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Dessicated Oats

August 16, 2018

News. It’s inflammatory. And that sucks.

If you’re into food, you may read a lot of news today about the Environmental Working Group and their recent findings of glyphosate in Cheerios, among other breakfast cereals one might feed their young children.

When I saw the headline that EWG found glyphosate in cereal, I chuckled to myself a bit. Because, of course there’s weed killer in cereal. I’m sure that somewhere in the past I wrote about the unseemly practice of desiccating wheat in the fields with glyphosate, to manage the process better through chemistry, than through the plant’s natural lifecycle.

So I fully expected the list to be things like Wheaties, Wheat Chex, and other wheat based cereals.

But no! Everything on the list was oats. Oats? Well, it turns out unless they are organic, modern farming practice has oats being dessicated in the field with weed killer too. However, not all farmers are keen on this, Bob’s Red Mill has been finding partners who oppose the use of glyphosate.

The news is going to make a lot of people think that Cheerio’s aren’t safe. Cheerio’s has been tweeting responses about how the miniscule quantity of glyphosate is well below the levels established by the EPAs rules. But in this current administration, how comforting do you find regulatory guidelines for consumer protections?

My take is a little more even keeled, but it still results in Cheerios being culled from our pantry.

As far as cancer is concerned, there’s a big difference between routinely working with large quantities of this powerful weed killer, and eating trace amounts of it in one’s food. The recent court case and judgement against Monsanto has everyone ready to pounce on this recent news, but I don’t think those are dots one can cross.

It’s still more dangerous to drive your kid to school than it is to give them a bowl of Cheerios for breakfast. Especially since the ppb are indeed well below established limits.

That said, there does seem to be some evidence that suggests these smaller amounts of glyphosate have a negative impact on beneficial gut bacteria, and that’s interesting. Although there is also a much much less cited counter argument that faults the overall logic of the researchers’ argument.

Science. It’s far from bulletproof. But it’s a process. And if you make it through all of that dry scientific reading in the links above, God bless you. Maybe you’ll find something I missed.

Ultimately though, my concern isn’t cancer. Cancer is coming for us all. If we live long enough, it will have established a beachhead in our bodies when we die. That is, if it doesn’t kill us first. Maybe science will come up with better cures in the next few decades.

What I’m concerned about is transparency. And I’m not thrilled with the practice of throwing weed killer on perfectly good food, to help speed up its natural processes. Limiting the quantity of synthetic pesticides we produce and dump onto the earth should be a no brainer.

I want to support companies and products that share my ideals. Or at least the ones who are providing options in the marketplace I can support.

So it looks like I’m back to organic oats. Not because I’m in love with organic these days. It’s just that it’s the only way to guarantee my oats didn’t get soaked down with weed killer before they were harvested.

The earth doesn’t need it. My kid could do without it. And I want nothing to do with it.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Ric Orlando permalink
    August 16, 2018 10:47 am

    Well Daniel, the sad thing is raising kids you know that they can eat something like Cheerios 3 to 4 times a week from the time the conference but solid food in their mouth until there about 12 years old. That’s Kingwood of stuff. And if you worried about all the allergies we have in this society today. In my opinion it all goes back to glyphostate. The timeline of its use and our food allergy rise is hard to deny.

  2. Ric Orlando permalink
    August 16, 2018 10:48 am

    Edit… not kings wood (thanks Siri)


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