Tag Archives: Kelloggs

Organic corn soon unavailable to you

organic-corn-flakesI was shopping the other day for organic corn flakes, thinking that of all the cereals, Dr. Kellogg’s first processed food breakfast would similarly be predominant among the organic breakfast cereal offerings. I found exactly none; neither at the supermarket, nor the health food store. I found plenty of organic bran, wheat, oat and Kashi –whatever that is, but nothing made of corn. Would you say that’s something to find curious, or alarming?

I became acutely reminded of a detail from a documentary I’d just seen, The Real Dirt on Farmer John. There’s a fleeting scene where farmer John Peterson is telling his Angelic Organics CSA customers (Community Supported Agriculture) about that year’s successful crop of corn. He’s enthusiastic, he explains, because a harvest of organic corn has become a very difficult accomplishment.

Does that give you pause, when you consider the prevalence of corn in the American diet? Before genetically modified corn, before High Fructose Corn, before Yellow Dent No. 2 which is so inedible it can be stored in piles outside (farmers used to build silos to store corn), and before corn became ethonol, corn was sweetcorn was corn.

From King Corn viewers learned about Monsanto and Cargill’s present stranglehold on the corn seed market, all of it GMO. And sporadically American farmers make the news for discovering that a neighbor’s GMO crops have overtaken theirs.

cornfield cargill nebraskaI had occasion this summer to drive through several corn-producing states. On the side of so many fields were logos designating which commercial seeds had been used. I scarcely remember a single field that did not have a sign. Some bore lot numbers, representing test samples.

Is it possible that organic corn production has begun coming up short?

Have organic corn crops become too expensive to supply the breakfast cereal makers? Organic corn flakes are still available online, manufactured by Barbara’s or Nature’s Path, but they are priced far above the average box of breakfast cereal.

Eventually all cream rises to the top. The best Bordeaux are only accessible to the super-rich, not simply because of price, but because the upscale marketers corner the supply. The same can be said of many food delicacies and nature products. Some woods for example, available for centuries to ordinary luthiers, have been purchased lock, stock and by the full forest growth, monopolized to supply only specialists. What we think of as ordinary corn may soon be available only to the affluent customer, who wouldn’t be caught dead feeding their children genetically modified foods.

Coming at this development from a completely diametric angle, Kellogg’s has decided it needs to protect its brand of conventional genetically modified corn flakes by laser-etching their logo across each one. Instead of suffering the stigma of accusations that its corn product is tainted, Kellogg’s wants its dupes to feel they’re getting value added with their balanced breakfast.

In fact, the laser process will toast the already toasted product just a little bit more, robbing it of further nutrition and resistance to carcinogens.

But the patented technology could be a welcome development. When FDA regulators decide to advocate for consumer health, as perhaps a universal health care system might mandate it, if the national diabetes or allergy epidemics don’t force the issue, the FDA can decide to make the food giants mark all their GMO products with a laser brand. Wouldn’t that restore the original meaning to the concept we know as “branding?”

UPDATE:
I had the usual Organic Corn Chips on my shopping list, but that product is gone too, both white and yellow corn varieties.

HFCS is first ingredient in Nutri-Grain Bar -also second, fourth, fifth and ninth

kelloggs-nutri-grain.jpg
Passing a prominent end cap in the Supermarket today and I noticed: the first ingredient of Kellogg’s NUTRI-GRAIN Breakfast Bar is HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP. (Colorado has a law criminalizing disparaging remarks about food, so I have to say no more.) Except to add, HFCS is also ingredient two and four of the Nutri; and five and nine of the Grain.

Yum! Is corn the first thing that comes to mind when you think fruit and wheat? Or the 2nd, 4th, 5th and 9th? The big-agra commercials would have us ask, what’s wrong with that, it’s corn. Well, an inedible corn, also used as a gasoline additive. Corn is to HFCS what babies are to baby oil.

It’s not what Kelloggs would have you believe, in fact there is no nutritional information offered at nutrigrain.com. But other websites concerned with nutrition make note that Nutri-grain bars are neither.

Have a look at the ingredients label. I’ve highlighted the HFCS where they didn’t

INGREDIENTS:
Filling (high fructose corn syrup, strawberry preserves [high fructose corn syrup, strawberry puree], glycerin, blueberry preserves [high fructose corn syrup, blueberry puree concentrate, water], fructose, water, maltodextrin, modified corn starch, natural and artificial blueberry and strawberry flavors, citric acid, sodium alginate, calcium phosphate, xanthan gum, soy lecithin, malic acid, red #40 lake, blue #1),
enriched wheat flour, sugar, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, whole oats, high fructose corn syrup, honey, corn cereal (milled corn, liquid sugar, high fructose corn syrup, salt, malt flavoring, calcium pantothenate), calcium carbonate, dextrose, nonfat dry milk, salt, cellulose gum, leavening (potassium bicarbonate), natural and artificial vanilla flavor, soy lecithin, wheat gluten, potassium carrageenan, modified wheat starch, guar gum, molasses, niacinamide, zinc oxide, reduced iron, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin A palmitate, thiamin hydrochloride (vitamin B1), annatto color and folic acid.

Does Dope Fiend Michael Phelps stand alone?

Do you think Michael Phelps should be suspended, and lose commercial endorsements, because a photograph surfaces of America’s winningest Olympic athlete with America’s most unfairly maligned recreational drug?

How antiseptic can corporate media expect to paint its role models? TV land can use cosmetics, hairspray and vivid primary colors to shut out the real world, but indignation about the image of a marijuana bong repudiates plenty of very ordinary sensibilities. It demonizes a broad cultural element that has been leading the charge, actually, against this nation’s disastrous “War on Drugs.”

Do we allow these intolerant, no doubt hypocritical, prudes to marginalize pot smokers? I’m just dumb enough to think it’s time to flood the web with our own bong snapshots!

Next the klieg-lit culture makers are going to insist their washed out features are natural and that it’s an aberration to have freckles.