Thursday, October 9, 2008
An Open Letter to the Makers of Odwalla Bar – Superfood™
Current Weight: 166.4 lbs.
To Whom It May Concern:
A couple of months ago, I took my son Jalen to the San Diego Zoo. It was late August, he was off from school and, quite frankly, I needed a break from my 30-day Sounds of Summer write-ups. BTW, if you haven't read that feature, you can find a link to the right of this post. It was a lot of fun for me, personally, and I've heard from a pair of Major League Baseball broadcasters who really enjoyed it, as well. Whoops, sorry. I'm told I do digress at times…
Anyways, a trip to the zoo with my son has followed the same pattern since he started walking: get there when it opens; grab an XL black coffee for me and a giant chocolate chip cookie for the boy; hope the boy will show even a passing interest in the animals; laugh when he runs from the ducks that inevitably chase him; leave after two hours to ride the kiddie train and carousel at neighboring Balboa Park; curse our annual zoo membership fees.
On this last visit, I purchased one of your Odwalla Bars to chomp with my coffee. I'm not much of a breakfast guy these days, but the thought of cheap joe on an empty stomach…I mean, have you seen the restrooms at the zoo?! I'm convinced the animals have the run of the place when the sun goes down and all the humans go home. (Yes, I often steal material from popular culture. I believe that last line was the plot from Madagascar.)
I chose the banana nut flavor as I'm a caloric sucker for banana nut muffins and your wrapper included words like "nourishing", "folate" and "food". Also, at just 240 calories and six grams of fat, I could enjoy one morning with a little less self-loathing.
Kudos (no pun intended) to you, Odwalla. That banana nut bar was terrific. Moist, chewy and surprisingly filling. From that day on, you had a loyal customer. My local supermarket sold them for a buck apiece (on a related note, you should really talk to the San Diego Zoo about their 200% mark-up on your products) and I literally bought out every new box they'd put on the shelf.
Unfortunately, that left me with quite the conundrum. Yesterday, I stopped by the store, only to find that they had no more bars in the banana nut variety. My wife, Mrs. Bootleg, had previously purchased some of your other flavors, but I wasn't much impressed with the chocolate-peanut or the trail mix bars.
I left the store with three of your Superfood™ flavor and two of the strawberry-pomegranate.
At work this morning, I carefully unwrapped a Superfood™ bar. One of the wrapper words that caught my eye? "Banana"! I pulled the bar out and…ummm…are they supposed to have all that green crap smeared on top? I re-checked the wrapper for the expiration date. December 2008. Then, another word on the wrapper caught my eye. Spirulina.
Years ago, I managed an ice cream/smoothie shop and seem to remember spirulina being a supplement of some kind. Armed with this vague recollection, I deemed your bar suitable for consumption and bit into it.
In my entire life, I can only remember one other instance when my gag reflex so violently kicked in. Have you ever seen Jackass: The Movie? Remember that part where one of 'em pees on a snowball and eats it? Well, if any of them wants to eat sh*t for a sequel, I know what to recommend.
I've eaten fried frog legs and rattlesnake in the last year or so. I once finished a platter of tacos de sesos from a stand in Tijuana. I like Subway. But, your Superfood™ bar is neither "super" nor "food", Odwalla. In fact, it should be forever placed between this guy and this thing as the most evil and harmful things to ever be deemed "super".
Around these parts, I use a five-point scale for my food reviews. For hyperbole's sake, I'll occasionally rate something a "500" if it rocked my world or a "-500" if my readers should avoid it all costs. There simply isn't a negative number in existence that can convey the absolute experience of ass that met my mouth for a few seconds on this warm Wednesday morning. (I know what you're thinking: "It's San Diego. Isn't it always 72 and sunny?" Well, we've got this weather condition out here called "Santa Anas" – hot, dry winds from the east that roll through in October/November. It's supposed to be 99 today!)
Tell you what, Odwalla. You find a way to keep the North County communities of San Diego stocked with your banana nut bars and I'll pretend Superfood™ never, ever happened. I will, however, have to leave this post up as a warning to others. But, don't worry. Most of my local readers are a collection of drunks and degenerates who prefer an entirely different kind of bar for breakfast.
"That Bootleg Guy"