Okay, it’s time to take on one of the Biggee guys in the food industry. The latest commercials and ads promote General Mills’ latest concoction in the cereal breakfast genre, “Cheerios Protien”. Having received a couple of coupons, I had Wife Patti buy some to try. After all, trusted good-old Cheerios are pretty tasty and not overloaded with unhealthy stuff. I mean, come on, Cheerios are heart-healthy according to all the ads.
The latest addition to the expanding line of Cheerios is Cheerios Protein Cinnamon Almond and Cheerios Protein Oats & Honey. MMMM, my mouth is watering.
Without reading the labels first, I thought the stuff tasted pretty good, but then, something caught my eye on the front of the box. All those healthy little boxed nutrition attributes of calories, sugar content, etc. The alarming line above those “healthy eating” boxes was the notification …“per 1 1/4 cup serving”.
Wait a minute. Does that mean one and a quarter cup serving? or just one, 1/4 cup serving? Knowing how the Bigee guys work, I turned to the side of the box where the government requires the Nutrition facts be posted in plain truth. It was no clearer on the side panel, but the new cereals contain 16/17 grams of sugar, 220/210 calories per 1 1/4 cup, and 40/42 carbs per 1 1/4 cup of cereal. Oh, that added protein? You must add 1/2 cup of skim milk to the 1 1/4 cup of cereal to get the added protein. Upon learning the truth behind the box of quasi-goodness, I got rid of both boxes. Just as a comparison, the good old ordinary Cheerios has 1 gram of sugar, 100 calories and 3 grams of protein with a 1/2 cup of skim milk. All this in a full cup of regular Cheerios.
Okay, so I called General Mills and got this guy named ‘Jake’ on the line. I told him who I was and how displeased I was with General Mills and their new products – and that this editorial would appear.
Jake said the 1 space 1/4 thing is perhaps misleading and the new cereals require a full one-and-a-quarter serving with a 1/2 cup of skim milk. In other words you need to eat a 1/4 cup more for a good share of the added protein. I then pointed out that the calorie and fat contents differ from a 1/2 cup of skim milk on regular Cheerios and the new stuff. I was told maybe something had changed (?????) in the fat content and calories of skim milk??! or perhaps the Company was “rounding to the nearest 10 calories”. (?)
In any case, General Mills was going to send me some coupons. “That is not why I called,” I asserted. Really doesn’t matter, I was doomed to get some coupons. I fully expect some normally unnamed person in the lower hierarchy of General Mills will send me some letter trying to explain the healthy benefits of highly sugared cereals in today’s culture.
Lesson to be learned? Corporate greed and sales means fatter, less healthy Cheerios devotees. The added protein is a bunch of crap. So much for that General Mills statement…“Our mission is nourishing lives®”. My plea to those buyers of food, read the labels.
I also called about the new Hershey’s pudding to yet another food conglomerate. I figured with the Hershey’s name it had to be chocolaty good, it wasn’t. It tasted like pure sugar with hardly a hint of chocolate and was way too thick to eat. Without saying a word, both Wife Patti and daughter-in-law Christy tasted and concurred the stuff was terrible. In the end I got the run around and you guessed it, more coupons.