Tuesday, January 14, 2014


“The bleached, gassed, and colored remnants of the life-giving grains are roasted, toasted, frosted with sugar, embalmed with chemical preservatives, and stuffed into a box much larger than its contents. Fantastic amounts of energy are wasted by sales and advertising departments to sell these half-empty boxes of dead food – money-back coupons, whistles, and toy guns are needed to induce…women to lift these half-empty boxes off supermarket shelves. [take them home and feed the contents to their children].”  William Dufty, Sugar Blues, 1975

     I get real nervous when I see a baby reaching for Cheerios. I get shivers when I see that baby putting Cheerios into his/her innocent mouth. Moms are proud to announce Baby’s First Cheerios on their blogs like it’s some sort of development milestone. Apparently, General Mills has been promoting Cheerios’ cute little donuts as a good transitional food for baby from baby food to solid food.
     Recently, General Mills announced that Cheerios would be GMO free. To quote Forbes: “The move was relatively easy. Cheerios are primarily oats, and there are no GMO oats. The comparatively small amounts of sugar and cornstarch in the mix required nothing more than a switch from beet sugar to non-GMO sources.”
     But GMOs are not the only reason to not eat Cheerios. Or any other refined breakfast cereal.
     Cheerios are dead food. In fact, the whole row of breakfast cereals in garish boxes going down your grocer’s aisle are dead unless they still contain whole oats, steel cut oats or a true whole grain (even if the box says WHOLE GRAIN, it’s not) that has NOT gone through the process of extrusion, that is, the forcing of the breakfast cereal mud through the molds that turn the slush into miniature donuts, fish, charms, or flakes. Extrusion requires a high heat that kills any nutrient left in the grain, including the artificial vitamins added, which the human body cannot process anyway. Good riddance. Moms, your baby, who desperately NEEDS real food in order to develop and grow, is NOT getting fortified with vitamins.
     The worst thing about dead food is that it doesn’t just fill you up and make you feel good for a while and then get chucked out of your body via your natural elimination process. Nope. The worst thing about dead food is that your body has a hard time digesting it, if it can digest it at all. Dead food that does not get eliminated, gets dumped into the body as fat or something worse, tumors.
     No, I take that back, the worst thing about dead food is that it takes from your body. Yes, your adult body. But, taking nutrients from the body is especially dangerous when talking about growing children and babies.
     You’ve heard the jokes, “You’re better off eating the box!” Well, unpublished studies have been done wherein the rats that ate the cereal box actually lived longer than the rats that ate the cereal. In fact, before they died, the cereal-eating rats became weirdly vicious, acting out in strange violent tantrums against each other. Sound familiar?
     We all know by now that breakfast cereals have a lot of added sugar in them. Studies have been done about sugar that have told us sugar takes nutrients from the body. Again, anecdotal and unofficial - People who have been lost and forced to eat candy bars or toothpaste have been much less healthy when found than people who only drank water. Dr. Lindsey Duncan ranks sugar up there with drugs and alcohol as taking nutrition from the body: “Overall, I’ve been studying, researching, practicing and living nutrition for the past 30 years, and if you asked me to pick 3 things that destroy and age the human body faster than anything else on the planet they would be: 1) Sugar 2) Prescription & Recreational Drugs and 3) Alcohol.  And the reason why is because they rob you of your life force, of your nutrition, of your immunity, your positivity and your overall wellbeing.  They are the ultimate thieves in the night!”
     Now, think of that when your baby reaches for Cheerios! I think about it.
     What can we do?
     Well, a baby should be eating Mama’s milk until being weaned on to soft baby food. Baby food has to be the easiest thing in the world to make. I made my own baby food. I began with brown rice cream. Brown rice made with four times the water, then blended till smooth enough for a baby with no teeth. I made enough for two days. My daughter was nearly two years old when I weaned her. I also made green vegetables and other vegetables (organic, when possible) by boiling the veggies in spring water until soft (maybe 4-10 minutes depending on the vegetable), then blending the veggies with the cooking water until smooth enough for baby. Thus, baby is getting fresh, warm nutritional food with every meal.
     As for adults, like baby, we should be eating real food. I like organic eggs for breakfast, but many macros eat brown rice cream, miso soup, green vegetables, tofu omelets, really the variety can be endless.
     I stopped eating flour products years ago. Again, dead food. The occasional cookie, pancakes, bread, scone or muffin won’t do too much harm, if you really need to eat baked goods, but the only nutrition is coming from the milk, butter, eggs, that are added to the recipe. Milled grain begins to lose its nutritional value immediately after being broken down. If you want to get real food value out of your whole wheat, you can buy a hand grinder for anywhere from $28.00, $128, to $1,200. I wish I had a photo of my dearest friend, Joan, as she clamped her stainless steel hand grinder on to our kitchen table, sat down, planted one barefoot and ground ONE CUP OF FLOUR for her recipe! I think it took her 5 minutes. And, we got as much nutrition as we possibly could from the wheat berries she ground. Plus her loving human energy added to the food! Real food, real love!

     I also have a personal theory about flour products and all baked goods. After many years of macrobiotics, I suspect baked foods, or as Michio Kushi used to call them, (I can hear his accent, plain as ever, emphasizing HARD!) “HARD BAKED foods” of causing some cancers. Cancers in particular that form in the lower parts of the body, and, often, in the smaller organs like the cervix and the prostate. Scientists do not even consider what macros know about the quality of the energy of the food effecting the human body, as in "hard baked." Again, only my humble informed opinion after years of observation.
     What can we do?
     The human body needs a balance of foods that grow up and foods that grow down, like leafy greens and whole grains (up) and root vegetables (down). Science will never believe this idea. The closest they will come to recognizing the dangers of hard baked foods is saying, “Keep hydrated.” Yes, hard baked foods are very dehydrating. And, dehydration is very sneaky. It has many, many symptoms, some very serious, and yet, dehydration is so simple to solve. Drinking water is not enough. You have to begin by not getting dehydrated in the first place. Balance is the only way. Whole foods that grow up and down.
     How did I get here from babies eating Cheerios?
     Simple! Dead food. Sugar. Hard baked foods. Dehydration.
     Your baby sucked dry of nutrients. I could say, “Cheerio!”

     But, it’s not funny.

©Patricia Goodwin, 2014

Patricia Goodwin is the author of When Two Women Die, about Marblehead legends and true crime and its sequel, Dreamwater, about the Salem witch trials and the vicious 11-year-old pirate Ned Low. Holy Days is her third novel, about the sexual, psychological seduction of Gloria Wisher and her subsequent transformation. Her newest poetry books are Telling Time By Apples, And Other Poems About Life On The Remnants of Olde Humphrey Farme, illustrated by the author, and Java Love: Poems of a Coffeehouse.

Patricia Goodwin has enjoyed the macrobiotic lifestyle for over 40 years and has written many articles about GMOs and food. Please visit patriciagoodwin.com to read these articles and see other work, including videos of events and poetry.