OWYN protein bars ruin great ingredients with added sugar

“Only What You Need” | 10g Protein | 100% plant based 

Net carbs: 15 g      Added sugars: ? g

Overall rating: 🍫😡💀



Have you ever eaten lemon bars? If you are new to baking, lemon bars are one of the best treats to practice with due to their simplicity and wholesome delicious flavor.

OWYN’s tart cherry, lemon bar tastes, well, like a lemon bar. I suppose that makes sense because it’s literally a lemon bar.

But pea protein has a distinctive funky metallic flavor that I find a bit abrasive. It almost tastes like a combination of stainless steel and nutritional yeast. 

The pea protein, along with the pumpkin and chia seeds, overwhelms the other flavors a bit. The cherry barely comes through at all. 

These lemon bars are almost as sweet as their namesake baked goods, because of the rice syrup and cane sugar. I’m deeply confused as to why they added these extra ingredients when cherries are naturally sweet and beautiful. 

I wonder if flavor technicians utilize different sweeteners to create subtly different flavors. OWYN’s other products use monk fruit, which is both sweeter and healthier than either cane sugar or brown rice syrup. There must be a reason why they chose to use these sweeteners. 


Packaging appeal

OWYN has great looking products. The clean sans serif typefaces contrast nicely with triangular panels full of handwritten health claims. 

There’s not much to say here. These are fairly nondescript, and resemble RX bars with their type layout. It’s difficult to differentiate your product in such a saturated market, and OWYN has mostly failed to do so.

You can see their attempts to stand out in the number of certifications they list on the wrapper, though. I can’t remember seeing a single other product with three different allergy certifications. 

OWYN is really passionate about not being allergenic. They have two tiny paragraphs on the bar about how they test every batch of ingredients for allergens every time. 

These certifications are kind of annoying. Their whole purpose is to virtue-signal to consumers. OWYN bars would still be vegan if they did not have the “Certified Vegan” stamp on the front. 

What the fuck even is a vegan certification? It’s either vegan or it’s not, and I think people can tell whether or not something contains animal products. 

These certification groups are essentially mafias. They charge application fees and yearly subscriptions to use their logo, and they’re on a mission to strongarm every vegan product into buying their certification. 

And here’s the deception: Stupid consumers will think that only products with the vegan logo on them are truly vegan. Dirtballs are entirely vegan but I’ll die before I pay off these mafiosos. Am I going to lose out on vegan sales because people can’t be bothered to read the 8 ingredients? 

I don’t think so. I have more faith in consumers than most folks, and I trust that the ingredients I buy don’t come in contact with animal products. It’s easy to have that kind of trust when you source ingredients as locally as possible.

There are a lot of great benefits to veganism, but you can’t claim to be doing your best for the environment if you certify mass-produced products with international supply chains and ignore their full environmental impact. 

Certifications like this are only necessary because of mass production and consumption. If everyone had a more direct influence on their food production we wouldn’t need to verify what mass producers are doing. Scaling down society and taking more ownership over our lives will make it easy to know exactly what we are putting in our bodies. 


Ingredient quality

I’m deeply confused and disappointed by this company. They have truly great ingredients in all of their products, but they ruin it by adding unnecessary sugar. 

Pumpkin seeds, kale, broccoli, chia seeds, and so many beautiful ingredients get lost in a sea of saccharine excess. Why would you do this to nature’s bounty, OWYN?

It’s important to debunk some assumptions people make about plant-based proteins. These folks use pea protein, which almost always requires large industrial production with chemical fertilizers. 

Giant pea farms damage the soil, leak chemicals into the water, and displace/murder huge amounts of wildlife. Rodents, birds, and bugs that would normally thrive in a plot of land get pushed out or killed by the farm machines. 

Furthermore, a few scientists studied the differences between plant and animal proteins back in 2010. They  determined that “in terms of energy use, a completely vegetarian pea burger meal requires the same amount of energy as other meat-containing meals.” 

Pea farms do produce less chemical runoff than meat production, but the study found that replacing meat protein with pea protein “failed to reduce the environmental impact of the meal.”

It’s easy to oversimplify food-related issues. It’s also difficult to talk about these issues with vegans because veganism is essentially a religion and no one likes having their spiritual beliefs questioned. 

Also, plant-based does not necessarily mean healthy. Soy lumps fried in sunflower oil are both plant-based and unhealthy. Heroin is also plant-based and definitely bad for you, though I’m sure someone on the internet has argued for its health benefits. Yup, found em

There are worse products you could eat than OWYN, but you’d be better off just buying pumpkin and chia seeds in bulk, then making your own smoothies.

People are fucking lazy, though, and a lot of folks can’t be bothered to take that kind of agency over their lives. Companies like OWYN depend on this laziness for their business model.

We’re so wrapped up in this culture of constant work and consumption that people will take health risks to save some time so they can keep cranking away in this doomed economic paradigm. 

I definitely spend a lot of time working, but I also garden and cook my own food. People have been hypnotized by mass society into living lifestyles that are detrimental to our health and spiritual wellness. 

In my ideal vision of the future we don’t need mass-produced food like this. Everyone should garden and manage their own sustenance. Mass society hurts our communities and strips us of our independence. 

I’m writing this during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, and most of the problems we’re facing right now are the direct result of our intertwined global economies. If we had more capacity to produce food and medical supplies locally we’d be much better off. 

The best thing we can do for the world is to scale down society and focus more on the communities directly around us. And we need to stop manufacturing our product in other countries using imported ingredients like OWYN does. 


Company practices

Hmmm. It seems that OWYN no longer makes these protein bars. Their website only has protein shakes, protein powder, and meal replacement drinks listed.

I may have eaten the last OWYN Bar ever!

It’s good they no longer make the protein bar. No one else will get tricked into eating these sugary lies ever again. How do I get them to shut down the company entirely, though?

This company puts so much energy into marketing themselves as healthy, but all of their products contain Cane Sugar. I’m very confused about this, especially when they use both sugar and monk fruit in the same product. 

Monk fruit is sweeter and healthier than sugar. Why would you ruin that???

I suspect that they know they’re lying to people. On OWYN’s website, you can’t even find the ingredients on the product pages. Instead they hide the ingredients on the FAQ page, probably because they know people don’t want to buy products with unnecessary added sugar. 

It also seems that these people are taking advantage of the FDA loophole that companies under a certain size don’t have to list the added sugar on their products. They’re either ignorant of the regulation, or have consciously chosen to not inform people about how much sugar they add. Or I don’t fully understand the regulation.

Companies like OWYN make my skin crawl. They speak as though they invented pea protein. As Paul Stamets says, “Nature provides; I don’t.” 

I did not invent dates, cinnamon, and papaya. I just got lucky and combined them in my blender. Calling pumpkin seeds, pea protein and chia seeds the “OWYN Protein Blend” is an arrogant lie. It’s especially dishonest branding because there are countless other products that use the same plant proteins. 



I have to rate this as entirely unsnackable, mostly because OWYN doesn’t seem to sell them anymore. You can’t snack on something that doesn’t exist. 

Overall, OWYN Bars get a rating of 🍫😡💀

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