Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fake ingredients

Several stories in the last couple of weeks have revealed that what you expect in your cereal is not always what you get.

Most notable is the revelation by "Health Ranger" Mike Adams that several foods purporting to contain blueberries actually do not contain actual, whole blueberries. For example, Kellogg's Frosted Mini Wheats really only contains "blueberry flavored crunchlets" made from sugar, soybean oil, red #40, and blue #2. General Mills' Total Blueberry Pomegranate cereal is a double whammy: apparently no actual blueberries or pomegranates. This has been getting considerable attention in the media and among health advocates, both attacking various food manufacturers and the FDA for having loose regulations that allow for the loopholes. This also does not help the already negative public relations that Kellogg and General Mills have received in recent years over their labeling practices and nutritional quality.

Competitors have been quick to point out that use actual blueberries. Me & Goji tweeted Thursday that "While the cereal giants use fake blueberries, ours are all natural from Bar Harbor, Maine". This is certainly an opportunity for the upstarts and natural cereal companies to differentiate themselves.

In a related story, Post recently released a press release highlighting the fact that they "say 'no' to fake fibers that are often found in so-called “healthy” competitive cereals", and that Post uses only whole grain fibers, not the highly processed, novel fibers that other companies use.

It's getting nasty out there, all playing on the growing health concerns of consumers.

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