November 16, 2011

Natural Foodie: For cereal, natural may not be as natural as you think

By Avery Yale Kamila
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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The "Cereal Crimes" report from the Cornucopia Institute calls attention to cereal marketing techniques that promote "natural," a meaningless marketing term, at the expense of certified organic.

Courtesy photos

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Maine-based Grandy Oats is praised in the "Cereal Crimes" report for its unwavering commitment to organic ingredients and its cost, which is lower than non-organic granola competitors.

Kashi spokesperson Jeff Johnson said the company, which is owned by Kellogg, is beginning to test its products for GMO ingredients.

"We are taking a phased approach and will share updates as our foods are verified through our product pages on," Johnson said in an email statement.

Whole Foods Market stopped making its non-organic corn flakes in June.

"Because it is Whole Foods Market's preference to source organic grocery products, the conventional product was discontinued and replaced with organic cereal," spokesperson Heather McCready said in a statement.

The only way to guarantee that a product is free from genetically modifed ingredients is to buy certified organic.

Shoppers are apparently changing their buying habits in reaction to the report.

"We've gotten a tremendous amount of emails from consumers who said they've trusted these companies and are really disturbed" by the report, said Mark Kastel, co-founder of the Cornucopia Institute.

Those who have emailed the organization have said they will now only buy organic cereals. In addition, Kastel said he's heard from some of the companies mentioned in the report that said they plan to "respond in some way."

"When a company intentionally misleads people consumers really feel betrayed," Kastel said.

On the flipside, when a company sticks to values shared by shoppers, the results show up in the bottom line.

Case in point: Grandy Oats' Anker reports that the company is on track to grow 20 percent this year.

Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at:

Twitter: AveryYaleKamila


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