Friday, July 21, 2006

Fruity Whole Grain Goodness

I've got breakfast cereal on the brain. Part of it is the last post (in which I mentioned Boo Berry cereal) and part of it has to do with some articles I've recently read regarding the stuff. Whatever the case, I'm intrigued enough about it to write the thoroughly detailed analysis which is to follow.

Before we actually delve into breakfast cereal specifics however, I'd like to attempt to blow the lid off of a certain truth that really shouldn't be a truth. I have been telling people for years that the idea that "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" is largely bullshit, yet no one has believed me. Granted, whenever I make the argument for the statement being false, I almost never bring any evidence to back it up, so I usually have to resort to powerful testimony such as, "Umm... I read it somewhere." Not exactly the type of statement you want to arm yourself with when entering a heated debate.

Well, naysayers say 'nay' no more! I (finally) bear documentation supporting my claims. The following excerpt comes from the outstanding folks at the Bathroom Readers Institute, specifically their publication Uncle John's Sixth Bathroom Reader - a reliable and trustworthy source if ever there was one. Take note:

(Excerpt from the "Myth-Conceptions" entry on Page 66)

"Breakfast: Most Important Meal Of The Day

The idea that something dreadful will befall us unless we eat in the morning owes much of its popularity to the frequently cited (but rarely read)
Iowa Studies, most of which were published in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Blow the dust off them and you'll get a good lesson in how not to conduct research. First, the major measure of performance, referred to as 'maximum work rate,' was how hard people pedaled a bicycle - not a terribly relevant skill in most workplaces and classrooms. Second, each study was conducted with only six to ten subjects. Third, all of the experiments were funded by the Cereal Institute, a group that just possibly could have benefited from positive findings."

Admittedly, they don't actually prove that breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. However, they do point out that many of the reasons we have for thinking that it is are based on poorly conducted research. Eat that doubting Thomases. Now that that's settled, we shall move on to more pressing matters.

Breakfast has recently made a resurgence in my life after about a three year hiatus. It has come, as you might have guessed, in the from of cereal, specifically Whole Foods organic 5-grain cereal with soy and Trader Joe's organic fat free milk. I know. Even I'm astounded. There are two reasons for the health food. Reason# 1: That's what rubs off on you when your roommate of 3 1/2 years is a progressive vegan whose diet consists of lots and lots of organic locally farmed foods and produce. Reason #2) After years of not eating breakfast, the lunchtime stomach growls got just loud enough to be embarrassing. I had thought about going back to Golden Grahams, Honey Nut Cheerios', or my boyhood favorite, Cap'n Crunch, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. Every time I reached for such a sugar coated delight on the shelf I could hear my father saying, "Eric, how can you stomach that stuff? That's like eating candy for breakfast." You know what? He was right. When companies like Nestles enter the breakfast cereal market and many breakfast cereal servings contain the same amount of fat as a bacon roll (although, picture aside, I'm still not quite sure what a bacon roll is), it might be a good idea to watch what you eat.

And so, each morning I grudgingly turn hippie and eat my natural diarrhetic, muesli-filled, healthy smealthy breakfast cereal, making sure to do so before showering or applying anti-perspirant to complete the effect. But, I haven't forgotten those halcyon days of high fructose corn syrup and milk. Nothing was better than bouncing off the walls after a bowl of Trix followed by Saturday morning cartoons... Actually, scratch that. Lots of things were better. The regular post-sugar high feelings had to have been among the more unpleasant of my childhood, but alas, I became a slave to my own addictions and good marketing.

To that end, I present you with some breakfast cereal links which are good for nostalgic remember-whens if nothing else (just please don't ask why. I've sat here for a good half hour trying to figure out why I'm writing a post about breakfast cereals, not to mention a way to end it. )

Boing-Boings little write-up on Roger Bradfield - a great artist who designed many a cereal box back in the day. Note the, dare I say it, class in which his artistry presents the product in question, unlike the ritalin inspired, halfwit, hyper-fest box designs of today. Honestly, it's a wonder half the parents purchasing this don't go into epileptic shock upon seeing it.

Because you just can't get enough Trix, a commercial from 1964. There is no way such a commercial would ever be allowed to air today. There just isn't. The uproar would be well... uproarious. Still, it's not without its charm.

Topher's Breakfast Cereal Character Guide
- Not only does this guy refer to himself as Topher - no small feat - but he's compiled one of the most complete guides of breakfast cereal characters I've ever seen. Great memories. Here's to you, Topher.

And lastly... well, this is why I love Wikipedia. Because it's an online resource "for the people, by the people" it can be a great source of information when you're in dire need. But, every once in a while some smartass (or U.S. congressman) decides to edit the factual information and create something completely false, and often times quite funny. Behold the biography of Count Chocula - an excerpt of which follows:

By twenty-four, he appeared in his first "barrelled cereal" endorsement, as the Choukula family debuted "Ernst Choukula's Golden Wheat Muesli", a packaged mix that was intended for horses, mules, and the hospital ridden. Belarussian immigrant silo-tenders started cutting the product with vodka, creating a crude mush-paste they called "gruhll" or "gruell," and would eat the concoction each morning before work.

Enjoy folks, and don't forget - Murky Words and toast are part of this complete breakfast. Toodles.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


7:30 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Woah indeed. Great find anonymous. Unfortunately, it looks as if they've forgotten their pals Yummy Mummy and Fruit Brute. Major oversight on their part if you ask me.

And speaking of Wikipedia - The Onion has just published this little gem.

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This thing is out of date... I am moving on!

5:58 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Curb your tongue, you anonymous coward. I was on vacation. New post coming soon. Maybe even tomorrow... so hush up.

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As soon as you mentioned breakfast cereal I immediately thought "I bet he's gonna mention Trix" and fond memories of you singing the jingle when we were little surfaced. Poor little brainwashed Eric. :)

10:07 AM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

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