Boxed Breakfast Cereal is Toxic!

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist April 29, 2009

Ditch the Boxed Cereal
Did you know that ALL boxed breakfast cereals are toxic?

In fact, organic boxed breakfast cereal is the most toxic of all!   How can this be?   It seems that everywhere you turn, a bowl of breakfast cereal is touted as a very healthy choice for your first meal of the day.

It’s not true, folks!

To make boxed breakfast cereal in the factory, the grains first have to be subjected to such intense pressure and heat that they actually liquify into a slurry.  This slurry allows the grains to be quickly and easily shaped into the puffs, flakes, and other shapes that make each cereal distinct.

The manufacturing process used to make boxed cereal is called extrusion and it is so violent and denaturing that the proteins in the grains are actually rendered toxic and allergenic by the process.   This is why organic boxed breakfast cereal is more toxic than nonorganic – because organic boxed cereal is whole grain and thereby has more protein in it!   The more protein, the more toxic the boxed cereal.

What is a cold breakfast cereal lover to do?   Boxed breakfast cereal is considered a staple food in our society.   No worries for all you healthy home economists out there – just make your own!    Here’s a recipe that my family loves and that I have shared for years as a Chapter Leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation.  I hope your family enjoys it too!

* For you visual learners, click here for a videoblog on how to make this very cereal!

Healthy Cereal Alternative to Boxed Versions

6 cups freshly ground flour (sources)
3 cups raw milk or plain whole milk yogurt

Mix well and soak the flour in the milk  on the kitchen counter (covered with a cloth and rubber band)
for 24 hours.

Next,

Mix in 2 tsp baking soda (sources)
3/4 cup coconut oil (sources)
1 cup maple syrup or honey ( you can use 1/2 cup maple syrup and 4 drops liquid stevia  instead if you prefer) (sources)
1 tsp sea salt (sources)
1 tsp vanilla extract (sources)
1 tsp maple flavoring (sources)
1 TBL cinnamon (sources)

Mix everything into a batter. Pour batter into (2) 9 x13 pans coated with coconut oil. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do NOT overbake. Let cool and then crumble onto baking sheets and dehydrate at 200 degrees for about 24 hours. Take out dried cereal off the top every few hours so as not to over dry and make the cereal too hard. Store in airtight container in the fridge.

Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist.com

Source:  Dirty Little Secrets of the Food Processing Industry

Picture Credit

 

Comments (67)

  1. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist May 8, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    The ingredients are good but how is the cereal processed is the real question. Do you buy at a local healthfood store?

    Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

    Reply
  2. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist March 30, 2010 at 2:09 am

    Since the wheat flour is soaked overnight, the gluten is broken down as practiced by traditional societies. You might find that you can eat wheat prepared traditionally in this way. If not, try another type of flour that works for you. I haven't tried other flours, so cannot offer advice.

    Reply
  3. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist June 19, 2010 at 1:24 am

    Hi Tracey, I actually use my oven to dry out the cereal. I set it as low as it will go. A dehydrator would work fine too.

    Reply
  4. Sarah, what about ezekiel 4:9 sprouted grain cereal? I know the grains are sprouted and minimally processed, but i dont know the exact procedure they use. it seems to be okay b/c they aren't formed or squished into any shape, it's just crumbled grain…

    Reply
  5. Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama August 18, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Could I reduce the amount of sweetener in general? 1 c. of maple syrup seems like a LOT! I'm thinking about making this next week for quick and easy on-the-go snacks for my kids. Hmm….

    Reply
      • Sarah freshly grinds the flour so as to ensure the maximun ammount of nutrients are still in the finish product. The soaking is to break down antinutrients, such as phytic acid, and gluten, so as to make the grains much easier to digest. So, yes, you should absolutely soak your flour.

        Reply
  6. Dumb question here – do rolled oats fall into the bad/toxic category due to the processing?? thanks so much for all your great information. I’m still making small steps, but enjoying the journey. :-)
    kendra

    Reply
  7. I would love to read the studies on how proteins are affected by the extrusion process, and how those proteins affect our health. Could you point me to the studies please? Also, thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
      Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist May 15, 2011 at 11:14 pm

      Dirty Secrets of the Food Processing Industry on westonaprice.org is a great read on the subject.

      Reply
  8. Tanya Drescher May 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    How long does it take raw milk to sour for soaking? We were told it is good for drinking from 10-12 days or so.

    Reply
    • It really depends on where you live, how fresh the milk is, and many other evironmental factors. For example, during the winter, when the milk stays very cold in the car all the way from pick-up to the refrigerator at home, it will take MUCH longer to clabber, and of course, the very opposite in the summer. Leaving the milk out on the counter for 1 to 2 days can speed up the process, but sometimes even THAT can take up to 3 days, even down here in hot, humid Florida.

