Friday, March 22, 2013

What Does the Future Hold for Cheerios at Whole Foods?

What's the future hold for Cheerios at Whole Foods?
Whole Foods' announcement that it will label foods containing genetically-engineered ingredients as such by 2018 unmasks several scenarios for the bevy of products the chain carries that are far from (meaningless adjective to follow) "natural."

(And, no, not everything Whole Foods carries is organic. A rough estimate, derived from shopping several times per week there over the past five years, is that about a quarter of the food Whole Foods sells is organic.)


Back to labeling. Let's examine the possibilities for Cheerios (which I can't believe Whole Foods carries, but that's a post for another day). The costly cereal (save your money, stop buying cereal) is made mostly from oats, but it also contains modified corn starch and sugar.


Since about 90 percent of the corn grown in this country is genetically-engineered (and sprayed with a bounty of pesticides), we have to assume that the modified corn starch in Cheerios is genetically-engineered. In addition, the sugar is almost definitely from genetically-engineered sugar beets (resistant to the glyphosate in Monsanto's Roundup pesticide), from which more than half of our white sugar derives.


So, as I see it, here are the options for General Mills, which owns Cheerios, going forward:

  1. General Mills labels Cheerios sold just in Whole Foods as genetically-engineered.
  2. General Mills labels all Cheerios sold everywhere as genetically-engineered.
  3. General Mills reformulates Cheerios sold just in Whole Foods and stops using genetically-engineered ingredients for a small percentage of its product.
  4. General Mills stops using genetically-engineered ingredients in all Cheerios sold everywhere.
  5. General Mills stops selling Cheerios in Whole Foods.
Which scenario do you think General Mills will choose?

2 comments:

Kelly said...

We can hope that they stop using genetically engineered ingred everywhere, right? But this comment is actually concerning one your parenthetical statements: "(Save your money, stop buying cereal.)" I really would love to do this. Please consider writing a breakfast idea post. I have a couple of difficult obstacle though: 1) It's got to be fast - I've starving when I wake up. 2) It's got to feed egg hating toddlers.

CosmoKramer said...

I work at whole foods and a customer pointed this out to me. Was surprised