Yesterday I woke up with the sinking suspicion that the breakfast cereal I was about to eat contained toxins from China. (I just can’t seem to get off the topic of food lately.) I think it was an aftereffect of hearing Michael Pollan on radio show City Arts & Lectures last month. He related an anecdote about a food producer who had to order flax seeds from China after a bad crop in the U.S. The seeds arrived quite dirty, and the guy decided to test the soil that was collected from the cleaning process. The result? Heavy metals galore.
So before pouring my Grape-Nuts onto my Straus yogurt, I called Post’s 800 number and asked whether any of the cereal’s ingredients were non-domestic, and if so, where they came from. Nope, they’re all domestic, and the company has a policy of listing any foreign ingredients on the box.
Well, that’s a relief. But I still feel uneasy about having Grape-Nuts on my shelf, because Post is such a huge company. It’s gotta be evil in some way, right? In fact, Post isn’t even a real company anymore. It’s owned by Kraft, which is a subsidiary of Altria, formerly known as Philip Morris. Definitely some evil to be found in there.
Truth be told, having Grape-Nuts on my shelf is a bit of a fluke; I usually buy Safeway’s less-expensive version of the cereal, which bears the unfortunate name of Crunchy Nuggets. But Safeway is also huge. How do I know it’s any less evil than Kraft/Altria?