In essence – toxic grains.
A typical American breakfast consists of a bowl of cold cereal, which is made by a process called extrusion.
An extruder is an industrial machine that uses high temperatures and pressures to create a variety of shapes such as little flakes, O’s, and shredded grains for shredded wheat or Triscuits. Extrusion is also used to create puffed rice cereal, and rice cakes, neither of which we recommend. According to Sally Fallon Morell, in her article Be Kind To Your Grains … and Your Grains Will Be Kind To You: “Extrusion represents extreme cruelty to our grains.”
The Weston A. Price Foundation asserts that the cereal industry has convinced the United States Food and Drug Administration that extruded grains are no different from non-extruded grains and has contrived to ensure that no studies have been published on the effects of extruded foods on either humans or animals. However, two unpublished animal studies indicate that extruded grains are toxic, particularly to the nervous system.
Studies Show Extruded Cereal is Toxic
Paul Stitt described one in his book Fighting the Food Giants. Stitt worked for a cereal company and found this study locked in a file cabinet.
Four sets of rats were given special diets. One group received plain whole wheat, water, vitamins and minerals. Another group received Puffed Wheat, water and the same nutrient solution. A third set was given water and white sugar, and a fourth given nothing but water and the chemical nutrients. The rats that received the whole wheat lived over a year on the diet. The rats that got nothing but water and vitamins lived for about eight weeks,and the animals on a white sugar and water diet lived for a month. But [the company’s] own laboratory study showed that rats given vitamins, water and all the Puffed Wheat they wanted died in two weeks. It wasn’t a matter of the rats dying of malnutrition; results like these suggested that there was something actually toxic about the Puffed Wheat itself. Proteins are very similar to certain toxins in molecular structure, and the puffing process of putting the grain under 1,500 pounds per square inch of pressure and then releasing it may produce chemical changes which turn a nutritious grain into a poisonous substance.
The other study, described in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell and Mary Enig, was performed in 1960 by researchers at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Eighteen rats were divided into three groups. One group received cornflakes and water; a second group was given the cardboard box that the cornflakes came in and water; and the control group received rat chow and water. The rats in the control group remained in good health throughout the experiment. The rats receiving the box became lethargic and eventually died of malnutrition. But the rats receiving cornflakes and water died before the rats that were given the box – the last cornflake rat died on the day the first box rat died. Before death the cornflake rats developed schizophrenic behavior, threw fits, bit each other and finally went into convulsions. Autopsy revealed dysfunction of the pancreas, liver and kidneys and degeneration of the nerves in the spine – all signs of “insulin shock.” The startling conclusion of this study is that there is more nourishment in the box that cold breakfast cereals come in than in the cereals themselves.
There is one published study which looked at the process of extrusion on the proteins in grains [Cereal Chemistry. American Association of Cereal Chemists. Mar/Apr 1998 V 75 (2) 217-221]. The study looked at zeins—grain protein — which are located in spherical organelles called protein bodies, found in corn. The researchers found that during extrusion, the protein bodies are completely disrupted and the zeins dispersed. The results suggest that the zeins in cornflakes are not confined to rigid protein bodies but can interact with each other and other components of the system, forming new compounds that are foreign to the human body. The extrusion process breaks down the organelles and disperses the proteins, which then become toxic. When the proteins are disrupted in this way, they can adversely affect the nervous system, as indicated by the cornflake experiment.
Millions of children begin their day with a bowl of extruded breakfast cereal. Do the toxic protein fragments in these cereals explain why so many of our children cannot concentrate at school?
What about organic cereals?
Organic cereals sold typically at health food stores are made by the same process, and often in the same factories, as the cereals sold at the supermarket. These cereals are made with organic grains. Organic grains contain more protein than non-organic grains, which means that these health food store cereals probably contain more toxic protein fragments than supermarket cereals.
So our message – avoid all extruded cold breakfast cereal.
We recommend real food, traditionally prepared. Cold breakfast cereals, organic or otherwise, are an industrially produced food product.
Read more from the Weston A. Price Foundation’s article Dirty Secrets of the Food Processing Industry.
