I was annoyed by a trend at the Natural Products Expo East last month. I would walk up to a booth, and before I could figure out what product the company was trying to sell, I would be told what the product wasn’t.

“We’re non-dairy, Non-GMO, gluten-free, peanut-free, egg-free, artificial color- and flovor-free…” Sometimes I had no idea what the food was except a piece of cardboard. While I get that ingredients are important and there are many undesirable ingredients for various reasons, I still want my food to be an enjoyable experience. A lot of what I tasted at the expo was not enjoyable.

I was seeking out Non-GMO foods at this year’s expo, and ended up being drawn to the various snacks offered. Try as I might, I can’t get my 11- and 14-year-old boys who seem to eat their weight each day to do it in carrots and quinoa, so I’ve been attempting to find the most healthy snack foods I can for them.

Here are five Non-GMO snack foods that stood out to me from the expo that were not only free of things I don’t want in food, but full of what my boys want in food – good flavor. Keep in mind; these are snacks, not health food.

Brad’s Raw Onion Rings – I sampled the original flavor of Brad’s Raw Onion Rings. They’re organic and contain fresh, chopped onions that are rich in vitamins, fiber & antioxidants. A tasty batter made from natural ingredients like seeds, vegetables and spices cover the onions and they’re dehydrated to create a crunchy snack. These are a new product for Brads, and they’ll be available in O-Riginal, Classy Coconut, Bourbon St. BBQ, & Rings of Fire. They’re Non-GMO product verified.

La Panzanella Delcetini Artisan Cookies – La Panzanella makes some very delicious crackers that would go great with good cheeses or to dip into soups, but it’s their new line of cookies that got my attention. They’re Dolcetini Meyer Lemon cookies were one of the best things I tasted all day. I also learned from Todd and Will from La Panzanella that their foods are Non-GMO, but they haven’t been verified yet. They’re in the process, and according to Will, the Non-GMO Project is inundated with products trying to get verification so the process is slow. That’s a good thing as far as I can see. Since the government hasn’t chosen to make GMO labeling mandatory yet, companies are realizing that consumers care about GMOs and are taking labeling into their own hands.

Pan De Oro Nacho Lime Tortilla Chips – Over the summer, my son was introduced to a popular brand of Lime-flavored tortilla chips. He really liked them. Pan De Oro was introducing their version of lime tortilla chips at the expo, and they were absolutely delicious. They were sampling a few new flavors, and the workers at the booth said the lime seemed to be the most popular. Pan De Oro is Non-GMO verified.

Sweet Loren’s Ready to Bake Heavenly Chunk Cookie Dough. These cookies are made with 100 percent whole grains. They were very good chocolate chip cookies, and I loved that they’re a break and bake type of cookie. The batter stays in the freezer and you can break off as many pieces as you want at a time, controlling portions. Sweet Loren’s is in the process of becoming Non-GMO verified.

Earth Balance P.B. Pops – Earth Balance’s website says “prepare to be surprised” about P.B. Pops. I was surprised. This was a product that came in my press bag. I didn’t taste it at the expo. Popcorn is coated with peanut butter and then rolled in oats (with some dried cane syrup and agave syrup thrown in there for a little sweetness). These were addictingly good. They’d make a great movie snack. P.B. Pops are Non-GMO and Earth Balance is in the process of becoming Non-GMO verified.

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