Saturday, July 31, 2010

Kickstart your day

This isn't news to anybody who can read labels, but the vast majority of packaged cereals aren't good for you.  In fact, the vast majority of food in the supermarkets aren't good for you either.

But some of the quotes in the cereal article make my lip curl: 
Food and Grocery Council chief executive Katherine Rich said manufacturers had already reduced the salt and sugar content of their cereals, but "only so much can be removed without removing taste and flavour".
Allow me to translate:
Our customers are addicted to sugar and we like it that way.  If we added less sugar, our customers would go to another cereal that still has lots of sugar, and...wait, sorry, (fans face vigourously) I just can't talk about it anymore!
Kellogg's spokeswoman Tina Wall said its Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes and Nutri-Grain contained less sugar than a 200g pottle of fruit-flavoured yoghurt.     
Pay that woman an even more obscene salary - she's worth every penny.  In case anything is lost in translation:
We're not actually at all bad, especially compared to another product that has also been sweetened past all resemblance to its natural state.
I fondly remember the days when my kids would happily chow down on porridge with me every morning.  While their tastes have been adulterated already, our pantry holds only cornflakes, rice bubbles, weetbix, and muesli.  Boring?  Hooray for boring!  I can't imagine a trip to the store that would include buying Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs for my little Calvin. I shudder to think of his behaviour after eating a bowl, and this crap costs more than basic cereals.
  • Perhaps it's only a psychological effect, but I really like to start the day with simple whole grains; the way I would like to eat for the rest of the day too.  With that one meal, I get more fibre than the average person eats all day.  If you start with sugary treats, are you likely to improve with the rest of your day?
But somebody's buying them.

OK, let's get real.  A lot of people are buying a lot of them...a lot.  Supermarkets don't stock boxes that don't move, and 72% of cereals had unacceptable levels of fibre, sugar and fat!  And they taste like it.  They taste too good to be good for you.

So if you do buy more, shall we say, entertaining cereals, will you step up bravely and explain why?  And I'm also interested if these are actually served to children for their breakfast...  I will also accept stories about other people you know who buy these cereals, if you know why they do.


  1. Uh, no! :D
    Indiana stopped eating porridge also, but she really likes the grain food group! We buy organic muesli but I have started to make our own. For her I have been making a plainer version without nuts and chunks of dried fruit, though she sometimes eats those too, but prefers them outside her muesli.
    I use oat and wheat bran, oat flakes, wheat germ, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and some ready-bought crispy organic muesli with vanilla. I may add cinnamon or cardamom for flavor too. Super healthy and yummy!

    The cereal we buy is organic corn flakes, and oat cheerios or oat puffs.

  2. I had a feeling you weren't going to be the Froot Loop buyers...

    Nadia also likes her porridge or muesli without the added extras. She will often still eat porridge with me, especially if she's not feeling 100%. Alex will request the dried fruit only from our bought muesli :-)