Cold cereals are a huge financial ripoff. Consider this: in a year when $9 million was made on Puffed Wheat, the rats tested on it lived for two weeks. Otherwise they got the same nutrient solution given the rats fed whole wheat, who lived over a year. The rats on the nutrient solution alone lived for eight weeks, while the rats on sugar lived for a month. All the groups got water. In another study, one group of rats got rat chow and scampered right along; another group got Corn Flakes, while a third group got the Corn Flakes box; they all got water, too. The box guys became lethargic and eventually died of malnutrition. The cornflakeschompers suffered schizophrenic behavior, threw fits, went into convulsions and suffered organ failures from insulin shock.1 Is the god of convenience worth this? Of course, we don't see such dire effects on humans because we eat a lot of other, more nourishing things. But if you were stranded on a desert island with only cornflakes to eat, you might die more peacefully on the boxes!
How could this happen? For starters, cold cereals are produced by very complex machinery. Generally hybridized cereal grains are reshaped in a "hundred ways" by an extruder, requiring very high temperatures and high pressure, then coated with inevitably refined oil and sweetener to add keeping quality and crunch. 'Nuf said?
Enter hot cereals. And not the instant types or oatmeal produced and cooked in "a hundred different ways! " Katherine Czapp, in Against the Grain, reminds us that: "Grains comprise a wholesome category of foods that must be respected for the complexity of nutrient contributions they can make to the human diet, and must always be prepared with care to maximize those nutrients' availability as well as neutralized naturally occuring antinutrients....Growing and preparing food ought to be a sacramental service."2
There are several ways to prepare hot cereals. Some are more nutritionally advantageous than others. And there is more to hot cereal than oatmeal! In addition to taking advantage of variety of grains, hot cereal can be enjoyed with a wide variety of interesting and additionally nutritious ingredients. The Build-A-Cereal chart is offered to assist you with using your creative imagination. We have so much more variety than most people throughout history or in most other cultures ever thought of. We have nothing to complain about!
1 Nourishing Traditions, 2001, pp. 462, 468. www.newtrendspublishing.com.
2 "Against the Grain-The Case for Rejecting or Respecting the Staff of Life" by Katherine Czapp, Wise Traditions, Summer 2006, pp. 16-28. http://www.westonaprice.org/moderndiseases/gluten-intolerance.html
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