Upon arriving home from a vacation a couple weeks ago I was pleasantly surprised to find a huge box, sent to me direct from Nature’s Path Organics, sitting by my front door. As most of you have likely garnered by now I love food -- love to eat it, smell it cooking and even have become more adventurous making it at home on a daily basis -- so when a big box of it is dropped at my door free of charge, you can bet that I am more than grateful; anxious to give it a try and share my findings with all of you.
What I found inside was seven boxes of cereals and a few granola bars! Holy cow! I knew there was no way I could eat all of these cereals myself so I called in the troops -- Matt, a friend Dan and my Mom (aka Judi FitzPatrick Studios).
This review is going to be fairly lengthy as I feel it is only right giving a little reaction to each of the products, since they are all so different, as well as sharing information on the company as a whole. Tuck in and be prepared to get a little hungry!
Dan was visiting from out of town for a few days so in the mornings we had an, as Dan so aptly dubbed it, “Executive Breakfast”. The first was the Flax Plus Maple Pecan Crunch. The main reaction he had was “mmm” as he went back for a second bowl. He commented that it was “uncomplicated, they didn’t try too hard with it just maple and nuts”.
The following morning we tried both Flax Plus Granola Vanilla Almond, and Optimum Strawberry & Yogurt. Vanilla Almond received the initial comment “ooh its good” but Dan felt it left a slight after taste which I believe might be from the flax seed oils. I enjoyed the crunch of the Vanilla Almond as it held up great in milk. The Strawberry & Yogurt Dan felt was a little too sweet for his taste but he enjoyed the flavors and textures. That one was actually my personal favorite.
A few days later I had an opportunity to test the Flax Plus Red Berry Crunch. The cereal was hearty and there were a surprising number of berries but my chief complaint is it got soggy fairly quickly. Still tasted great, just a bit soggy. Additionally, while completing the Alzheimer’s Memory Walk Boston in September, we were able to sample the Flax Plus Granola Pumpkin as small pouches were given out to test, so I already knew this flavor was light and also uncomplicated.
Matt had a nice big bowl of Sunflower Agave Plus Granola Crunch and was overall very impressed. So impressed in fact I asked him to shoot me a couple of his thoughts and here is exactly what he said:
“The Agave Sunflower Crunch was a pleasant surprise. The combination didn't work in my brain, but the flavors worked very well together. It was lightly sweet like a honey-cluster cereal, but the sunflower seed flavor balanced the flavor of the cereal well. I will definitely keep this one in the house from now on for a quick snack or healthy breakfast.”
Finally, I sent my mom home with a box of Flax Plus Pumpkin Raisin Crunch. Upon careful inspection of the box as well as the cereal my Mom deemed that “The flakes are much like any other whole grain flakes - tasty, crispy, not too sweet, a pretty shade of tan.” Unfortunately she was a little bummed that there was a decent amount of crunch but not much pumpkin or raisin included. She did think it was more yummy than the one we received on the walk but was keen to point out “a serving is 3/4 cup, not an entire cup, so it is much higher in fiber than the others, but also higher in calories when compared by dry measure”.
Overall it seems the four of us were mostly impressed with the yummy factor of Nature’s Path. Now I was off to discover just how cool the company itself really is.
On the homepage we are greeted by the motto “Eat well. Do good.” They have meant this for the past sixty years the company has been growing; it all started with an organic berry farm in 1949. The first experiments with cereal came in about 1971 as the company was focusing on all natural and organic, hand made foods for their supermarket LifeStream in Canada. Nature’s Path Food, Inc got its humble beginnings in 1981, introduced the breakfast line in 1985 and debuted their first cereal in 1988.
These folks are true innovators in the realm of awesomeness -- they were the first cereal company to ever be certified organic, they installed an organic garden and composting area outside their building in Richmond, British Columbia, they signed the Declaration of Sustainability and they firmly believe “Do good and it keeps coming back to you.”
I could go on for days about all the good these folks do! Their website is chock full of info on their involvement with organic agriculture, their amazing employee treatment (including incentives to buy hybrid vehicles and tuition assistance), purchasing of Green energy credits to offset plant generated energy, composting food waste, Their EnviroKidz efforts, and donating line waste to local farmers, in addition to so many other initiatives.
Want more anyway? The boxes are a great source of information and provide a good read while chowing down: They introduced the EnviroBox (10% less box) to save water, energy and paperboard (144 tons!). The box itself is even created from 100% recycled material.
So I took a trip to the cereal aisle in my everyday supermarket; want to know what I discovered? Not only is this brand widely available but the prices are in many cases less than those of the refined sugar and artificial flavoring varieties right next to it. Score!
With such a solid eye on the planet for so many decades, an amazing focus on social consciousness and humanitarianism, as well as maintaining the planet through organic practices, and just all around yummy products, I am granting Natures Path Organics the ever sought after and much coveted Five Leaf Rating!