If you are trying to reconcile your budget and your organic lifestyle, you may wonder why you should buy organic cereal. After all, organic cereals do tend to cost a bit more than conventional brands. Are organic cereals really worth the added expense?
Wondering Why Choose Organic Cereals?
Buying organic cereals is important for a variety of reasons, both personal and environmental.
Organic Cereals and Health
Organic cereals do not have any of the chemical residues that can be found in conventional cereals. Each ingredient in the cereal must comply with strict regulations concerning organic production. Even the packaging must comply with organic standards and not be treated with anything that might be toxic.
Organic breakfast cereals will not contain any ingredients which are made from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Conventionally grown corn, soy, and cotton are three of the biggest users of GMO products and these are found in various forms in most regular cereals.
Most additives and preservatives are also prohibited in organic cereals. You won't find questionable dyes, BHA, BHT, or any ingredients that you can't pronounce.
Organic Cereals and the Environment
Organic cereals help protect the environment. Organic farmers use methods that build up and enrich the soil rather than using chemicals which break it down. Since there are no chemicals used, there are no toxins spilling into creeks, rivers, and other waterways and causing water pollution.
Organic companies are also more likely to be concerned about their own carbon footprint. They more often use manufacturing methods that have less of a negative impact on the environment. Packaging is likely to be recycled and responsible environmental practices used within the company.
Brands of Organic Cereals
A few decades ago, organic cereal meant cardboard flavor or heavy granola. Today's organic cereals are not much different in flavor or look from the rest of the cereal on the shelves. There are organic flaked cereals, organic kids' cereals, and the traditional cereals like granola and shredded wheat. It is easy to choose cereals similar to the types you already buy.
Cascadian Farms makes several types of cereals that are organic and certified kosher as well. Be aware that not all of their cereals are organic, however. The company has recently been bought by General Mills.
- Clifford Crunch is a sweetened cereal aimed at children.
- Chocolate O's are chocolate "O" shaped cereal.
- Fruitful O's are naturally fruit flavored "O" shaped cereal.
- Cinnamon Crunch is made of whole grain squares with cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on them.
- Honey Nut Os are flavored with honey and almonds.
There are other flavors and types of cereals as well.
Erewhon brand cereals have been around for a long time. They create basic types of cereals like Raisin Bran and Crispy Brown Rice while also catering to children with their Cocoa Crispy cereal. Erewhon cereals tend to be a little less flavorful than other organic brands.
Health Valley is another company that makes cereals that kids will like. They have several child-friendly types including:
- Chocolate Blast 'ems
- Fun Cherry Lemon Orange Blast 'ems
- Amaranth Flakes
- Oat Bran Flakes
- Cranberry Crunch
- Maple Nut Squares
Kashi, owned by Kelloggs, carries a few organic cereals. They are more oriented to adult tastes.
- Strawberry Fields
- Whole Wheat Squares in a variety of flavors
Nature's Path has cereals for both adults and children.
- Enviro Kids Cheetah Chomps
- Panda Puffs
- Leapin Lemurs
- Amazon Frosted Flakes
- Koala Crisp
- Gorilla Munch
- Shredded Oaty Bites
Where to Buy Organic Cereals
Many larger grocery stores are stocking organic cereals as well as the conventional brands. They are usually at the end of the cereal aisle rather than mixed in with the other cereals.
If you can't find organic cereal at your favorite grocer ask the manager about it. Often a manager will get in a new item based on customer demand.
Large natural foods grocers like Whole Foods and Sprouts will almost always have a large selection of organic cereals in stock.
If you can't locate the cereal locally, you can always buy it on the Internet. Good sources for organic cereals are:
Choosing the Best for Your Family
Balancing a budget can be difficult, especially for families with children. However, organic products are a good investment because children's bodies are still growing and more susceptible to the damaging effects of toxins over a long period of time.
Buying organic cereals can help your child have a nutritious breakfast without the additives and questionable ingredients that might be in conventional cereals.