KIND Bar Was Purchased By One Of The Least Healthy Food Companies In The U.S. Here’s What You Need to Know

kind bar dirty secret

 

The world of nutrition bars, protein powders and similar supplements can be a complicated one.

I’ll never forget the first time I went to a mainstream health and fitness show in Columbus, Ohio, the Arnold Classic. Protein bars and shakes were among the most popular products for sale and I remember getting a ton of free supplements that I walked around and stuffed into a big garbage bag like it was Halloween night.

It was a celebration of fitness and health that unfortunately included a lot of unhealthy products laced with aspartame, sucralose, and genetically modified ingredients like maltodextrin and other corn and soy based ingredients.

But this is also where I learned that most nutrition and protein bar products have more than a few issues — a trend that has continued with KIND bars’ recent purchase by a massive pro-GMO conglomerate.

 

KIND Bars Are No Longer Independent

Recently while browsing for a healthy snack before heading out to the local nature preserve here in southeast Michigan, I decided to stop at a health food store for a nutrition bar or two along with a cup of organic coffee.

The bar I was looking for has long offered one of the best combinations of nutrition, value and high quality ingredients — KIND bars.

KIND’s Peanut Butter protein bars have previously been listed as the best selling bar in the United States.

The company began as an independent outfit founded in 2004 by Daniel Lubetzky. KIND was known for its healthier ingredients, but a lot has changed in recent years.

In 2020, KIND became a subsidiary of the pro-GMO company Mars, known for its highly industrialized sugar and likely GMO ingredient packed chocolate products

Since then the recipe for KIND has quietly changed — bad news for fans of truly healthy food.

The ingredients listed for KIND’s Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt Bar are as follows: 

KIND bars

List: Almonds, peanuts, chicory root fiber, honey, palm kernel oil, sugar, glucose syrup, rice flour, unsweetened chocolate, alkalized cocoa, sea salt, soy lecithin, natural flavor, cocoa butter.

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While these ingredients are better than many mainstream products like store bought brands and GMO-containing brands, there are many items listed above that are high risk for glyphosate, Monsanto’s cancer-linked chemical.

Sugar for example means sugar beets, and sugar beets are widely sprayed with Roundup. 

Peanuts also contain aflatoxins, a compound found in mold and in peanuts linked to health problems including cancer.

In 2018, tests from the Cornucopia Institute found glyphosate in the company’s Honey n’ Oat bars.

KIND bars contain soy, a product that is often sprayed heavily with Roundup and may be processed with a toxic solvent called hexane. 

 

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Other KIND Bars may contain canola oil, a crop at high risk for GMO contamination since most canola is grown in or around GMO fields where pollen escapes in the wind.

Canola oil was originally used for engines in ships and steam engines as a lubricant, as well as in the product of margarine and other synthetic food products.

Until this company becomes certified organic (if they ever will, that is), there are much better options. I do purchase KIND Bars in a pinch but I prefer organically sourced bars whenever possible especially since Mars is now the parent company of this popular brand.

Additionally, there are questions about the sourcing of another controversial ingredient: Palm Kernel Oil.

Is KIND’s Palm Kernel Oil Orangutan-Safe? 

KIND still lists palm kernel oil as one of its main ingredients according to the list shown above.

What it doesn’t list, however, is whether or not its palm kernel oil has been certified sustainable and orangutan safe.

Orangutan habitants have been destroyed by deforestation for palm kernel oil procurement and that’s a big problem according to one blogger who asked KIND about its palm kernel oil in 2015.

The full context of the email shown below can be read on the blog Gettingonmysoapbox.com. The person who runs the blog sent the following email to KIND to determine if their palm kernel oil was sustainable and orangutan friendly at the time.

PALM OIL!?

Your label indicates your company uses the evil known as palm oil.  Please tell me from where your company sources its palm oil.

The unchecked demand for palm oil is destroying the world’s “lungs.” This demand for palm oil leads to:

1.  The destruction of rainforests;

2.  The death (and torture) of critically endangered species who inhabit it, like the orangutan, Sumatran tiger, pygmy elephant in Southeast Asia, etc. — and now chimpanzees and gorillas in Central Africa, not to mention other species in South American (Brazil and Peru);

3.  The displacement of human inhabitants who depend on the rainforest for sustenance;

4.  The enslavement of the poor in atrocious plantation working conditions;

5.  The exacerbation of global warming.

 Does KIND feel it is doing right for the world it is handing over to future generations?!

Here’s their response:

Thank you for contacting KIND and for providing us with your valuable input concerning palm kernel oil. It is always important to hear from our customers, and we appreciate the time you’ve taken to write to us.

At KIND, we also share your concern about environmental practices and I am pleased to inform you that our palm kernel oil provider is a certified member of the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil).

We use palm kernel oil in the bars containing chocolate or yogurt, because it keeps those coatings from melting during transport and is a healthier alternative to hydrogenated oils that contain higher levels of saturated fat.  It is also non-GMO.

Thank you again for your feedback. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions in the future.

KIND Regards,

XXXX XXXXX

Customer Experience Representative

 

 

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Final Thoughts on KIND Bars

As is often the case, the inclusion of soy, canola, and other cheap industrialized ingredients in KIND Bars seemed inevitable. I must admit that I was surprised to see the words “CANOLA” and “SOY” on the package because canola did not have them in the mid-2010s when I purchased them way more often than I do currently.

While I was disappointed by this news since I’ve been eating KIND Bars for nearly a decade, I have since moved on to better and healthier products.

I do eat purchase them if I stop at a gas station on a road trip or somewhere else that doesn’t have many non-GMO and organic options, but I try to avoid soy and canola whenever possible and those are just two of the ingredients I have at least somewhat of an issue with regarding these bars.

It seems as though Mars, Incorporated changed the ingredients significantly from before and that is why I no longer purchase them as often as I once did.

Thanks so much for reading, as always!

Sincerely,

Nicholas J. Meyer

AltHealthWorks.com Founder

Nick Meyer selfie

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P.S.

This is just part of the reason why I almost always opt for organic and at the very least non-GMO snacks from companies like Paleo Valley (20% off sale today only).

I buy organic food and snack bars at the health food store, and do my best to bring my own trail mixes and organic whole food snacks like bananas and nut butters.

Sometimes I order online also. If you haven’t tried anything from Paleo Valley yet, I highly recommend their red velvet, chocolate and lemon meringue superfood bars.

Most red velvet cake and red velvet bars are made with artificial food colorings linked to cancer and hyperactivity in children. Learn more or buy organic red velvet bars from Paleo Valley here, or click on the picture below for more info!

Paleo Valley

 

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This article was first written in 2023 and updated in March 2024.

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About Nick Meyer

Nick Meyer is a journalist who's been published in the Detroit Free Press, Dallas Morning News and several other outlets. He founded AltHealthWORKS in 2012 to showcase extraordinary stories of healing and the power of organic living, stories the mainstream media always seemed to miss. Check out Nick's Amazon best-seller 'Dirt Cheap Organic: 101 Tips For Going Organic on a Budget' by clicking here, as well as its sequel Dirt Cheap Weight Loss.

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