No added vitamins or minerals

Quite a long time ago, I mused about breakfast cereals. Being a fickle customer, I’ve since moved onto Kashi‘s GoLean Crunch. It’s quite tasty, and I’ve enjoyed it for breakfast for the last several months.

I’ve been noticing Kashi stuff popping up in a lot of places, leading me to believe it’s not run by a bunch of granola heads like myself. Kashi is actually Kellogg’s brand focusing on healthier cereals. The marketing is interesting because you’ll find the products in the natural foods section of your grocery store, not next to Frosted Mini-Wheats. Classic branding strategy.

This morning, I happened to notice a box of Kashi’s “Organic Promise: Autumn Wheat” cereal in the pantry. (No, not from Kellogg’s marketing; my spouse bought it to entice the kids into eating something healthy.) It, too, was very tasty. However, while I was reading the box, I was struck by the simplicity of ingredients:

  • Organic whole grain wheat
  • Florida Crystals® Organic Evaporated Cane Juice
  • Natural Flavor (I don’t know what this is, but will ask)

Another thing that stands out is the simplicity of the nutrition label: there are no added vitamins and minerals. Enriched flour is so pervasive in American diets that we’ve conditioned ourselves into thinking every food has to have every vitamin in massive quantities. It’s thus surreal to see a nutrition label like this where a food wasn’t artifically “fortified”:


Serving Size: 1 cup (54g/1.9 oz.)
Serving Per Container: 9
Calories: 190
Calories From Fat: 0

*Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Amount/Serving %DV*   Amount/Serving %DV*

Fat 1g*
2%   Total
Carb 45g
Fat 0g
0%     Dietary
Fiber 6g
0%     Sugars
0%   Protein

A 0%   Vitamin C 0%   Calcium 0%   Iron

When I did the research on pancake mix, the added vitamins and minerals were believed to be a strong selling point for a small incremental cost to the manufacturer. The perceived benefit by consumers is high. Indeed, in some cases there was outright bragging that one mix has N+1 vitamins and minerals while the other only had N. It reminded me of the silliness Megahertz wars between AMD and Intel.

When I was a working with computer hardware, it was pretty obvious a faster CPU wasn’t going to overcome the same slow hard disk. I wonder if the added vitamins and minerals would do much good if you had a bad diet. Simple food intuitively seems like a better idea.

2 thoughts on “No added vitamins or minerals”

  1. My favorite is the Essentials cereal from Trader Joe’s. Tastes yummy (with just a little raisins added); it actually makes me wanna get up in the morning!

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