Growing up, I always begged my parents to buy me breakfast cereal...but the good kind. My five-year-old self determined the "goodness" of cereal based off two things.
- Is the box colorful?
- Does it mimic the taste of candy?
That's it. That's all I cared about. Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cookie Crisp, and any other cereal that was 98% sugar was all I wanted in the mornings. My parents, of course, never obliged which is probably for the best. When we did get cereal, it was the "healthier" stuff like Shreddies, Corn Pops or Chex. Boring, yes. But at least I got to have cereal which is all I wanted.
Another staple we got in our household was Corn Flakes. It was pretty boring, honestly, but that was actually why they were invented. When Dr. Kellogg invented them, he was looking for a way to suppress the desire to masturbate (yes, really) and felt like certain foods encouraged such activities.
"He thought that meat and certain flavorful or seasoned foods increased sexual desire, and that plainer food, especially cereals and nuts, could curb it," reported Mental Floss.
Obviously they turned into a household staple, but more because of their relatively nutritious benefits compared to other cereals. But some people started to worry about the consumption of cereals like Corn Flakes after it was found that they actually respond to magnets, aka they're magnetic.
Seems like something you'd want to avoid eating, right? Think again.
A video on YouTube claiming that Wheaties was full of "metal fragments" went viral in 2014, which caused a lot of people to panic.
"Wheaties breakfast cereal, manufactured by General Mills, has been found to contain so many microscopic fragments of metal that individual flakes can be lifted and carried using common magnets, a Natural News Forensic Food Lab investigation has found and documented," the video stated.
But according to General Mills, it's not just random metal fragments in the cereal, it's actually caused by the iron fortification in certain types of cereal.
"We see this science experiment done pretty frequently with any iron fortified cereal "“ it makes for a cool video!" a spokesperson for the company said. "Iron is really important for your body to function well, and your body only absorbs as much as it needs."
There's no evidence that says this addition to your cereal is harmful at all, according to Snopes. It's actually a good thing because a lot of people suffer from low iron and this is an easy way to help regulate that problem.
It's also a fun experiment to try with your kids! You can watch a video of it in action here.