GMOs and they have a snack very similar to Snapea Crisps. The bad news is they are still like a bag of chips so real food, such as fruits and veggies would be a better choice.

  4. Pingback: Update on Snapea Crisps: Are They Healthy Yet? | Healthy Eating Rocks!

  5. Thank you so much for this great information. I just bought some of these Snapea Crisps at the store yesterday thinking they were actually baked peas,…then after biting into a few I wondered where the actual pea was? They are sort of tasty, but yuck! I also am irritated that the placement for this item in the grocery store is in the vegetable section. It irritates me at how completely deceptive the marketing is with this item. There is nothing healthy about this product. Thank you again for your informative post.

  6. Bought some yesterday and figured they weren’t healthy after reading the ingredients and looking at the nutritional value. We loved them. Went searching for more info and found your article and needless to say I won’t buy them again. Thanks for the article.

  7. Here’s a Youtube video supposedly of SNAPEA Crisps being manufactured (extrusion process). Well, killed my apeptite for SNAPEA Crisps. Now what am I going to do with this bag….

  8. Pingback: Dr. Wilda Reviews snacks: ‘Harvest Snacks’ | drwildareviews

  9. Thanks Carole, great article!!
    I also came to the same conclusion I needed to stop buying these for a few reasons:
    1) While looking at the nutrition facts and ingredients, I knew that corn oil had to be extracted from GMO corn, since label didn’t say “Made with non-GMO, GMO-
    free or organic corn oil”.
    2) I’d rather get something with an omega 3 oil than yet another product with omega 6 oil.
    3) I loved these so much, it made me suspicious- must be the crispy rice- I felt like I always needed them in the house-became like crack to me- so had to cut it loose!

  10. Pingback: The Short Stack: January 31 (Finally) | Not Shallow

  11. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long
    as I provide credit and sources back to your website?
    My website is in the exact same area of interest as yours and
    my users would certainly benefit from a lot of the information you provide here.
    Please let me know if this okay with you. Regards!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s