Let’s Talk Breakfast Cereal

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Looking for breakfast cereals that do not contain GMOs? Well, stay away from the cereal aisle of your grocery store. Unless a cereal is labeled USDA Certified Organic or has the Non-GMO Verified seal on its package it most likely contains GMO ingredients.

I just visited Attune Foods website, the company that produces Uncle Sam cereal. Not all of their cereals are GMO-free. Shoppers must look for the Non-GMO Verified seal or certified organic. They are trying to source non-GMO ingredients but they state corn and natural vitamin E are typically GMO.

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Nature’s Path cereals have been and continue to be GMO free. This is what I purchase when I buy the rare box of breakfast cereal. If you click through to their page it is plastered right there for everyone to see: they don’t use GMOs and they are against the use of GMOs in food. Period.

Okay, now let’s evaluate what in breakfast cereals is genetically modified (the mainstream, non-healthy, do not want you to know what is in your food cereal companies). You know how cereal box labels are so proud of all of the vitamins they spray on their cereals (yes, they spray them on)? Well, apparently a lot of vitamins are now derived from genetically modified organisms that are then fermented producing the “natural” vitamins. Oh my! There is that “natural” word that doesn’t mean natural at all.

In this article found at the Organic Consumers Association entitled, “Vitamins Present GMO Challenges for Organic Industry,” the process is explained and concerns are raised about how difficult it has become to source non-GMO vitamins. Although I believe we should eat real foods that are naturally rich in vitamins and minerals apparently a lot of people still want to eat processed foods which must be “enriched” or they are just not nutritious (all of that processing destroys natural vitamins, minerals and other nutrients). So the organic food companies produce processed organic foods.

Organic processors face GMO challenges with vitamins, says Brian Baker, research director, Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI). “More and more vitamins are coming from genetically modified sources.”

Vitamins E (tocopherols) and C are the most common vitamins raising GMO concerns, since E is derived from soy and C from corn. But Baker believes that both B2 and B12 (cyanocobalamin) are now primarily derived from GM microorganisms. Meanwhile, biotechnology companies have received patents in recent years to produce other vitamins, such as A (betacarotene) and C, from GM microorganisms.

Even organic cereal producers are struggling to source non-GMO vitamins for their cereals.

Continuing on through the list of ingredients in many cereals we find such as Kashi Go-Lean Crisp! Toasted Berry Crumble:
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  • soy grits
  • expeller pressed canola oil
  • yellow corn flour
  • soy protein isolate
  • natural flavors
  • vegetable glycerin
  • mixed tocopherols for freshness
  • soy lecithin

All of those ingredients are GMOs, or most likely GMO because 65-95% of soy, corn, and canola crops are genetically modified. That is a lot of GMOs. And just so you know, those “mixed tocopherols” are GMO vitamin-E. What about “natural flavors”? Well, that is a crap shoot, so to speak. It could be anything. I am going to put it in the GMO list of ingredients, though, because when GMOs can be used in mainstream foods, they are because they are cheap. They are cheap because they are subsidized by our Federal government. Oh wait, that is you and me paying to grow those GMO crops which are then sold for a lot less than it cost to grow them which floods the market with a bunch of cheap, junky, untested food ingredients or their derivatives at super great prices. There is something really wrong with this picture. But I digress.

Yes, Kashi now has a few Non-GMO Verified cereals. Why? I don’t know. They obviously don’t care about the quality of their products. Kellogg Company doesn’t care whether you want GMOs in your foods or not. Neither do Post, Heinz, Pepsi, Coca Cola, ConAgra, and most of the corporate food companies that produce 80% of the foods you find in your local grocery store.

I shop with a conscience now. Cold breakfast cereals aren’t terribly good for anyone except maybe as a snack (which is how we have eaten them for years — never for breakfast). Breakfast should consist of high protein, lots of healthy fats, and complex carbs.

But if you want to buy breakfast cereals (let’s call them cold cereals so we don’t mistake their usefulness as a breakfast food) please, please buy from reputable companies that care about their products and their customers. Learn to read labels and look for the Certified Organic and Non GMO Project Verified labels. Even better, just eat eggs and a bowl of hot organic oatmeal for breakfast with a slice of orange, apple or grapefruit. Skip the cold cereal. Oh, did I mention that you will save a lot of money by NOT buying cold cereals? Yep.

Happy shopping!

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