It's been about six months since I switched to a animal products diet and now I find myself cringing in disgust when I see or hear the word 'cereal'. There's an older lady work works in a nearby cube and when I walk by seeing her munch on cheerios I just feel so bad for her. She's poor, is losing her house, can't afford a car, and she has to eat cheerios. I also feel completely embarrassed to be seen walking through the cereal/snack isle, even though I'm just taking the quickest route to get to the other side of the store, not actually buying anything there. Anyone else notice a similar change in their perception of cereal?
There is a difference between eating for survival and eating for optimal health. Some people need to eat grains in order to make ends meet. Everyone's financial situation is different, so I don't see any need to judge others based on what they eat.
I grew up on Reese's Puffs and Lucky Charms. I ate bowls and bowls of them in one sitting. Not ashamed to admit how much I miss them.
.......And the nostalgia's kicking in.
"Do you have any idea what breakfast cereal is made of? It's those little curly wooden shavings you find in pencil sharpeners."
-Willy Wonka (not that he was Paleo!)
Hate to say it, but I have the opposite reaction - pangs of longing. Life cereal (20 years ago, before they changed the recipe) soggy with milk. Team. Shreddies with brown sugar and banana. Mini wheats. Honey Bunches of Oats. I could go on and on.
That being said, cereal was also a huge binge food for me during my bulimic years and it was never possible for me to just have one bowl. That shit is inherently addictive. So I'm glad it's out of my life. It would give me stress just to have it in the house, like it was literally yelling at me from the pantry.
I wouldn't say I cringe, but sometimes in moments like that I'm struck by how little the mainstream thinking on food has changed. When you spend time with people who tend to question the status quo on things, do your shopping around the edges of the store, read "alternative" magazines about the evils of Big Food, and hang out on paleo sites like this one, you can start to feel like people are catching on. They aren't. Most people (and by most I probably mean 95%, if not 99% or more) still think the person eating Cheerios is being healthy -- hey, it says so right on the box! -- and the person eating beef jerky is suicidal. Every now and then, I'm out in the regular world and see or hear something that reminds me of just how deeply ingrained that belief system is.
On the issue of being too poor to eat well: I don't want to pick on this lady or anything, but sometimes people are too quick to assume that you can't eat properly unless you have extra money to spend. That's just not true, or at least not that clear-cut. Eating well is at least as much about planning ahead and learning to cook as it is about budget. If you're eating cereal, you're not pinching your last penny.
Checking the prices at a local Sam's Club (both in bulk, nothing on sale):
Russet Potatoes: 10 pounds for $3.98. $0.398/pound. 350 calories/pound. $1.13 per thousand calories.
Cheerios: 37 oz for $5.28. $2.283/pound. 1666 calories/pound. $1.37 per thousand calories.
So potatoes are a cheaper energy source. That's actually closer than I expected it to be, but potatoes do have a lot of water weight, while Cheerios are concentrated carbs. A generic brand might even be a bit cheaper than potatoes, calorie for calorie. But clearly, if she can afford cereal, potatoes are not out of her budget, and they would be far better for her. No, they aren't organic grass-fed beef topped with organic pastured butter, but they aren't refined grains with a dozen additives either.
Fry the potatoes in lard or tallow -- which anyone can make from fat which many small butcher shops will give away for free -- and you can add a lot of good sat-fat calories. I haven't done the science, but I would guess that frying would double the calories, at least. No contest between potatoes fried in free lard versus Cheerios, in flavor, health, or price.
Unfortunately, because of what I talked about in my first paragraph, if you fried up some potatoes in lard for lunch one day and tried to share them with her, she'd probably refuse -- quite possibly on doctor's orders.
I cringe every time my grandson grabs his box and makes a large bowl of it. He's nearly 18 and I don't feel I can dictate but I do hate to see him eating that stuff. My tiny victory is that he switched from wheat cereal to rice but it's still awful stuff.
I must admit he's eating a healthy base of ancestral foods by choice AND he's very, very healthy with optimal vital signs but I really wish he'd look at me and his dad and assume it would be a good idea to eat whole foods starting now (and give up soda.)
I wouldn't say I "cringe" but I do think back to articles I read saying that it's probably healthier to eat the cardboard box rather than the cereal. (http://www.realdose.com/eating-cardboard-is-healthier-than-breakfast-cereal)
Paleo AIP Cereal 3 Answers