Is your breakfast cereal all it is cracked up to be?

Posted by & filed under Health and Fitness.

Looks harmless enough. When I was on holiday in France once, we found a cereal called Plopsies in the local supermarket.  Joy.

There are a couple of infamous studies on rats eating cereals which demonstrated just how bad these cereals are.  The  link below is Sally Fallon’s account of them which I summarise here.

Nourished Magazine

Neither study was published, so has not been subject to peer review.  Make of this what you will.


The first study was done by a cereal company and used four groups of rats:

Group 1 was given plain whole wheat, water and synthetic vitamins and minerals.

Group 2 was given puffed wheat, water and synthetic vitamins and minerals.

Group 3 was given water only.

Group 4 was given water and synthetic vitamins and minerals.


Group 1 lived for 1 year.

Group 2 died within 2 weeks.

Group 3 lived for one month.

Group 4 lived for 2 months.


So group 2, the ones living on puffed wheat,  died before the ones living on water only.  Autopsy of group 2 revealed dysfunction of the pancreas, liver and kidneys and degeneration of the nerves of the spine.

Another interesting point to bear in mind is that rats live for at least 2 years.  So group 1 still died prematurely. The overriding reason for using synthetic vitamins and minerals is cheapness. However, if you missed it, click on this link  and listen to what Robert Verkerk is saying about synthetic vitamins and minerals in relation to Codex Alimentarius, a world wide group supposedly set up as a watchdog to oversee high standards of food.


The second study was done by researchers at Ann Arbour Univeristy and involved 18 lab rats divided into three groups:

Group 1 was given cornflakes and water.

Group 2 was given the cardboard box the cornflakes came in and water.

Group 3 was given standard rat chow and water. This was the control group.


Group 1 died first.  The last rat died the day the first box fed rat died.  Before they died, the rats developed schizophrenic behaviour, threw fits, bit each other and finally went into convulsions.

Group 2 became lethargic and died of malnutrition.

The cause of this is the extrusion process the cereals undergo.  This subjects the grains to high heat and pressure, which destroys the nutrients.  The proteins in the grains get changed and become toxic.  This applies to any grain whether it is wheat, rice, corn or oats.  If a whole grain is involved, it is actually more toxic than a refined grain  because it is higher in protein, and it is the protein that gets damaged during manufacture1.

So what to eat for breakfast?  For concentration, steady temper and day long crave busting meat and nuts are unbeatable.  Just make sure you vary your breakfast.  If you must eat carbohydrate, then unadulterated oats are the best.  Soak them overnight then make them into porridge.  However, if you eat oats every morning, then you will develop a sensitivity to them and your stomach will start to look like this.

Children are just as vulnerable to breakfast cereals as adults are.  Just because they are little and addicted to sugar does not impart some kind of immunity to heavily processed food.

A post script.  Rats and mice are a real problem in grain storage.  They love to eat grains.  So bear in mind when eating whole grain products, the grain had to be subjected to some pretty nasty cleaning process to clean it of rat and mice droppings.  And so huge is the problem, that a certain amount of rodent hairs are allowed in foods


  1. Jenkins, David J A, et al, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 1981, 34:362-366 []

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)