Friday, July 27, 2007

Cereal Challenge #1

In which I compare cereals bought at Whole Foods with "mainstream" cereals.

Contender #1 - "Peace Cereal" brand Mango Passion Low Fat Crisp.
Calories - 250 calories per 1-1/4 cup w/ 1/2 cup of skim milk (I use 1%)
Fat - 1.5 grams, no saturated or trans fat
Sugar - 11g
Vitamins - Small amounts of A, C, Calcium and Iron
Selling points - It's Vegan, 96% organic, and 10% of the profits are "donated to peace". According to the box, the company sponsors "International Peace Prayer Day" in New Mexico. A bearded and turbaned man named Yogi Bhajan is pictured on the box, inviting consumers to "join us as we make peace: peace with each other, peace with the land, and peace with ourselves".

Opponent - Cap'n Crunch's Crunch Berries
Calories - 140 per 3/4 cup with 1/2 cup skim milk. So, Approx. 207 calories per 1-1/4 cup
Fat - 1.5 grams (1g saturated)
Sugar - 12g
Vitamins - 25% Daily allowance of Iron, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, & Zinc. 100% Folic Acid.
Selling points - "Find Jean LaFoote in disguise online! You could win a cash prize!"

Suprisingly, the Cap'n Crunch is the clear winner for nutritional value, if you don't mind some dyes and artificial flavors.
Taste wise, the Mango Passion is very good. Flakes and oat clusters are flavorful but not overbearing, and the freeze dried mango pieces soften up nicely and retain quite a bit of mangoey flavor.

The overall winner - This is a tough call. If 10% of peace cereal's profits went to, say, education, that might easily push it over the edge for me, but I don't hold out a whole lot of hope for the effectiveness of "International Peace Prayer Day" (sorry Yogi Bhajan). Cap'n Crunch is the supposedly sugary cereal my parents never let me eat, but I've learned to guiltily love as an adult (but won't let my child eat) - seeing how it stacks up nutritionally to an "adult" cereal that I wouldn't think twice about eating, I will enjoy it a little less guiltily from now on. Overall though, I have to go with Mango Passion Low Fat Crisp. Good, unique, flavor (I can't think of any other mango cereal options out there), and hey it's vegan. mostly organic, and doesn't have a cartoon sea captain on the box.

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