Cheeri oh no’s!
Have you ever sat in front of a Cheerio… willing it to move with the power of your mind? If you watched the movie Matilda, you may have tried to imitate the scene where she discovers her ability to move objects by just focusing on them. Though most of us probably don’t possess that power, we do have the power to make decisions regarding our food choices.
The food industry giant, General Mills, has been making Cheerios since 1941. Over the years, it has maintained its status as a firm favourite in many Canadian homes. So what’s all the controversy lately regarding Cheerios causing cancer?
Have you heard the news about Glyphosates?
We received lots of comments in response to the article we recently shared discussing the dangers of foods containing glyphosates found in popular cereals. feel like you can’t feed your family anything these days.
- Rice has arsenic.
- Conventional meat is laden with antibiotics, hormones and other nasties.
- Artificial ingredients are hiding in packaged food and drinks.
But please don’t run the other direction. There are answers and better alternatives – which are all right here for you in this post.
First, let’s break it down to the basics.
What are Glyphosates?
The Environmental Working Group (EWG), an American Activist groups that aims to expose companies and the chemicals in the products that they produce, has come up with research that shows that trace amounts of a weed killer have been found in worrying levels in Cheerios.
This is not the first time that this particular weed killer, called Glyphosate, has received negative attention in the media. You may know it as the herbicide that was used in Roundup produced by the agricultural company Monsanto. It has been studied by the World Health Organization and reported to be a likely carcinogenic.
Not only does it have health risks but glyphosates also harm our environment! It has been known to decrease healthy pollination and harm our beloved honeybees (who are key players in the pollination process).
The Environmental Working Group has found glyphosate residue within 21 oat-based cereals at a level that is considered unsafe for children.
The top cereals affected which can be found in most households in North America are Cheerios and General Mill’s Nature Valley products. Yes, this includes their granola bars!
Here’s the extended list where glyphosates were found in popular cereals:
Oats are being sprayed down with Glyphosate which helps to dry out the crops and ease the process of harvesting. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of seeing companies cut corners to save money and not think about the risks they are imposing on consumers.
Do organic foods contain glyphosates?
Eating organic means you’re safe from all dangerous pesticides and chemicals right? Hmm…let’s rethink that one for a second.
When testing organic cereals, the EWG, found traces of glyphosates in some organic oats. These products included Bob’s Red Mill and Nature’s Path.
But how does glyphosate get into our organic crops when they aren’t even sprayed with it?
The wind can be a dangerous element, and carry any drifting residual glyphosate from neighboring fields that have been contaminated. Another possibility is cross-contamination between crops at the time of processing within the facility. That being said, this doesn’t mean that all organic products out there are covered with glyphosates. We simply wanted to make you aware of the potential risky products that can be found on the shelves.
What cereals are safe?
I know this can be a lot of information to digest but don’t worry, we won’t leave you hanging trying to figure out what to feed your children for breakfast.
Here are 4 top clean cereals and snacks that are considered safe to serve up first thing in the morning and that we are sure your kids will love!
1. Go Raw
Go Raw is a great company that provides amazing granola, bars, cookies, and crackers. Their products are made with totally plant-based proteins that are minimally processed with locally sourced ingredients. If you are looking for an allergen-free snack or breakfast Go Raw is great because they have many gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free options!
As for cereals, try their Apple Cinnamon Granola.
2. Barbara’s – Honest O’s
Barbara’s offers up a few great cereal options that we love! The Honest O’s and their Corn Flakes are among the top favorites. Totally organic, and GMO-Free. They are also Kosher and loaded with fiber.
3. Annie’s Homegrown
Looking to pack in some whole grains in the morning? Annie’s Homegrown has natural colouring and great flavours, so we feel fully comfortable serving them up to the little ones.
4. One Degree Organics
Cheerios is the go-to when it comes to donut shaped cereal, but there are better alternatives! One Degree is owned by a small family who has a big mission. Their non-hybridized oats are grown with pure plant-based cultivation. They are non-GMO, plus sprouted to magnify natural goodness and flavor. AND you can see where they source each of their ingredients right down to the salt!
Bonus: Lydia’s Kind Foods Cereal
Are you a fan of sprouted cereals? If yes then Lydia’s Kind Foods Cereal is a perfect choice. They are totally against GMO’s, refined sugars, hydrogenated oils and to top it all off they want to protect the environment by choosing packaging that will have a low environmental impact.
Before you buy…
Check out the Cornucopia Institute for a ranking of the best cereals in theirOrganic and Natural Cereal Scorecard. The are known for ranking brands based on seven criteria, including the organic status of the brand and company policy on dangerous chemicals like glyphosate.They have a Scorecard for everything including dairy, eggs, and snack bars.
Always check the packaging. Keywords to look for are GMO-Free and Organic. I always like to know where the product comes from. This gives me a good sense of the steps it went through to arrive at my table. The fewer steps a product had to take the better!
Look up the product’s website and search for any reviews. Get a sense of what others have experienced or learned themselves. There are so many great cereals out there and you might find more, simply by digging through a couple of websites. Or call the company directly.
At the end of the day, we as parents have to take the responsibility of making these difficult choices with the information that we have in front of us. There may be a lack of concrete evidence to determine whether Glyphosate really does cause cancer; nevertheless, it is still a herbicide and not an ingredient that humans should be consuming.
I hope this post provides you with more knowledge and power to make the best decisions for your family. If you have any questions, please reach out below.