As I was wandering idly down the supermarket today, somewhere in the cereal aisle, where health freaks jog up and down looking for good 'half the calories for the price of one' deal, I started wondering what a weird thing breakfast cereal was. Why do we eat it? Why did we ever start eating it? I like Corn Flakes as much as the next sucker, but what are they, really? Corn Flakes don't look like corn, they don't taste like corn, and their principle ingredient is usually milk.
Some cereals don't even seem to have any active ingredients. You'd need a degree in advanced algebra just to understand the title of Special K, much less the list of ingredients. I love them and have no idea what is in them - they could be a by-product of cigarettes for all I care. I can't even pronounce the title right (I keep on calling them Special K Mart).
And Weet-Bix. What the hell are they? Especially the 'Bix' - has anyone heard of an ingredient called 'Bix'? These things are basically cuboids flavoured with wheat to keep the health freaks happy. Dad likes to mush them up in a bowl and add milk and digest them as a kind of uniform soggy brown mush. They seem to represent a significant step in the evolution of human food from organic to the cardboard box.
All in all, I don't suppose breakfast cereals serve any real purpose other than to harden a kid's stomach up for the more important and nutritious fare that he is to experience as an adult - flavoured styrofoam rings like Cheezels, and knobby coagulations of salt like Twisties. As an active eater of all these important food groups, I actively support breakfast cereal makers in this noble endeavour.
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