Dec 29, 2009

Worse Than Sugar

I read that General Mills is reformulating their cereal marketed to kids 12 & under, to contain less than 10 grams of sugar per serving.

Two things came to mind.

First, I remembered a discussion in my Earth Science class in the 70s. "Ecology" was a new word, and Woodsy the Owl was telling us daily, "Give a hoot! Don't pollute!" Unleaded gas was just coming to the pumps, and we were encouraged to buy it for our cars. Why, we wondered, did unleaded cost more?

Why does it cost more to NOT put something in?

The answer, of course, was that the lead served a function which now has to be performed by another ingredient, which costs more. "Forget that," we said, as we pumped leaded gas into our cars for thirty cents a gallon.

Second, I applied the scenario of substitution to the sugared cereal. Sugar serves a function in cereal that now has to be performed by another ingredient - but what?

I have not found that information in any of GM's press releases. You can bet I'll be watching, though. There are things worse than sugar.

Another consideration: a "serving" according to GM is 3/4 cup. Serve that to a 12-year-old boy and see how far you get. Although, if the cereal has that much sugar in it, maybe you just want to put on a pot of quick-cook oatmeal and add some milk and sugar yourself. More filling. More healthy. As much or as little sugar as you like. And you can pronounce everything in it.

To whom are you going to show your love by preparing a healthy meal today?

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