Times Have Changed
Growing up as a kid my parents rarely allowed us to have sugary cereals. I resented that for a long time as a kid but as I grew up and especially now, I really appreciate being raised that way. On those occasions when we did have a sugary cereal it was always Honey Nut Cheerios. I sure did love that cereal and anytime we were lucky enough to get a box it never lasted long.
Sugar Is Not The Only Culprit
While it would seem to contain less sugar than some of the other sugary cereals out there, it's not by much. Coming in at 9g/serving it turns out it's not a lot better than Frosted Flakes (11g/serving) or Cinnamon Toast Crunch (10g/serving). But here's the thing. Back in the late 70's / early 80's when I grew up we didn't have these things called GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). The main thing my parents were trying to avoid for us kids was a high sugar content and artificial colors and flavors.
GMOs Are Everywhere
Today along with a heavy dose of sugar you get a nice serving of GMOs with your breakfast. GMO foods have become predominant in America. In a box of Honey Nut Cheerios alone there's a 90% chance you will find GMO corn, GMO sugar beets, and GMO soy. Let's take a look at the ingredients: Whole Grain Oats, Sugar, Oat Bran, Modified Corn Starch, Honey, Brown Sugar Syrup, Salt, Ground Almonds, Calcium Carbonate, Trisodium Phosphate, Wheat Flour, Vitamin E, Zinc, Iron, Vitamin C, Niacinamide, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B1, Vitamin A Palmitate, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D). Ingredients in Bold are potentially GMOs.
Let's start with sugar. More than half of sugar in the US is made from sugar beets of which 90% are GMO. Modified Corn Starch and Vitamin C are derived from corn of which 90% is GMO. Vitamin E is usually derived from soy of which 93% is GMO. Vitamins A, B2, B6, B12, D, and E are derived from GMO sources such as corn and soy. And most honey sold today does not contain pollen to hide its source which is mainly from China and I'm pretty sure General Mills doesn't buy their honey from a local farmers market.
So keep this in mind the next time you're tempted to buy your kids a sugary cereal, even one as innocent sounding as Honey Nut Cheerios. Instead go with an organic cereal and buy some honey or maple syrup from a local farmers market to give your children their sweet fix.