It is well known that American gas stations are bounties of the most despicable, offensive junk foods on the continent. Where else can you find pork rinds, highly processed packaged cotton candy and Doritos 1st Degree Burn Blazin' Jalapeno Chips all in one place?
To the cross-country traveler, gas stations can either be a bane or a blessing. Snacking is an inevitable part of driving and road trippers can fall in the junk food trap, (and emerge at their destination bloated and significantly more cushy), or struggle to find healthier options. But despite the façade that gas stations only stock the most disgusting of snacks, looking closely reveals gut-reducing items for the road.
Pretzels are vital in the snacking world because they have zero fat. Their salty coating is satiating to any driver and they deliver an optimal crunch. Try Snyders Thin Pretzels rather than the Nugget size so you can feel fancy and delicate.
Gas stations will try to tempt you into a deal with their 40 oz soda cups for 60 cents. But don’t be swayed. Stay away from the sodas to steer clear of bloating into next year and to avoid severely impeding your drive by numerous bathroom trips. Opt instead for a Naked Juice. The Superfood flavor is packed with antioxidants, fruit juice and algae that restores both your body and your sanity. Can it prevent cabin fever? Perhaps. But it also just tastes delicious.
Amazingly, some gas stations have allowed several health-minded food companies to enter their sacred cathedral of salt, fat and sugar. Cliff Bars can be found nestled between the Hershey bars and Amy’s Burritos could be lurking in the fridge. One great snack product that is found near the pork rinds is Rocky Mountain Popcorn. Made in Colorado, the popcorn comes in a variety of flavors and has limited amounts of unpronounceable ingredients. Cheddar flavor tricks snackers into thinking they are being naughty. What is more, popcorn is the perfect size to throw a handful into hungry mouths.
And lastly, any substantial gas station will have a small basket of bananas and apples. Usually found near the register, the basic fruit is a no-frills way to fill the void of fresh, unadulterated sustenance. A welcome diversion from packaged foods…unless you count the banana skin as a package of course.