Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Eating Vegan from Vending Machines

I've been meaning to do a post on how to eat vegan out of vending machines, because sometimes you just don't have a choice. But after a recent discovery, I have to tackle it a little differently than originally planned. Because, first, you have your generic junk foody vending machine, and then you have your healthy food vending machine!

Generic junk food vending machines often have accidentally vegan items.

Some common vegan options:

~plain salted nuts- usually your options are peanuts or cashews, most of the flavored nuts are not vegan
~classic potato chips- almost all big name brand plain potato chips are simply salt, oil, and potatoes

~Oreos- regular oreos, the cakey ones are not vegan
~Nutter Butters
~Snyder's of Hanover Pretzels
~Twizzler's Strawberry Licorice

It's not much, but it's something.


But then I recently came across the 2bu vending machine. This thing is wicked cool, and vegan, healthy food friendly. Mind blown!

Here's how it works. The 2bu Healthy Vending machine has a digital screen where you can review the ingredients and dietary information of every single item in the machine. In addition to that, you can see complete lists of all the items that are vegan, organic, gluten-free, or kosher. They source local items when they can, and they're Energy-Star rated with motion sensors for all the lighting.

The 2bu website says all of their snacks meet their standards of:
• All-natural ingredients
• More whole-grain selections
• No preservatives or artificial ingredients, flavors or sweeteners
• No trans-fats

You know what this means, right? I don't have to tell you what should be vegan in the 2bu Healthy Vending machine, the machine itself will tell you! That said, here are a couple great vegan snack options:

Sahale Snacks Soledad Nut Blend
(almonds, apples, and flax seeds, with date, balsamic vinegar and cayenne)
This mix is sooooo good! The ingredients sounded like a strange mix, but they work.

Alternative Baking Company Outrageous Oatmeal Raisin Cookie
ABC Baking Company is not my favorite vegan cookie maker, but these are very satisfying.

Some other vegan goodies: Original PopChips, Steaz Peach Iced Teaz, Larabars, Raw Revolution bars, and Coconut Water (can't remember which brand.)

Okay, it remains to be said, the big downside out of eating from vending machines is cost. And while junky food vending machines are pricey enough, the 2bu Healthy Vending is quite a bit more. Perhaps you get what you pay for, but I have to say that Soledad Nut Blend is rather more than I would want to spend from a vending machine. I am sure this is why it has debit/credit capability. It's not a pocket change kind of vendor. Still, it's a great start at a better world of vending!

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