There is overkill in the use of the word “natural” in the marketing campaigns for cereal products. Thinking these products are free of artificial ingredients, consumers are wont to pick these products off the shelves. Some consumers even praise the makers behind these products.
“Natural” in the context of cereal products is one big, fat misnomer. These products are not free from insecticides and genetically modified components, which are what “natural” is all about. In fact, in an expose by the Cornucopia Institute, some so-called “natural” brands of cereals contain high levels of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and toxic chemicals.
Contamination from genetic engineering is quite pervasive. Even purportedly “non-GMO” food more often than not has trace levels of GMOs, between .01 percent and 0.5 percent. The Cornucopia Institute was able to expose several supposedly “natural” products for their high GMO contamination levels, which hover between 28-100 percent. Such figures indicate that the key components of these products are absolutely genetically engineered from the source and are not contaminated just by chance.
That said, the results of a GMO test may not hold true long after. Items determined to be free of GMOs now may be found to contain whopping high levels later because of supply source changes, supply line errors, and so forth. The reverse is just as true. Food that tests positive with high levels of GMOs now may be determined to have reduced levels later.
It is not unusual for suppliers to deceive cereal manufacturers. Some manufacturers sift their supplies for any trace of GMOs. Others don’t bother because they’d rather not know.
Just because a cereal is “enrolled” in the Non-GMO Project does not mean it is free of GMOs. If it is “enrolled,” a product is simply on course to ridding itself of GMOs; it is not free of them yet. If it is labeled “verified,” a product has gone through strict audits along the supply line and met GE testing requirements.
Don’t be too overwhelmed by these facts. The important thing to remember is that most cereals claimed to be “natural” hold vast amounts of genetically modified ingredients, to say nothing of carcinogenic, toxic insecticides. Get ready to know which products are guilty of “cereal crimes.”
Cornucopia has quite astounding insights on the real state of today’s most popular breakfast cereals. In a “scorecard,” Cornucopia enumerated Arrowhead Mills, Back to Nature, Barbara’s Bakery, Bear Naked, Bob’s Red Mill, General Mills, HealthValley, Kashi, Mom’s Best, and Post Natural as those brands that are not as natural as you may have thought.
Kellogg’s Kashi brand of cereals particularly holds a substantial amount of genetically engineered components. These components are genetically modified from the outset. Cornucopia contended that virtually all of the soy (100 percent) used in Kashi cereal was genetically engineered.
In fact, some Kashi products as well as those of Bear Naked, were determined to use traditional soy protein. This is usually derived from soybeans immersed in “hexane baths,” which are teeming with neurotoxins, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In addition to Cornucopia’s test, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that the non-organic grains used to make Kashi Heart to Heart Blueberry cereal have vestiges of pesticides like malathion, carbaryl, azinphos methyl, and chlorpyrifos.
PepsiCo is another repeat offender, with its Quaker Oats and Mother’s brands of “all-natural” products. Quaker Oats runs a factory that annually spews approximately 19,000 lbs. of the toxic greenhouse gas known as sulfuryl fluoride. Mother’s, on the other hand, has been found by Cornucopia to hold GMO levels as high as 28 percent.
Whole Foods’ 365 Corn Flakes trumped Mother’s, using 50 percent genetically engineered corn. Like 365 Corn Flakes, Barbara’s Bakery Puffins is no better, using 50 percent GE corn.
Wild Berry Crisp, made by Peace Cereal, meanwhile tested positive for the harmful chemicals phosmet and captanin. Similarly, Mom’s Best Naturals Raisin Bran holds phosmet and malathion.
Several other brands tested positive for GE contamination, according to Cornucopia. These include Mother’s Bumpers, General Mills Kix, and Nutritious Living Hi-Lo.
You still have choices in steering clear of GMOs at breakfast, the Cornucopia Scorecard showed. Meeting California’s required GMO labeling requirements, the Nature’s Path brand of cereals seem to be a good choice, as do Two Moms In the Raw, Lydia’s Organics, Laughing Giraffe, and Kaia.