Healthy Breakfast Recommendations
- Old-fashioned oatmeal with butter or cream and a natural sweetener
- Scrambled eggs. preferably soy and corn free from hens on pasture … and sautéed potatoes
- Fried egg with bacon and whole-grain sourdough toast. Read more about our bacon recommendations.
- Smoothie made with whole yogurt, and/or raw milk, fruit and egg yolks
- Sourdough whole-grain toast with raw or cultured butter and raw cheese
- Homemade cereal
Learn more in the following discussions on Facebook:
- Facebook post that includes comments of interest
- Another Facebook post that includes comments of interest
32 Responses to What’s really in the cereal bowl?
Here’s what I had for breakfast today: http://www.dyalaskitchenjournals.blogspot.com/2014/09/breakfast-for-two.html?m=1
Thank you so much for keeping tabs on (and FEEDING!) our family while we were gone. The quiche was terrific as well… Thought you might be interested in knowing why I don’t buy cereal… HUGS!
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, Colossians 1:15 NLT
soli Deo gloria !! Carrie
I often have eggs for breakfast, as well as yogurt with fruit and shredded coconut. I also enjoy raw milk smoothies, raw cheese and apples, and sometimes even leftovers from dinner!
I am always looking for healthy, interesting ideas for breakfast. I have an abundance of cucumber in my garden and this morning I brought in a bucket full of too-large-to-pickle cukes. I decided to make a sandwich, so I cut the cuke in half lengthwise and scooped out the middle to make room for the filling. I mixed a can of salmon with some homemade mayonnaise and plopped it in the center of each half of cucumber and ate it open-faced. I think this would be equally tasty with grated cheese and mayo, or sliced meat from supper the night before.
My family’s favorite breakfasts are sausage egg “mcmuffins” and coconut pancakes. Both are out of this world, and grain free and healthful! http://nomnompaleo.com/post/53107778638/paleo-sausage-egg-mcmuffin
http://paleomg.com/lemon-raspberry-pancakes/ (I usually skip the lemon raspberry part and just add in blueberries or whatever berry we have on hand)
Bacon with cream or milk, homemade waffles, omelets, anything we would eat for dinner…or homemade ice cream made with lots of raw egg yolks and grass fed cream.
Many people choose cereal for a quick and easy breakfast. It is important to choose a cereal that contains a high nutrient content with a low sugar and fat content! Thank you for your informative post! Must share this! :)
[…] What’s really in the cereal bowl? | Nourishing Our Children – … by Sally Fallon Morell and Mary Enig, was performed in 1960 by researchers at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Eighteen rats were divided into three … which means that these health food store cereals probably contain more toxic protein fragments than supermarket … […]
Seems to me that if you’re going to spread “information” like this and you want to be taken seriously, you ought to at least reference some actual research, instead of “unpublished studies” supposedly found in a file cabinet.
Jason, I personally don’t need any studies to know that commercially produced boxed cereals is an industrially produced food product, not a food. It didn’t exist before the industrialization of food. We recommend that one eat food that rots, but to eat it before it rots. Extruded breakfast cereal will not rot.
Absolute nonsense. Cereal – however it’s produced – will, like virtually any other plant-derived material, rot if given the correct conditions. Namely moisture and exposure to the elements.
Anyone who composts (like me) can tell you that dried-out organic matter – even grass clippings and leaves – won’t rot if kept dry. Give it a try this fall with some dry leaves – put ’em in an open container and leave them in the garage for a year or two. They’ll be quite whole come spring.
Yes, I agree. Given the right conditions but, it may rot but, nonethelss this simply isn’t the kind of food we recommend. It is a food product. You are clearly free to make your own choice as to whether or not you’d like to eat it.
There is one published study which looked at the process of extrusion on the proteins in grains (Cereal Chemistry. American Association of Cereal Chemists. Mar/Apr 1998 V 75 (2) 217-221). The study looked at zeins—grain protein — which are located in spherical organelles called protein bodies, found in corn. The researchers found that during extrusion, the protein bodies are completely disrupted and the zeins dispersed. The results suggest that the zeins in cornflakes are not confined to rigid protein bodies but can interact with each other and other components of the system, forming new compounds that are foreign to the human body. The extrusion process breaks down the organelles and disperses the proteins, which then become toxic. When the proteins are disrupted in this way, they can adversely affect the nervous system, as indicated by the cornflake experiment.
