BHT: Cereal Killer

Cinnamon Toast Crunch will kill you. Fruity Dyno Bites won’t.

If you don’t believe me, ask my wife. That’s what she told me the last time I embarked on one of my favorite grocery store adventures: shopping for cereal.

Me: Let’s get some Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Rin: We’re not buying that anymore.

Me: Why not?

Rin: I will not knowingly give my babies carcinogens.

Most cereals, it seems, contain the additive BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene). And according to a TV report and Lance Armstrong’s website, if you consume BHT, you will get cancer and die.

I think that’s crap. I tried to reason with my wife with the following arguments:

  • You can’t believe everything you see on the news. (I was a reporter. I should know.)
  • You can’t live in fear of every new “scientific study.” (Scientists have been known to knowingly alter findings to keep that grant money coming in.)
  • I’ll take Lance Armstrong’s advice on putting bad things into yourt body the same day I start listening to Barry Bonds.

But to be a good father who does not knowingly inject carcinogens into his sons, I started to look for cereals that do NOT contain BHT. I picked up all my favorites — even the healthier options. Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Deadly. Cap’n Crunch. Deadly. Honey Bunches of Oats. Deadly.

Other deadly cereals: Cheerios, Shredded Wheat (and its miniature form), Froot Loops, Golden Grahams, …. and the list goes on.

Here’s one for you. A new favorite of mine called Life Cereal is actually deadly. Now that’s false advertising.

As it happens, Fruity Dyno Bites does not contain BHT. So I walked out with the biggest bag I could find. How’s that for irony?

If my wife can go to the media for her nutrition news, so can I. When Rin told me about BHT, I did the research and discovered that it’s a food preservative. That made me think of the following quote from one of America’s leading food preservative experts, Clark Griswold, possibly the inventer of BHT:

“Oh the Crunch enhancer?  Yeah it’s a non-nutritive cereal varnish.  It’s semi-permeable.  It’s not osmotic.  What it does is it coats and seals the flake, prevents the milk from penetrating it.”

Hear Clark in his own words.
As Clark’s coworker responds: “It’s a beautiful product.”

One last thing:

When I was a kid, my parents stocked three kinds of cereal: Grape Nuts, Corn Flakes, and Raisin Bran. Raisin Bran was the most common, and I learned to hate it. One of the reasons was because I once had a raisin walk away (but that’s another story). Another reason is that we had it all the time.

I guess my mom knew what she was doing. Raisin Bran is BHT free!


Categories: Hot Topic, Ric | Tags: , , ,

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