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Ad Rants Continue
Did you know that General Mills kid's cereals are now made with at least 8 grams of whole grain per serving? Must mean they're health food!
Let us ignore for the moment whether whole grains are healthy food. Let us ignore, too, whether grain that has been so thoroughly processed, heated, extruded, puffed, etc, can really be thought of as "whole."
The average specified serving of one of these cereals is 30 grams, or just over 1 ounce. That means that 8 grams is 26% of the weight. Are we excited?
These cereals have 1 to 2 grams of protein per serving. This is unimpressive in the extreme. A half-cup of milk will add 4 grams of protein (and 6 grams of carb,) but do most kids finish the milk in the bottom of the cereal bowl? I didn't. That went to the dog. Even if they do, why not just give the kid the milk?
"But at least whole grains have fiber!" you may think. These cereals average 1 to 2 grams of fiber per serving, hardly a big deal, even if you're convinced of the magic power of fiber, which I am not.
The General Mills website also crows about what a good source of vitamins their cereals are, and how kids who eat them are more likely to get adequate quantities of a range of nutrients. But those vitamins are not inherent in the highly processed starch-and-sugar slurry that becomes the cereal. They're added. Sprayed on. In other words, kids are eating a bunch of highly processed carby junk to get a cheap vitamin pill.
Give the kid bacon and eggs, a glass of milk, and a vitamin pill, for heaven's sake. Or a sugar-free smoothie made with protein powder, and a vitamin pill. Or low carb, high protein pancakes and a vitamin pill.
Antisupplement people rave about how wonderful it is to get your vitamins from food, not from pills. And certainly, highly nutritious foods like meat, eggs, and vegetables supply a wider range of nutrients and associated cofactors than vitamin pills. But that has exactly zero bearing on the value of the vitamin-laced starch-and-sugar pills that make up the average kid's breakfast.
One other food ad meme that's bugging me recently: Both Campbell's and Stouffer's have started bragging about their "farm grown ingredients." Are we really supposed to believe the competition is getting their tomatoes, carrots and onions from a factory?
Notice the ads do not specify "small farm grown ingredients," or "organically grown ingredients," or "sustainably grown ingredients." Just farm grown. I'm betting that farm is over 1000 acres, and controlled by some big agribusiness conglomerate. I'm betting they broadcast spray pesticides, too, and use oil-derived fertilizers. Wouldn't be surprised if they used genetically-modified breeds of plants, either.
Some other purveyor of some sort of packaged food, I disremember which and what, boasted their vegetables were grown in soil, and nowhere else. Gosh, I'm so surprised. I've bought hydroponically-grown tomatoes, because back when I could get them they were the only reasonably ripe tomatoes available in the off-season around here. They were considerably more expensive than the ones grown in soil. I would be stunned if some multinational food corporation was spending extra cash on ingredients not grown in soil. Again, no mention that they're organically grown, or non-GMO, or anything like that. We're just supposed to be impressed that the vegetables they use were grown in dirt, instead of manufactured.
Such arrant nonsense.