      Reply
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  11. Can this cereal be dried in a dehydrator instead of the oven ( a gas stove heats up the house really quickly and that is not so good in the summer)?.. if so for how long?

    Reply
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  13. Is it ok to use already ground sprouted wheat or whole wheat flour if you dont have a flour mill or a vitamix?

    Reply
  14. One more question, in your ingredients you saw raw milk to soak with, but in your video it is clabbered. Which is best? Thank you

    Reply
  15. Hi Sarah I read this post and then watched your video on how to make breakfast cereal. In the recipe here you write raw milk or yogurt but in the video you say to use clabbered milk or buttermilk. Can I use raw milk that has not been clabbered? I’d like to make it today and my milk is still fresh!

    thanks

    Reply
  16. Dear god woman. Learn some basic science.

    “To make boxed breakfast cereal in the factory, the grains first have to be subjected to such intense pressure and heat that they actually liquify into a slurry.”

    Not only not even close to how flakes are made, it’s not even physically possible. Grains are not rocks, they do not “liquify” under heat and pressure, i.e. melt.

    “is so violent and denaturing that the proteins in the grains are actually rendered toxic and allergenic by the process. ”

    Also not anywhere near scientifically accurate or possible.

    “This is why organic boxed breakfast cereal is more toxic than nonorganic — because organic boxed cereal is whole grain and thereby has more protein in it! The more protein, the more toxic the boxed cereal.”

    Grain protein is not toxic.
    It’s no where near toxic.
    The difference between whole grain cereal and normal cereal is the normal cereal is typically only made with the endosperm portion of the seed. This part is all carbohydrate, very little anything else. It’s starch. Whole grain uses the…whole grain. So it includes the germ, which is protein, as well as the bran which is fiber (indigestible cellulose).

    Your theories and comments are false, scientifically inaccurate, easily refutable.
    In short: bullshit.

    Reply
  17. Hi Sarah,
    My adult son has has given up bread after discovering that it wasn’t good for him. He’s started eating rice cakes. Are they extruded? I don’t think rice cakes are an ideal food, but how bad are they really? Maybe you would like to do a post on them.
    Thanks, Ruth

    Reply
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  23. Jamie Cuddy Durfee via Facebook December 29, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Running my gas oven at 200 for 24 hours sounds like expensive cereal. I agree about boxed cereal. In fact when I ate it on a reg basis my stomach was not happy. I quit eating it and felt better.

    Reply
  24. Sara Russ via Facebook December 29, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    I get puffed spelt grains from the wholefoods store and then I coat them in butter and honey and then toast them under the grill (I think you americans call it broiling?) stirring to make sure they don’t burn. then once they look good and toasted I leave them to cool and then serve ‘em up with milk. YUM!

    Reply
  25. Susan Eaton via Facebook December 29, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    Agree with the homemade cereal being in the oven for 24 hrs. I make homemade granola that goes over my yogurt or with raw milk and still buy some organic cereal from TJ’s or Whole Foods (not from the brands that have GMO). I guess it would be better to have a dehydrator to make this? Also can I see a pic of it if anyone made it before?

    Reply
  26. Heidi Bott via Facebook December 29, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Last New Years I made the goal to rid our house of boxed cereals. My kids weren’t all to excited, but it didn’t even take us a month. Not only do we eat better, but we save a lot of money too!

    Reply
  27. Melanie Crisp via Facebook December 29, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    thankyou so much:) I was seriously just thinking about what I’m going to do about changing out our cereals 90 seconds ago!

    Reply
  28. Priscilla Wallace via Facebook December 30, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Is the maple flavoring, GMO free? It contains soy. I do not knoe Frontiers stance is on GMO ingredients.

    Reply
  29. Bonny Clark via Facebook December 30, 2013 at 10:00 am

    I’ve made that recipe and it is good, but I now love on the road full-time and don’t have the necessary amenities to make it. Plus I’m a busy mom and just don’t have time for recipes like that. Instead we just don’t eat any cereal and only eat eggs, oatmeal, or rice for breakfast. Trying to follow a Weston A. Price diet on the road is very difficult, but we do our best.

    Reply
  30. Kim Sharp via Facebook December 30, 2013 at 11:44 am

    I’m not sure how flour constitutes a healthy breakfast. How does a breakfast like this affect the glycemic index?

    Reply
  31. I am skeptical similar to the normal person who commented previously. If this cereal is and has been so bad for us why has it been around for such a long time. And it doesn’t feasible to turn grains toxic by cooking them. Or is it chemically possible to do so?

    Reply
  32. David Rubino via Facebook December 30, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Wait this is all made up. Extrusion *destroys* toxins within cereal grains, and although it had a few not-so-good side effects, toxins and microorganisms go way down. But, once again, this “author” just makes things up and no one bothers to check…

    Reply
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