Trail Nuggets Pro is officially certified

Trail Nuggets pro review health nutrition snaktak

Energy | Protein | Bar

Chocolate + Peanut Butter + Fist Bump

Net carbs: 25 g      Added sugars: 0 g (but 23g of natural sugars from the dates)

Overall rating: 👍🥱🤷‍♂️

trailnuggets.com

 

Flavor

This flavor unfortunately takes time to unfold. It’s unfortunate because the bar is only about 4 bites of food, so you will probably finish it before the flavor finally emerges. 

I should possibly rethink how I do these reviews. A lot of these bars are meant to be eaten on the trail or after a workout when you need more calories. 

If you’ve ever reveled in mediocre oatmeal on day 3 of a backpacking trip, you’ll understand that exertion and the outdoors are the greatest seasonings that exist. Anna Brones, writing for Ecosalon, explains this well:

“Because in our everyday lives, we are removed from the effort that is involved in food and when we’re outdoors, we’re reminded of what that process looks and feels like.”

These snacks are a subtle directive to get your ass outside. It’s fine to eat this sitting at my desk, but the subtle interplay of bitter cacao, caramelly dates, and hearty peanut butter will be even more impressive after you’ve climbed a few thousand feet.

Pea protein and peanut powder give Trail Nuggets Pro and unfortunate chalkiness, though, that threatens to eliminate all enjoyment value. Definitely pair this snack with hearty swigs from your hydroflask.

 

Packaging appeal

trail nuggets pro manila folder colored
Come on

I want to know which goddamn idiot design firm thought it was a good idea to make this wrapper the exact color of manila folders. It’s the one color that is most synonymous with corporate America’s soulless anonymity.

Maybe I should steal this color palette actually. But with a more exciting shade of tan. 

Orange signifies trust, while green signifies vitality. That’s why we run with green and orange for so much of our branding. 

But this design does not read as green and orange. It reads as boring ass cold oatmeal manila folder monotony. 

The food people are a good way to tell middle-aged lacrosse moms at Trader Joe’s that this is a kid’s product, though. Everyone knows that children’s taste buds are activated by cartoon mascots, thus increasing their enjoyment of any processed food product.

One minor nitpick: in the green box, “10g” should be centered like the rest of the type.

 

Ingredient quality

This is Trail nuggets Pro’s best category. They actually beat Dirtballs by only having 7 (technically 6 because water doesn’t really count) ingredients as opposed to our 8. 

TNP is instantly certified becuase the 1st ingredient is Dates. I might write a whole book about dates because of all the ways they’re wonderful. Let’s jus highlight how great they are in this context.

Dates provide an excellent binding foundation that simultaneously adds rich flavor and an exciting natural sweetness. They also eliminate the need of any weird binders due to their natural stickiness. 

Although TNP might get a demerit for this atrocious marketing copy on their site: “Their taste is mellow, their texture is just right, and they put the “nugget” in Trailnuggets.” What the fuck does it mean to “put the nugget” in trail nuggets??

Pea protein is an interesting ingredient, both nutritionally and agriculturally speaking. There has been tremendous research into cultivating pea crops due to the growing plant-based movement. 

Some critics have tried to paint pea cultivation as a destructive monocrop, but that’s incorrect. As you can read in the article linked last paragraph, pea plants actually make a great crop rotation option for wheat farmers. 

Crop rotation is the practice of switching between different crops on the same plot of land. You might grow wheat during summer and peas during winter, for example.

This increases crop yields and maintains soil health. Healthy soil produces more crops and sequesters more atmospheric carbon, so crop rotation is an all-around good thing. 

Nutritionally, though, pea protein is consistently less powerful than animal proteins. It is one of the best plant-based proteins, though. 

People in the plant-based lobby try to convince people that plant protein and animl protein are equal, and that is false. Every protein has different amino acid profiles and bioavailability levels

For the majority of humans, animal proteins have the ideal amino acid profile to support maximum health. I wish more people had access to non-factory-farmed animal protein. If we started subsidizing regenerative agriculture then we could end the scourge of factory farming and enable people to get better animal protein. 

Plant-based extremists want none of this, though. The loudest plant-based voices call for a complete restructuring of our food systems around a plant-based diet. Is this not nutritional oppression, though, if we are all forced to subsist on sub-optimal proteins? Is it a net positive if no one is hungry but everyone is malnourished?

 

Pea protein’s implications for the glorious socialist republic

This is an interesting debate between economic philosophies. On one side people argue for a system that allows a small group to access the best possible outcome while others get less. On the other side is a system that guarantees the same level of tolerable mediocrity for everyone. 

Is there any virtue to the first system where amazing possibilities exist but only for a select few? On a metaphysical level there must be some benefit to awareness of the most extreme possibilities this existence offers?

Perhaps capitalism precludes the creation of a socialist state because people will not submit to mediocrity out of some perverse sense of FOMO. Having seen Donald Trump’s shining gold toilet, who would settle for the government-made porcelain alloy that’s somehow the wrong size for everyone?

Even though it’s mathematically impossible for most people to reach gold-toilet levels of wealth, the marketing wing of this oppressive capitalist system has thoroughly indoctrinated America’s proletariat in the rags-to-riches mythology. 

Just like people living in poverty cling to the vague hope of a lottery win lifting them from their suffering, the huddled masses would rather have a 0.0000001% chance of attaining wealth than a guarantee of basic comfort without the potential of great material gains. 

Capitalist extremism really is a spiritual sickness. We’re energetic beings briefly flashing into existence on this material plane. How could we get so wrapped up in transient arrangements of atoms that we perceive to be physical objects? 

We are the source of meaning in the universe. Not your car, your grill, your house, your Gucci belt, or your funkopops. 

The best thing we can do to fight destructive capitalism is to value that which is truly meaningful: community, self-improvement, and blissful surrender to the universal energy flow. 

 

Company practices

I’m honestly mad at Trader Joe’s right now. Out of all their exciting flavors, TJ’s has decided to only stock the chocolate peanut butter version of Trail Nuggets Pro.

This is a travesty, because they have a vibrant line of flavors you can view here. There are a few beet flavors, and even one rodeo-flavored product line. Chocolate Peanut Butter, however, is the worst, most uninspired flavor in snacking.

Here is a perfect illustration of why I hate market research. Trader Joe’s makes choices based on market research risk assessment. Their analysts tell them that Chocolate Peanut butter is the safest flavor and that all the other ones don’t have guaranteed income. 

I would buy all of these, though, and so would all the other folks who shop at TJ’s. These middle aged lacrosse moms need a little excitement in their empty suburban lives, so why not let them snack on some Beet + Orange + Cranberry Trail Nugs??????

Anyway, fuck Trader Joes, but go Trail Nuggets Pro. These folks are in line with Snaktak’s code of culinary ethics: Simplicity, nutrition, and honesty. 

 

Snackability

Yes. Trail Nuggets Pro are the perfect size and density to be satisfying for adults and filling for children. It is recommended, however, that you eat these outdoors and either during or after physical exertion. 

Overall, Trail Nuggets Pro get a rating of 👍🥱🤷‍♂️

Thank you for reading 🙂 If you enjoyed this review, please share it on twitter or DM it to your friends. 

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