The cereal aisle can stump even the smartest food label sleuth. Dozens of breakfast choices line 50-foot-long grocery store aisles, advertising themselves as "all-natural" or "healthy" based on dubious numbers and no federal regulations.
The Cornucopia Institute, an organic watchdog group, recently analyzed so-called "natural" cereals, and found that they're anything but--contaminated with pesticides and warehouse fumigation chemical residues, genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) and ingredients grown in sewage sludge.
"It's important for consumers to know that these companies are using conventional ingredients to produce their 'natural' cereal, most likely produced with pesticides and fumigants," explains Charlotte Vallaeys, director of farm and food policy at Cornucopia. Despite the fact that over half of the population believes "natural" means no pesticides or GMOs, it's nothing more than a fancy label, she adds. As far as cereals go, here are some of the worst offenders when it comes to masquerading as "natural."