Thursday, October 4, 2012

This and That Thursday - Tomato Juice

Last night was the first presidential debate in the US for the 2012 election. The boys both wanted to see the debates and they were assigned to watch at least one debate for Joy in Learning. We don't own a TV so we ordered One World Pizza and snuggled up in the attic office to watch the debates on our computer. Josie quickly lost interest, but the boys stuck in there longer than Rob and I wanted to...ugh! We are very political activisty family, but in the last several years our activism has been more about changing the world on a  very local level starting with ourselves and our family. Being the best we can be and then radiating the healthy peaceful love out...or so we try and try. I don't post much about politics on this blog because...well, I just don't.
We had a good family time last night discussing the election process, trying to explain what the candidates were saying, and eating some veggie curry vegan pizza and vegan medley pizza. One of the things Josie did get out of the little bit of the debate she watched was the compare and contrast of two similar, but different, things. So this takes us into today's This and That...tomato juice.

Meet the contestants:

Lakewood Organic Super Veggie (Low Sodium - it had a special tag on the top of the bottle with "low sodium) and R. W. Knudsen Very Veggie Organic Low Sodium. Both were bought by the case through our local buying club.
I wanted to compare two very similar products to be as fair as possible and I didn't add hot sauce or anything to the glasses, just the juice.

Appearance: As you can see a bit in the picture above, they both look like tomato juice. The Very Veggie on the right is darker in person not just in the picture and the Super Veggie is lighter which goes into our next comparison.

Texture: Super Veggie is lighter and has an almost watered down texture while Very Veggie has a more textured feel. I would compare it to orange juice without the pulp for Super Veggie and with pulp for Very Veggie. I prefer more texture to my orange juice and tomato juice so the Super Veggie is a little off-putting on the texture.

Ingredients: I'm a big ingredient list reader and they both look filled with great foods. Super Veggie has more greens.
Lakewood Super Veggie 
R. W. Knudsen Very Veggie
Nutrition: I love tomato juice, but I also drink it for the nutritional value so I like to know I'm enjoying a glass of something that doesn't just taste good and fill me up.
Lakewood Super Veggie
R. W. Knudsen Very Veggie
They are both really close, Very Veggie is lower in sodium (maybe one the Super Veggie didn't have the low sodium printed on the label), until you read below the thick black line and then Super Veggie seems to pack a bigger punch (serving sizes are the same). I was surprised that Super Veggie has a bit more fiber since it is definitely the smoother of the two.

Taste: It doesn't matter how much nutrition something has, if it doesn't taste good, it doesn't get consumed. I brought in the super taster for this part.

I thought Josie would give the best taste critique since she is new to liking tomato juice. I moved the glasses around in case she has some brand loyalty I was not aware of and she took her job very seriously. Her conclusion? Drum roll..."They both taste good, mom. I think we buy a lot of tomato juice and serve it at my next birthday party. I like them both, can I drink them and go play at the park now." Well, there you have, I can't leave it tied because of a five year old convert to tomato juice. I will say from years of enjoying and looking for my favorite tomato juice, I think Lakewood Super Veggie is now my go-to tomato juice until I find a homemade recipe (please send me recipes if you make your own!). Why? I hope it is not the salt, but I found the Very Veggie to have a really tart taste and it is fine with a bit of hot sauce added, but a little too tart for drinking straight. The Super Veggie was not bland, but smoother tasting with subtler notes of the different veggies. I guess just like with other decisions in our life, we just have to take the information we have about our choices, look at them with a open mind and discerning eye, weigh the pros and cons, and then go with what just seems right.

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