Wednesday, June 09, 2010


For a long time I've been a fan of Balance Bars. They're pretty tasty and a good snack when I'm hungry and need a little something to eat and don't want a full meal or anything. Yesterday I had a balance bar and for some reason my eye was drawn to the word "fish" on the list of ingredients. I wasn't even trying to read it, but the word just jumped out.

Then I read it more carefully and it turns out that Balance Bars contain fish gelatin. I find this super gross. I haven't eaten meat or fish for 20 years or so. I'm certain that I've had fish products in stuff, especially when traveling in China. One of the types of Thai curry TastyBite entrees has fish in it as well, which I only discovered after having it once or twice. So it's not like the Balance Bars are the only fishy stuff I've ever had.

Nevertheless, I think this is just gross. Fish are yucky. Well, actually, I think fish are pretty cool. They're great as fish -- things that swim around in the water and that we should just leave alone and not eat. It's the eating of fish that I think is yucky. Yes, I know there are some cultures that eat lots of fish. That's fine, I guess. But I don't want to eat fish. I don't know why Balance would put fish in their chocolatey nutrition bars. Ug. I wrote Balance an email, but they didn't answer.

I guess I need to read labels really carefully. But I'd have thought that Balance Bars were free from animal and fish products. Oh well.

Anyway, I've got a bunch of Balance Bars now that I have no intention of eating. If there's anyone reading this in Bar Harbor who want them, let me know.


Stacey said...

Hey Dave,
I have worked with one of the founders of Balance Bar and I think I remember him saying that they were completely vegetarian. My memory is a bit fuzzy, though. What I do remember is that he brought a huge duffel bag full of hundreds of Balance Bars to Rwanda to give out as prizes to students in our business class. I think the students found it odd to have a bar thrown at them for a right answer.

dave said...

Hmmm. Hard to imagine how fish gelatin could be vegetarian. But I guess it depends on ones definition of vegetarian. Apparently fish gelatin is growing in use, since it is (or can be) kosher, whereas regular gelatin is usually made from a combination of pig and cow parts.

Anyway, I'll probably be sticking with Clif bars and avoiding Balance, unless they de-fish themselves.

Jessica Bradshaw said...

That is gross!! I don't even want to think about how they make/get fish gelatin!
I accidentally bought sour cream that has fish oil in it. And it even listed the kinds of fish it got the oil from. I thought THAT was bad - until my friend told me about the time she got orange juice with fish oil in it!!! It was right after she had had 3 glasses of it, too! I guess it's the whole Omega-3 thing... But gross!!