WhoNu? Who Knew, Indeed?


They’re all the rage lately: The WhoNu? brand of cookies with their tagline “Now delicious is nutritious too!” For all the long-suffering parents–or your long-suffering conscience–it sounds great. But is it too good to be true?

Here’s what the WhoNu? nutrition page says:

“WhoNu?™ Cookies are an excellent source of Calcium, Iron, Vitamins A, B12, C, D and E. They also have 3 grams of fiber and a total of 20 essential vitamins and minerals.”

They go further with helpful little pictures so you can see at a glance the benefits you’re reaping. As much fiber as a bowl of oatmeal. As much iron as a cup of spinach. As much B12 as a cup of cottage cheese and fruit!

This bounty is per a 3 cookie serving. You have to go to the individual product pages for complete nutrition information, yet even there they didn’t tell me what I really wanted to know, such as the ACTUAL INGREDIENTS.  The inspirational marketing copy may distract others, but it isn’t going to distract me.

Fortunately, a friend brought in a box so I could see the actual ingredients. At this point in my food ingredient journey, I wasn’t even surprised. I was disappointed. Enriched. Trans fat masquerading as partially hydrogenated oil. High fructose corn syrup. Artificial flavors. All that goodness on the label and they couldn’t even care enough about their consumer to use all-real ingredients. But hey, then whiny kids wouldn’t want to eat it, right?

But in the interests of fairness, I did a Google search on WhoNu? and found their site did have an ingredients page…if you know how to get to it. Here it is.

Please note that this page is not on the main website navigation. It’s not even linked through the individual product pages! That’s called hiding. Big old warning bells go off there. I only found it because I was linked to it through the very last item on the FAQs, which is at the bottom of the page.

And what do you know?

“Please understand that sometimes ingredients for our cookies change. The information shown below may vary from the content and label information on our products currently in stores.

For example, we have removed hydrogenated oils from all four of our products and high fructose corn syrup from three of the four. These reformulated cookies will not begin to hit store shelves until fall 2011.

For the most accurate ingredient information, refer to the actual package.”

It sounds as if they’re making amends–great! Yet their statement is a little confusing still. Is the website’s list the true list that the packaging has to catch up to? If so, I still see PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED COTTONSEED OIL, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR and SUCRALOSE right in the first batch. And the Soft & Chewy product still retains its HFCS.

Will they continue to evolve? We shall see. In the end, it’s up to you as a consumer to decide what you want to put into yourself or your children. But whatever decision you make, make it an informed one.


WhoNu Cookies: Not What They Seem

Gimme Some of Dat Corn Sugar! Mmm!

What irks me is the high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) people in the Corn Refiners Association think we’re so stupid we’ll never catch on to the fact that they just…renamed their poison. Not only couldn’t they care less what they’re feeding us, they’re insultingly assuming we’ll simply stop reading ingredients and forget there was a name change. They think our heads zip up the back!

A rose by any other name, people. Something stinks in the food industry.



Really, all sugar is supposed to be toxic for us, so limiting sweety mcsweetersons from our diets is ultimately the way to go (if you subscribe to that tenet in the first place). I know I like things with evaporated cane syrup in them, and that’s just another name for sugar too.

But there are degrees of toxicity, and if I’m going to indulge, I’d rather have the real thing than this sludge that’s appearing everywhere just because it’s cheaper than real sugar. HFCS is even in croutons, for pete’s sake!

More on HFCS: