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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of

Facts about... breakfast cereal.


CURWOOD: Among the odder anniversaries that come our way this year is the centennial of the introduction of Grape Nuts. Mr. C. W. Post came up with the name for the breakfast cereal because he thought erroneously that grape sugar was formed during the production process. Mr. Post also thought the cereal could cure everything this side of appendicitis. He was the latest in a succession of 19th century dietary prophets who reformed how Americans ate. Before Mr. Post and others, including W. K. Kellogg, William Metcalf, and Sylvester Graham, Americans ate mostly meat and fowl for all their meals. Post and Company urged people to try grains and fresh fruits. Today, nearly half of all Americans start the day with cold cereal. As a nation, we buy nearly 3 billion boxes of breakfast cereal each year. Much of it is sweetened to the tune of 816 million pounds of sugar, or 3 pounds for every American. And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.



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