It's either a breakthrough in nutrition or the most extravagantly priced snack since caviar. A one-ounce bag of NutriWheat looks like a small sack of potato chips and sells for $1.30. Its developer says the crunchy, tube-shaped food is an answer to America's bad eating habits.
"These are more than snacks," said Arnold Spicer, a chemist and pharmacologist. "They're nutritionally balanced meals. Our process saves the wheat germ oil, the bran and the vitamins and minerals that are lost in usual milling."
NutriWheat comes in three sizes and several flavors, including chocolate, peanut and apple cinnamon. It is sold through independent distributors in a plan fashioned after that of Amway products.
"I love the product," said Fran Dvorak of Newbury Park, one of the distributors, "but the price seems high to people. Sometimes they think it's junk food, and it's really the opposite."
NutriWheat is designed to expand in the stomach and thereby satisfy hunger with relatively few calories. But one hearty Valleyite admitted eating a man-sized serving of lasagna after finishing off a bag of the stuff.