I picked up a couple of EcoTrek Fitness Whole Food Bars at Meijer, partly because I’m a sucker for any new energy bar that catches my eye but primarily because I didn’t see how these could possibly live up to the promises on the label: Six servings of fruits and vegetables. Gluten free. All natural. Non-dairy. Ten grams of protein. And all this for less than 200 calories.
Well, before I get too derailed here, let me just say that both bars I sampled were tasty, especially the chocolate raspberry.
Do I really think that a 1.76-ounce bar can contain half a dozen servings of fruits and veggies? Nope. But you gotta love the ingredients list: dark chocolate (made with evaporated cane juice), sunflower butter and a “superfood blend” of 24 components, including eight fruits, spinach and green tea extract. I came up with 17 ingredients in addition to the superfood blend, and I can’t say I found any of them objectionable (though I can’t say I know exactly what each one is).
So far, so good. And it gets better: The creator of these bars is a Michigan outdoor fitness enthusiast who runs a business called EcoTrek Fitness. I pictured her mixing up these bars in a cabin in the woods when she wasn’t leading group hikes involving breathtaking scenery and plenty of uphill “butt crunches.” Turns out her clients were always asking her for energy bar recommendations, and she found a supplier who made private-label bars she was able to tweak to her specifications.
Next thing I know I’m checking out her blog, where she’s talking about fallout from a freakish car accident that she’s still “not ready to discuss” other than to note that it left her with a busted eye socket and completely screwed up her running for several months.
Which leads me to an article in a Michigan newspaper about not one but two separate incidents involving vehicles mysteriously crashing into bodies of water… followed by heated arguments in the “comments” section between Cari Draft’s defenders and detractors.
See what I mean? This is a decent, hardworking energy bar. A bit pricey for my tastes (2/$5 at Meijer), a bit full of itself, but a seemingly worthwhile product made right here in the Midwest.
As long as this bar does its job, I’m gonna try to forget everything else I know, or think I know, about EcoTrek Fitness.