Nancy Drew here.
You might recall that I’m pretty famous for solving mysteries. I’ve got a baffling, whodunit on my hands and have been doing some investigating. Now I need your help in solving the case.
Would you consider the following ingredients to be wholesome?
So there’s no confusion, here’s a good description of what the word wholesome means, straight from The New Oxford American Dictionary. Word for word.
Wholesome – conducive to or suggestive of good health and physical well-being: the food is plentiful and very wholesome. (New Oxford American Dictionary.)
Here’s the list.
INGREDIENTS: RICE, SUGAR, HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL (COCONUT AND PALM KERNEL OIL), SALT, CONTAINS LESS THAN 5% OF NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, RED 40, YELLOW 6, TURMERIC OLEORESIN (COLOR), BLUE 1, YELLOW 5, BLUE 2, BHA (TO HELP PROTECT FLAVOR).
By the way, I’m not trying to make a point with that capital-letter-yelling-thing. It was capitalized on the box, so I figured I better honor the formatting of the document. I want to be objective (okay, that’s probably impossible) and fair (hopefully). The “fair” part is important in getting honest answers, especially when you’re a famous detective. Not to mention a cute, cultural icon.
Does that list represent wholesome? I’m wondering because right next to the list of ingredients on the website’s nutrition information is the declaration that this is a “wholesome, sweetened, rice cereal.” They even advertise it as wholesome in CAPITAL letters on the front of the cereal box. Right next to (you guessed it, in all caps) “excellent source of vitamin D.” I’m not going to go into depth about the vitamins added because I don’t know enough about vitamin A palmitate or the vitamin D they added. Vitamin A palmitate is the synthetic form of vitamin A and although I did find some potentially negative side effects associated with it, I don’t have enough information to comment on it. Having said that, I’ve always felt that it’s much better to get your nutrients from fresh, whole (preferably organic) foods, which are honestly WHOLESOME.
Back to that word as it relates to the advertising of this cereal.
Are you SERIOUS? (that was yelling.)
By what standards? This is a giant leap if I’ve ever seen one. It doesn’t take a detective to figure this one out.
I took these photos, but didn’t paste those styrofoam-ish, neon-colored, perfume-smelling, creepy-crawly things onto the side of the bowl. They struck out on their own. Wonder if they were trying to escape the organic milk?
Okay, bottom line?
This is awful. It breaks my heart to think little kids are being fed this stuff then sent off to school and forced to sit still and attempt to learn. Kids with food intolerances are more likely to suffer from ADD-like symptoms. Factor in dyes, additives, chemicals and sugar and they are at such a disadvantage. It’s sad. The ingredients in this box are not nourishing building blocks for growing children. I’ve often thought the gluten-free community was lucky NOT to have all these low-grade, processed food choices. It took some time, but the Standard American Diet (SAD) is making its way into the gluten-free community. In my mind, that’s not something to celebrate.
Okay, enough ranting. Looking on the bright side, this gives us more reason to learn, become aware and equip ourselves with the knowledge we need to make smart choices.
My conclusion? This cereal is about as far from WHOLESOME as you can get. Marketing this stuff to kids with brightly colored boxes, cartoon characters, games and toys is beyond icky. But we do have free choice. We can think for ourselves.
Don’t buy it. Don’t eat food that looks like dried out crayon shavings. You’re the boss of your food. Period.
Oh, I almost forgot about my original question. So, what do you think? Wholesome or not?
Peace, love and well-nourished kids!
P.S. Don’t eat cereal that dyes your milk lavender and lime green.