Monday, January 16, 2012

Yay Peanut Butter Cheerios (NOT)!

It's probably not news to many of you by now that Cheerios has a new Peanut Butter flavor. There are many out there that are angry, worried, and downright frightened. I don't blame anyone for feeling this way. Cheerios have become a staple in the US for first finger foods for our youngsters. Go to a toddler/preschooler play date and there will be at least one child with a cup or bag of Cheerios. A food that many find safe for the peanut and tree nut allergy stricken. Now it's just one more food for parents to look out for.

Rationally I can't be mad that they made this product. They make Honey Nut Cheerios and Banana Nut Cheerios. No one seems to be upset about those which contain almond. So why the outrage? I think the most upsetting part is that General Mills will not disclose how they are guaranteeing the safety of their other Cheerios products. There is no explanation how the Peanut Butter Cheerios and other products are not cross contaminated. I've always found General Mills at the top of my list of companies when it comes to responsible food labeling. But their refusal to disclose their manufacturing processes is disturbing. You would think they would be happy to let us know how and why their product is safe. Their are millions of children in this county that are estimated to have a peanut allergy. Why not tell the parents why they are safe and end this.

What I and so many others also find worrisome, is the packaging and look of the "O's" themselves. I mentioned to my hubby about the new flavor, and to be careful if he were to buy Cheerios for our son. Now we usually get the store brand because between my 3 year old and husband, we go through so much cereal we need to buy bulk and cheap. If there is a good sale, then sometimes we get the real deal. Well he stopped by the supermarket (the good dad that he is), and checked it out. He was a bit upset that the packaging was so similar to the Multigrain flavor as rumored. The Multigrain box is very different from the regular Cheerios. Why not make the Peanut Butter ones stand apart from the others as well? Even the Honey Nut box is distinct!

So, mad about the new Peanut Butter Cheerios, I am not. I am frustrated, aggravated, and concerned for the new challenge this presents for our family when it comes to food outside the home, especially school. They are free to make what they want. It's just another food we need to talk to his teacher about. We won't be buying any Cheerios Products anytime soon. Not just for the cross contamination factor, but also for their (General Mills), lack of disclosure. Let our wallets do the talking if they won't put on their listening ears (as I tell my 3 year old), and hear our concerns, make sure to let them know how you feel. They may be safe, or they may not be, but until they tell why they are, I say pass the Raisin Bran please!


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