Monday, December 8, 2008

LUNA- For Women Only?

Dancing female silhouettes pose against a large crescent moon. A dedication section contains hokey messages of appreciation from women to their mothers, daughters, or friends. The Breast Cancer Fund logo is stamped across the back.

The women of LUNA add a heartwarming note on each of their products: “We believe that what we put in our bodies matters. Food feeds our souls, lifts our spirits, nourishes and sustains us. That’s why we created LUNA, the blissfully good, whole nutrition bar for women. . . . Join us in creating a healthier, more sustainable future!”

Luna also sponsors LUNAFEST, a traveling film festival “by, for, and about women,” and supports the Safe Cosmetics Campaign, which encourages the “health and beauty industry to phase out chemicals known to cause cancer and birth defects.”

Have you ever encountered a more gender-biased, girl-powered nutrition bar? Its words of empowerment, support of female-oriented charities and events, and design of women figures prancing across the logo motivate me to take up yoga, concentrate on my inner zen, and hug my mother.

It simultaneously provokes a slight feeling of nausea.

Why do LUNA bars specifically target women? How come no semblance of masculinity mars this product? And why can’t men enjoy the same “blissfully good whole nutrition bar”?

Owned by Clif Bar & Co, these entirely natural low glycemic treats, boasting 10 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, over 20 vitamins (including a generous supply of Vitamin C, Calcium, Folic Acid and Iron), pack in all these nutrients into 180-calorie soy-rice crisp bars. And they are 70% organic. There are over a dozen flavors, such as Chocolate Peppermint Stick, Peanut Butter Cookie, Lemon Zest, S’mores, Nutz Over Chocolate, and Caramel Nut Brownie just to name a few. The product makers created these bars to attract women based on their specific nutritional needs. But that doesn’t mean that men can’t use the same nutrients in their diets.

Unfortunately, a certain stigma has evolved regarding men and LUNA bars. Skimming through product reviews, I’ve read my share of estrogen/PMS/breast-enhancing jabs for men who eat these snacks.

Just to clarify, let me set some of these rumors straight: no, these snacks aren’t infused with Midol, and no, men will not sprout breasts or grow effeminate. There is no risk or damage for men or children who consume LUNAs other than minor ridicule. They may not necessarily provide the same amount of energy that other bars do, but they will keep you relatively satiated.

And they actually taste pretty good.

So to those of the opposite gender: I encourage you to be real men and revolt against the prejudice! Don’t let the wrapper discourage you! Feed your souls, lift your spirits, and indulge in the LUNA nutrition bars. You deserve it too!

Flavors to try: My personal favorites are the Chocolate Peppermint Stick, Cookies ‘n Cream Delight and Iced Oatmeal Raisin. S’mores and Lemon Zest are popular flavors, though I’m not as crazy about them. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, try the Chai Tea and Dulce de Leche (personally, I find them a bit overwhelming, but it’s worth it to sample them). If you want a bar without any chocolate or yogurt coating on the bottom, go for the Toasted Nuts ‘n Cranberry.

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