Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Bread & Pancake Group?

Cereal is still the staple of my breakfast. Part of it is about convenience. I like pouring something into a bowl that takes no preparation and then taking a small untensil, similar in design and function to a shovel, and using it in exactly that manner to scoop the food into my mouth. Mostly, though, it’s the taste I like.

As you can guess, I’m not eating some kind of trail mix or high fiber cereal (do you remember the old Saturday Night Live commercial for Colon Blow?) or the cereal that has all sorts of benefits for my heart. I’m eating the kids’ stuff. I like Sugar Smacks and Froot Loops and what not. I like the sugary, sparkly, magical cereals.

My sons get to pick the boxes out, but, like most decisions I watch them make, I attempt to guide them towards my choice. That way, I get to enjoy the cereal under the guise that it is for the kids, not really for me. If I eat it, it’s just to help. Don’t want to waste food. Your average box of cereal only has a shelf life of seventy years, so somebody better finish it soon. Yep, that’s me, just doing my part for the environment by eating cereal. If I don’t eat it now, it’s just going to end up in a landfill, leaking preservatives into the soil.

Come to think of it, if all those preservatives preserve anything but cereal, I may end up with the lifespan of a vampire. Note to self: increase contributions to retirement fund.

This brings me to another point. Every cereal commercial shows the cereal in question as part of a “Nutritionally Balanced Breakfast.” Have you ever noticed what that includes? Pay attention next time and you’ll notice something. Glass of milk; check. Orange juice; check. Grapefruit; yuck, I mean, check. I’ll pause here. We have our dairy, our fruit, our grain from the cereal. I’m thinking there’s going to be some kind of protein next. Maybe something with peanut butter, or even a few sausage links to cover all the food groups.

No. There it is, right there next to the bowl of cereal that always seems only half full (or half empty? Did I just label myself an optimist?), an enormous stack of pancakes complete with butter on top. Every now and then, the pancakes will be toast instead, but, honestly, it’s mostly pancakes.

What exactly is the cereal bringing to the table?! If I’m eating a stack of pancakes, I’m most likely not going to feel like a bowl of cereal to go along with it. I mean, holy carbohydrates.

Anyway, while I know it’s better than eating nothing but bacon each morning, I certainly don’t eat the cereal for the nutritional benefits. This is another example, however, of products that are blatantly marketed to kids.

“Hey kids! Go tell your parents how awesome this cereal is! You heard the word nutrition, right? We said it, and if the word nutrition was said during this commercial, whatever we’re talking about must be good for you! We’re on TV! We don’t lie! Why are you still standing there? Go! You’re wasting valuable time watching this commercial while you could be stuffing this awesome cereal in your face instead! Go now! Go! Go! Nutrition! Gooooooo!!!”

I suppose I can’t complain. I let them eat the cereal that rots their tummies, play with the toys that they’ll shoot their eyes out with and smoke Camel cigarettes. What? Oh, come on, it’s a cartoon camel. That can’t be bad.

At least I can take solace in the fact that they are getting their daily recommended amount of riboflavin. These cereals are great sources of riboflavin.

Anyone know what the hell that does?

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