Wendyl Wants to Know: Be Natural organics
I discovered this cereal last year and ate it regularly.
It is a simple-tasting cereal in bite-sized pieces that is wonderfully low in sugar, high in fibre and tastes great.
I was in the supermarket the other day and saw that a mother with two children had just bought three packets of the stuff, and so I realised that it was proving popular elsewhere.
It has only three ingredients, which is also encouraging and contains an interesting story on wheat.
Be Natural Organics Golden Whole Grain Bites Original. $6.55 for 460g.
Organic wholegrain wheat (88 per cent)
Organic wheat is grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilisers and sales of all organic foods are rocketing worldwide.
In New Zealand the total organics industry, according to the 2016 New Zealand Organic Market Report is between $456 million-$467m up from $350m in 2012 - a 30 per cent increase.
But is organic better for you? A Stanford University study found that there was no strong evidence that organic foods are more nutritious or carry fewer health risks than conventional alternatives.
They did find, however, that consuming organic foods like this wheat can reduce the risk of pesticide exposure.
Eating organic wheat is also a way to avoid eating modern wheat, which some people have termed "Frankenwheat" .
Dr Mark Hyman, who writes books on nutrition, says this new dwarf wheat has been scientifically engineered in the past 50 years and now makes up most of the wheat we consume.
He says it contains super glutens and super starches, which can cause allergies and also contribute to much of the world's obesity and diseases such as diabetes that go with it.
It is not the wheat our grandparents ate and so may explain the rise in wheat intolerance many people, including me, are experiencing.
However the wheat industry says that they are growing new forms of wheat to increase yield but the wheat itself has not changed.
The fact that this is wholegrain means you get more nutrition but you also get increased fibre - in this case 5.4g per 45g serve.
This product is made in the United States and distributed by an Australian company.
The label says that "our growers follow certified organic farming methods to support ecological harmony with our planet", which is just lovely but I cannot find any certification on the packaging or on their website.
I'm happy to believe that the wheat is organic but if you're going to pay top dollar for a breakfast cereal, I think you want to see the evidence that it is indeed organic.
Organic Demerara sugar
This has to be one of the few cereals on the supermarket shelf that has less than 4g of sugar per serve.
You will get just 3.9g per 45g serve, which is similar to good old Weet-Bix, which only has 2.8g of sugar per 100g.
Demerara sugar is basically raw sugar, which is better for you as it is less refined and therefore still contains some valuable minerals.
Not sure what this flavour is in here - I can't identify anything specific in the taste but good to see it is natural. It is mostly likely barley or malt.
For a simple, low-sugar clean cereal this is a great choice if you can afford it.
But the cynic in me is not happy that there is no clear certification on the packet and that the only information I can find on this product's website is full of "save the world" speak rather than specific information.
It's just great the makers of this food have "the dream of healthier living for all, we want to develop a food movement that celebrates the power of plants" but I think a family on a budget wanting the best nutrition for their kids deserves to be able to see some sort of proof that what they are paying for is actually organic.
By the way, Weet-Bix has just launched an organic wheat product that does have Australian organic certification, even less sugar than this product and also just three ingredients.
It will cost you $7.99 for 750g, which is a better price.
- Made from organic wheat which might not be better for you but will help you avoid eating "Frankenwheat."
- Low in sugar as just 3.9g sugar per 45g serve.
- Weet-Bix Organic is a similar, cheaper product.