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
05400	ground.
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