Pick your poison: finding some semblance of direction in the chaotic and overcrowded world of energy bars

Sophie Johnson

Energy bars are tricky things. Sometimes you want a snack; sometimes you want a meal; sometimes you want a lover: so which energy bar fits which occassion?

In today’s dog-eat-dog world it’s easy to simply pick the cheapest brand in the prettiest wrapper and call it a day. But be careful: Energy bar-picking is a delicate art not to be easily dismissed.

If the task intimidates you, never fear: This simple guide will help you find exactly the bar you want at any given time.

Bumble Bar (“Chocolate Crisp” flavor): I’m not sure why these are called “Bumble Bars.” They do not have honey, beeswax, or even stingers. They’re mostly just sesame seeds, brown rice, flax seeds and cane syrup. Which tastes pretty awesome, if you like like sesame seeds, brown rice, flax seeds and cane syrup. According to the Bumble Bar Web site, flax seeds are full of “Omega 3 fatty acids,” which are apparently very good for you, and sesame seeds have THREE TIMES AS MUCH CALCIUM AS MILK. I’m not really sure what “three times as much calcium as milk” means. Does one sesame seed contain more calcium than an 8-oz. glass of milk? Bumble Bar is not clear on this. Regardless, I’m a vegan and I need my calcium, so I’m sold.

Taste: A-
Energy: C
Nutrients: B-
Price: $16.50 for a box of 15
Web: Bumblebar.com

Clif Bar (“Chocolate Almond Crunch” flavor): Dude, I’m not safe around a box of Clif Bars. That shit is delicious. Chocolate Almond Crunch is my favorite flavor.
I asked to write this article so that I would have an excuse to buy myself a Chocolate Almond Crunch Clif Bar. And Clif is all organic. Clif says, “Food grown organically: without the use of toxic pesticides or synthetic chemicals: is better for people and the environment.” How right you are, Clif. How right you are. (It is also worth noting that on Clif Bar’s Web site you can not only buy energy bars: You can buy Clif Bar socks, Clif Bar visors and a book about the story of the Clif Bar. And that’s about as close as you can get to buying freedom).

Taste: A
Energy: B+
Nutrients: B+
Price: $15 for a box of 12
Web: Clifbar.com

Luna Bar (“Caramel Nut Brownie” flavor): Here’s a good question: If Clif Bars are so good, then why do Luna Bars (made by the same company) taste like hardened pee? I know, I know: How lovely that an energy bar company has concocted an energy bar “just for women” ­ (the bar has “23 vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that contribute to a woman’s overall health”), but I don’t understand why the “just-for-women” bar has to suck. Why can’t the “just-for-women” bar just be Clif Bars with rock-climbing women instead of men on the front?

Taste: D
Energy: B
Nutrients: A
Price: $17.75 for a box of 12
Web: Lunabar.com

LARABAR (“Cherry Pie” flavor): Men, women, children. If you have not bought a LARABAR yet, please go buy one. If you shun raw foods; if your idea of an “energizing snack” is a bag of Cheetos, King Size Skittles and a Red Bull, consider LARABAR your official conversion to the other side. We’ve been fighting this reality for a long time, people, but the truth is that untouched things that come from the earth taste good. Really good. Orgasm good. That’s right, ladies: If there was ever an energy bar to move you to climactic levels, this would be the one. And if you’re super-rich, this would be THE snack to stock at a party to which you’re inviting a lot of people with allergies and/or special diets:
Diabetics, vegans and those who break out at the mere mention of peanuts, gluten, soy or corn are safe; so are those on the Feingold Program. I don’t know what the Feingold Program is. Magically, LARABARs each contain no more than six ingredients: but when I mixed dates, almonds and unsweetened cherries together (the only three ingredients in my bar), I just got mush. So I concluded that LARABAR has sold their soul to the devil. I say we reap the benefits.

Taste: A
Energy: A
Nutrients: A
Price: $27.99 for a box of 16
Web: Larabar.com