Bonnie: Tyson just introduced these flavored balls of chicken coated in a highly seasoned breadcrumb mixture. "For whom?" I wondered as I began to test them. Who would want to eat an additive-laden, Ping-Pong-ball-sized piece of chicken with 50 to 80 calories, 2 to 4.9 grams of fat, and 150 to 226 milligrams of sodium? No one I know.
Carolyn: The Any'tizers name markets these new Tyson frozen fried-chicken treats as appetizers you can eat anytime. Thanks, Tyson, but as an adult who eats cookies for breakfast and cereal as a snack, I don't need your permission. Tyson would have been smarter instead to emphasize the superior quality of these products to their many freezer-case and fast-food competitors.
I know all companies say their stuff is the best, but in this case, it's true. Any'tizers are real white meat chicken in stick, nugget or boneless "wyng" form. The Chicken Bites contain real bacon, jalapenos and cheese. The result is a wonderful Cheddar & Bacon but a too-hot-for-tots Cheddar & Jalapeno.
The Wyngs are also delicious but less distinct. The Homestyle Chicken Fries are the only Any'tizer I wouldn't recommend not because they're bad, but because the Ranch Flavored Chicken Fries are so much better.
Bonnie: Eating a container of yogurt is good for many reasons. It's a good source of calcium, protein, and important vitamins and minerals even before yogurt makers began adding in other good-for-you ingredients. These include probiotics, fiber and now (in Breyers Smart!) DHA, or Docosahexaenoic acid, a heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acid.
Breyers calls this yogurt Smart! because of what the company claims are the "brain-boosting properties of life'Sdha," the manufactured omega-3 DHA that it has added to this yogurt. Some recent research has connected DHA to brain functions, but those studies are not conclusive.
Moreover, a 6-ounce cup of Smart! yogurt contains "just 32 milligrams of DHA as much as you'd get in three-quarters of a teaspoon of salmon," according to consumer watchdog group CSPI, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (a fact that Breyers does not deny).
So reach for these yogurts not to enhance your brain health, but just for the goodness of yogurt itself.
Carolyn: For shame, Breyers, trying to hawk your Smart! yogurt on a token amount of brain-boasting DHA (as Bonnie just explained). Maybe Breyers is hoping that people with concerns about their brain functions won't be smart enough to look into whether this product is worth buying or not. That's obviously not you, if you're reading this.
Bonnie: Del Monte has just expanded its organic line to include six more vegetables. Like the others in this line, these are grown without synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers, and are thus good for our environment.
All the veggies contain the eponymous vegetables, some sea salt and/or sugar. Nothing else, except some calcium chloride in the carrots to provide, as the company says, "a consistent texture throughout the growing season." Nutritionally, they're all good for you, containing lots of vitamins and minerals and some fiber.
Frozen vegetables are my convenience vegetable of choice because of their fresher taste. But I'd recommend Del Monte Organic over other canned vegetables in mixed dishes where the softer texture of canned veggies isn't as noticeable.
Carolyn: You might think organic foodies would mainly buy fresh vegetables. Apparently not, or Del Monte wouldn't be expanding its line of organic tomato products to include veggies.
There is no solid scientific evidence to support the idea that organic food is any safer, healthier or more nutritious than foods grown with conventional farming methods. But organic is definitely better for the environment. If that matters enough for you to be willing to pay the 25 percent premium over conventionally grown foods, then I commend these to you.
Bonnie Tandy Leblang is a registered dietitian and professional speaker. Carolyn Wyman is a junk-food fanatic and author of "Better Than Homemade: Amazing Foods That Changed the Way We Eat" (Quirk). Each week they critique three new food items. For previous columns, visit www.supermarketsampler.com, and for more food info and chances to win free products, visit www.biteofthebest.com. © Universal Press Syndicate