Feel-Good Food

St. John’s Wort Tortilla Chips (Robert’s American Gourmet) .49

Image: Maren Levinson

St. John’s wort is an herbal supplement that is reputed to fight depression. A taste test revealed that these chips fall on the saltier side of the savory scale, but perhaps we’re just being negative. On the bright side: Snacks such as these—as well as other tasty-yet-utilitarian edibles such as Starbucks’ Power Frappuccino (with vitamins and proteins) and Hero Nutritional Products’ vegetable-derived Yummi Bears—are a growing market niche. Grant Ferrier, editor of the Nutrition Business Journal, proposes that food manufacturers adopt the term “functional foods” to set these specially enriched products apart from what he calls “lesser evil” foods such as low-fat cupcakes or sugar-free cereals.