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Cereal Mega Review Part 1, China and North Korea

Ah cold cereal, such a wondrous food. It’s so convenient, and it tastes good! I can eat cereal at any time of the day, and sometimes I do! In fact, I’m eating a bowl right now. And wow. I am writing about cereal. Pretty dorky.

I’ve graduated from the cereals of yore, however. No more Fruity Pebbles, Cocoa Puffs, or Cinnamon Toast Crunch for me.  I think when Bill Watterson wrote about Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs in Calvin & Hobbes, he must have been thinking of one of those. The crazy sweet ones taste kinda gross to me now, anyway. Except possibly Apple Jacks. That could be the nostalgia talking, though; I haven’t had that in awhile either. So in my quest to find the ultimate healthier, yet tastier cereal, I’ve been buying various kinds. My main parameters were: omega-3, fiber, vitamins, and taste. Oh and as a disclaimer, I am not a nutritionist.

Omega-3 helps fight cholesterol if you’ve got a cholesterol problem, as I did immediately post-college. Man, I gained way too much back then. I took a cholesterol test and I guess it was practically off the charts. CODE BLUE CODE BLUE. The doc said he’d give me 3-4 weeks to lower it, or he’d be putting me on life-time meds. I’m kind of an anti-med guy, so I didn’t want that. I loaded up on omega-3 rich foods, like salmon, and in 3-4 weeks, got my cholesterol within spec.

Fiber, to put it bluntly, helps you pump your shit out. It’s heralded by some as the magical health ingredient. Having sufficient fiber in your diet helps keep colon cancer at bay, so I’ve heard. I’ve started to place more importance in fiber because my friend started eating rabbit-food-like fiber pellets, so I’ve wanted to find an alternative for the sake of posterity. That, and I’m pretty sure my cholesterol is still down. I eat so much more healthier these days, and I definitely feel that way, too….I think.

In all cases, I recommend switching to Western-style soy milk. It’s not like Asian soy milk at all so it tastes great in cereal. I also recommend plain instead of vanilla, unless you like a strangely sweet milk substitute. But as an alternative, soy milk should suit all but the most picky eater.  I have some pictures but they’re a bit blurry.  For Vitamin D milk vs Silk-brand plain soy, the milk had 25% daily value for saturated fat (that’s bad) vs soy’s 3%. Milk: 25% DV cholesterol. Soy: 0%. Milk: 0% DV fiber. Soy: 4%.  The soy destroyed milk on the vitamin front, as well.  I’ll post up better pics when I have them. Anyway, onto the cereals.

So the first one is Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin Flax Plus Granola. It is available at Vons.

It claims 0.7g of omega-3 per serving, which is a whopping 54% of the daily recommend value. Unfortunately, it lacks in vitamins. But it does have a whopping 5g of fiber, 20% of the daily recommend value. Here is the “spec sheet”:

Next up is Nature’s Path Organic Flax Plus Raisin Bran.

Man, I remember when I used to hate Raisin Bran as a kid. But I enjoy it now these days.  This cereal also packs in the omega-3s, raking in 0.7g for 54% of your daily value.  It’s juiced up the fiber a bit though to 8g for 32% of your daily value. It still lacks in vitamins however. Here is the spec sheet:

The raisin bran variant is pretty tasty, but in my area, it can only be had from Trader Joe’s.

Nature’s Path seems to use cane juice instead of sugar in all their cereals. It’s not too noticeable in their Flax Plus line, but in their other cereals, I could really taste the cane juice, and it tasted kind of funny to me.  Also, since both of these are packing in the omega-3, there is a slight fish-oil taste if you search for it.

Next up are the Special K’s. They’ve recently introduced several new flavors. I like the original variant, the red berry one, except for the fact that it comes in a ridiculously pink box, making it kind of embarrassing to purchase. But I like Special K. None of them have an appreciable amount of omega-3, though. They all have a decent amount of vitamins, however.

First up is Special K Blueberry.

I wasn’t a big fan of this one. I like blueberries, but this one just tasted kind of off. For a berry K, I’d rather get the red berry one. But the blueberry one comes in a much less gay blue box. Its spec sheet:

Next is the Chocolatey Delight version. I had high hopes for this one. Nutritious but tasty! But it tasted pretty weird. I guess I can’t accuse them of false advertising. It really was like someone just grabbed a bar of chocolate, cut off chunks, and put them in your cereal. But with low quality chocolate. It’s obviously also the least healthy of the K’s I tried.  10% DV saturated fat.

Oh god. I’m already getting bored of writing about cereal. WTF was I thinking? But I’m trying to write less about politics. OK. I will soldier on. I’m half way through anyway. Here is the spec sheet:

Special K cinnamon pecan type. This was the tastiest of them all, special k or not. Nice crunch, good flavor.

Alright, I’ve got to stop. Cereal. Lol. What was I thinking writing about cereal. Four more boxes to go, I’ll write about them later.

F’ it, I need to get my fix. So Robert said he got in a debate with his friends about the US supporting China. The original question was, “What would we have to give China in order for us to move against North Korea without incurring a Korean-war-style wave of Chinese reinforcements?” It’s an interesting question. He answered Tibet or Taiwan. I would agree we would have to give something big. However, I don’t feel like that would ever realistically happen.

Does anyone remember when NK was saber rattling in the early 2000′s about acquiring weapons of mass destruction? We ignored them and went for Iraq anyway, a country that didn’t have any. That pissed me off. I never really thought about it back then, but I guess it was because NK had China defending them.

So what do I think would happen if NK actually got nuclear weapons running? Hmm, also something I’ve never really thought about. I don’t believe China is interested in a war with the US, especially since its economy is increasingly tied with ours. Japan may very well use it as an excuse to build up their military. They already are, to an extent. Heck, they want a permanent seat on the Security Council, badly, something I’m against. If anyone should get a permanent seat, it should be Brazil.

But I’m thinking, with enough conservative elements in the Japanese government, they’ll go for a full on revocation of the anti-military clause in their constitution. I’m sure the conservatives are just waiting for an excuse to get rid of that. Fear + expansion of government powers = tried & true government play. I think the LDP has already expressed a willingness to use pre-emptive strikes against NK if necessary, a precedent set by us!

If Japan strikes first, America is shielded. Japan acts as buffer zone. China can’t strike the US. We haven’t done anything yet. However, defending NK and striking Japan would be their version of our predicament of striking North Korea. So I don’t think China would enter at all. They’d just sit back and probably engage in some kind of proxy logistical war. That’s just my quickie analysis anyway.

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