perm filename GRANOL[S,TES] blob sn#009965
filedate 1972-10-03 generic text, type T, neo UTF8
00100 3 October 1972
00300 Co-Op News
00500 Dear Editors:
00700 In the "Crunchy Payola" article (August 7 NEWS), Co-Op Home
00800 Economist Helen Black reports thet granola and other cold cereals are
00900 nutritionally equal, and that the major ingredients in granolas are
01000 rolled oats and brown sugar. I wish to challenge the accuracy of
01100 these statements.
01300 Every brand of "granola" has a unique recipe, so
01400 generalization is impossible. Of course, the principal ingredient is
01500 usually rolled oats. It is far from true that the next most
01600 predominant ingredient is brown sugar; in fact, many brands contain
01700 no sugar at all. They are made with honey, and honey is not second
01800 but further down on the ingredients list. For example, the
01900 ingredients of the first package I looked at ("Sheepherder Brand
02000 Honey Almond Granola") were:
02200 Rolled oats, wheat, brown rice, rye, barley,
02300 millet, corn, honey, almonds, soy oil,
02400 wheat germ, coconut, pure vanilla.
02600 Even some brands carried by Co-op contain no sugar, e.g., "Crunchy
02700 Brand Honey Almond Granola" and "Lassen Brand Honey Almond Crunch".
02900 Although biochemists have not yet determined what makes honey
03000 a healthful food, the experience of millions of people for thousands
03100 of years certainly suggests that it is so. Only a charlatan
03200 scientist would suggest that current science is omniscient about food
03300 values. Refined sugar has recently been connected by researchers in
03400 California, Alabama, and Great Britain to coronary heart disease.
03500 All processed cereals contain sugar, sometimes as their principal
03600 ingredient. The ingredients of Cheerios (cited by Ms. Black) are:
03800 Oat flour, wheat starch, sugar, salt,
03900 calcium carbonate, sodium phosphate,
04000 sodium ascorbate, artificial color,
04100 niacin, iron, gum acacia,
04200 vitamin A palmitate, pyridoxine (B6),
04300 riboflavin, thiamin.
04500 Isn't that appetizing?
04700 Comparing the ingredients of two foods is not a sufficient
04800 criterion to determine nutritional equality. The method of
04900 processing the food is also relevant. Cheerios is made of ground
05000 oats; grinding to flour exposes the grain to air, leaching off vital
05100 nutrients. Some cereals, although not ground, are cooked at high
05200 heat ("puffed"), destroying nutrients as well. On the other hand,
05300 quality granolas are toasted at low heat and the oats are rolled, not
05600 To compensate for the empty calories of processed cereals,
05700 manufacturers add minerals and synthetic vitamins. Even some of
05800 these are subsequently lost to heat and oxidation. To some people,
05900 consumption of these additives may be satisfactory, but it is
06000 inevitable that not all nutrients lost in processing can be replaced
06100 by additives.
06300 It is significant that when sued by the government for false
06400 advertising, General Mills denied ever claiming that their cereals
06500 were healthful foods. Their ads carefully acclaim the value of a
06600 "bowl of cereal", i.e., a bowl including milk and possibly fruit.
06700 The milk and fruit contribute nearly all the nutrition.
06900 Another overlooked property of granolas is their nut content.
07000 The protein of nuts and oats are complementary, that is, an ounce of
07100 oats and a handful of nuts eaten together have more usable protein
07200 than the two eaten separately.
07400 I do not personally believe that granola or any food is a
07500 health panacea, but I hope these points clarify the issues and
07600 encourage more careful study by those advising the membership on
07700 nutritional matters. Yet, knowlege is only an aid to wisdom, and
07800 wisdom dictates that we consider not only taste and conflicting
07900 nutritional claims, but also the effects of food on our own bodies:
08000 in the short run, its digestibility and its efect on energy resources
08100 throughout the day; in the long run its affect on our general health.
08200 Each body is an individual, and no nutritional cult -- whether the
08300 FDA and home economists or a non-establishment "faddist" group -- can
08400 change that reality.
08600 Sincerely yours,
09000 Larry Tesler
09100 Co-Op #
09400 cc: Helen Black
09500 Dr. Hippocrates