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."
Organic Alternative: Ambrosial Granola Venetian Vineyard (Named Prevention magazine's Healthiest Cereal of 2011.)
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Organic Alternative: Envirokids Organic Gorilla Munch Cereal
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Organic Alternative: Nature's Path Organic Corn Puffs
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"We were surprised to see some companies, like Peace Cereal, reducing organic options in the cereal aisle," says Vallaeys. "Peace Cereal has no organic options left, but its prices remained the same."
Organic Alternative: Nature's Path Flax Plus Red Berry Crunch (It's about 2 cents cheaper per ounce, too.)
Organic Alternative: Cascadian Farms Honey Nut Os
Organic Alternative: Laughing Giraffe granola
Read More: The Grain Guide: Easy Recipes for the Healthiest Whole Grains
Organic Alternative: Cascadian Farm Organic Raisin Bran
Organic Alternative: Lydia's Organics Grainless Apple Cereal
Read More: The 10 Best Organic Cereals & Granola