Beyond our concerns about extrusion, we would not recommend the preservatives, sugar, and synthetic vitamins found in industrially produced cereals. Not what we would describe as real food:
Even CHEERIOS are bad? I was under the impression that cheerios are the only healthy cereal out there. Please reply back. My 4yr old loves Cheerios and he eats almost everyday as a snack. Need your feedback.
Thanks in advance:)
We most definitely don’t recommend Cheerios. If it was me, I would discontinue.
here is the food diary of my 4.5 year old daughter for a week, which includes breakfasts http://nextbreakfast.com/one-young-ladys-food-diary/
Reblogged this on Paleo and Polkadots and commented:
Wow, I knew cereals were bad and hideously processed, but if these studies quoted have any merit and are actually true, to think that I’m likely to live longer by eating the cardboard box rather than the cereal is a terrifying prospect! Glad I gave up breakfast cereals a long time ago now. What do you all think – does it make you more likely to think about changing your breakfast routine, or are you happy to keep doing what you’re doing?
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Thanks so much for this. I quit cereal, even though I loved it. I feel it a challenge to have to cook breakfast most days. Sadly, the family still eats a lot of cereal. Its so hard to change teenagers and adults. I was glad to learn about the rat experiment to share with them. Thanks for all your hard work. Blessings!
[…] While doing some reach on conventional cereals I came across an article that talked about a study that showed rats that ate the cereal box lived longer than those who ate the actual cereal! YIKES!! I’m not making this up, read for yourself! READ MORE HERE ==> https://nourishingourchildren.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/whats-really-in-the-cereal-bowl/ […]
[…] In addition, the proteins in extruded grains are fundamentally altered, leaving a product that may be toxic. According to “Dirty Secrets of the Food Processing Industry,” two known but unpublished experiments exist testing breakfast cereal on lab rats exist; in both studies, the rats eating breakfast cereal and water died before rats that were either not fed at all or fed the cardboard cereal box and water. One published study showed that these rogue proteins could interact with “each other and other com….” […]
[…] me it is just comforting, and familiar. I gave up boxed cereals years ago when I learned that the extrusion process that the grains go through literally make the grains toxic and void of any nutrient value (yes even organic boxed […]
[…] This process essentially removes the nutritional value from the cereal. Research reported by this blogger suggests that the cardboard box the cereal comes in is better for you than the […]
[…] Paul Stitt, the author of Fighting the Food Giants, mentions in his study that extrusion processes eliminate most of the nutrients in the grains. Moreover, the process of extrusion may convert healthy wheat into a toxic substance. More information on studies done on this (link). https://nourishingourchildren.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/whats-really-in-the-cereal-bowl/ […]
[…] Paul Stitt, the author of Fighting the Food Giants, mentions in his study that extrusion processes eliminate most of the nutrients in the grains. Moreover, the process of extrusion may convert healthy wheat into a toxic substance. More information on studies done on this here […]
[…] tract and nervous system of test animals. Read more about the concerns we have about breakfast cereals. We also recommend Fighting the Food Giants by Paul […]
Hello! Thanks for this wealth of information. Our family was disgruntled by unhealthy cereal and sought other alternatives. We eventually began making our own sourdough and gluten-free cereal by dehydration. The result was wonderful so we shared out of our bounty. Just this year, we decided to try selling it and offering others out there a healthy alternative. Would love to share a sample with you if you are interested. : )
[…] some of you know, we don’t recommend extruded breakfast cereals. Sally Fallon Morell and Mary Enig published this homemade breakfast cereal recipe in their book […]
[…] that children aren’t interested in eating more than pizza and mac’n’cheese, and cereal. Mealtime is just easier giving them what they will eat. The reality is that our choices matter. […]
[…] Cereal […]
[…] she doesn’t want to go the “mainstream” route of baby cereals as a first food after reading they can be toxic to […]
In 2018 glyphosate (Roundup) is a concern in ALL grains and sometimes other plant foods. So notice where your grains were grown and how the land was treated before planting or even after harvest. Glyphosate is sometimes applied to kill weeds before re-planting.