Thursday, September 2, 2010

What's for Breakfast: Kashi

By Ed Bruske
aka The Slow Cook

In the past, you were much more likely to see Kellogg's Apple Jacks or Chocolate Frosted Mini-Wheats served for breakfast in D.C. Public Schools. Those cereals are loaded with sugar. usually in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. Kellogg paid Chartwells, the school system's hired food services management company, a hefty rebate to help imprint those brands in the minds of D.C. school kids.

Parents complained about the sugar and the rebates. Now we are seeing a different kind of breakfast service. School officials decided to ditch the chocolate and strawberry milk, and limit cereals to six grams of sugar or less. One morning it's Kix from General Mills with four grams of sugar--less than half the sugar in Apple Jacks. On this particular morning, the choice was Heart to Heart Honey Roasted Oat Cereal from Kashi. This cereal has five grams of sugar in a 1-ounce serving.

Kahsi is supposed to be health food, but not all Kashi cereals are low in sugar. In fact, Kashi is now just another brand of Kellogg, having been purchased by the cereal giant 10 years ago for an undisclosed price. Owner and co-founder Phillip Tauber said at the time that he and his wife chose Kellogg because they hoped to advance the Kashi mission.

“The real issues for us have always been to have as many people in the world educated about minimally processed foods, so it’s ironic that we are winding up part of a Fortune 200 company. But as time changes, so do circumstances, and we had limited resources to reach the large demographic we wanted to reach,” Tauber said. “We pursued a relationship with Kellogg because it was very, very sincere about being part of the natural foods category.”

Kellogg said "the acquisition of Kashi gives us leadership in the ready-to-eat cereal category," and would help boost its flagging sales growth.

According to the package label, this particular Kashi cereal---Heart to Heart Honey Roasted Oat--contains the following:
"Whole oat flour, evaporated can juice syrup, oat bran, yellow corn meal, corn flour, Kashi seven whole grain flour (whole oats, hard red wheat, rye, brown rice, triticale, barley, buckwheat), oat fiber, wheat germ, honey, salt, caramel color, expeller pressed canola oil, decaffeinated green tea extract, natural flavor, decaffeinated white tea extract, alpha tocopherol acetate (Vitamin E), sodium bicarbonate, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), Activin, grape seed extract, beta carotene (source of Vitamin A), folic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), ferrous fumarate, zinc oxide, Vitamin B12.

1 comment:

  1. I recently (this week) was checking out the school lunch and was pleasantly surprised to see fresh vegetables and humus being offered. From your perspective, have you seen a general improvement, i.e., to the extent where you would want to give your kids the school lunch? Just wondering.