Did you know that there are iron chunks in Cheerios?

Yes, its true!! Whenever you eat Cheerios (or any other breakfast cereal for that matter) you are consuming small bits of elemental iron (labeled as "reduced iron" in the ingredients table). This is the way cereal companies provide you with your "percent daily value" of iron. Now, I'm sure there are those of you who don't believe me, so I will provide you with a simple experiment to show you the truth:

  • First, grind a bunch of cheerios up in a blender with water (the runnier the mixture the easier this is.) Pour the mixture into a glass container.
  • Second, place a magnet in the mixture and allow it to spin around for about 15 to 30 minutes. (Placing the container on a magnet stirrer is quite helpful for this step)
  • Finally, pull the magnet out of the mixture and low and behold!! You will see little fragments of iron sticking to the magnet! You can see them very well on a white plastic coated magnet, but in the case you don't, you can wipe the magnet with a tissue or paper towel and you will see the iron fillings on the tissue.

Pretty interesting, huh?

Since 1941, Cheerios has been one of the premeire breakfast cereals. It's also one of the few kids will eat even though it isn't marketed by a cartoon character (the Honey Nut Bee is Honey Nut Cheerios).

Cheerios are pretty plain when you get right down to it, but are still pretty good. They are shaped like brown little mini-doughnuts and made almost complelty from whole grain oats and, according to their distributor General Mills, can reduce the risk of heart disease. This is due to one gram of soluble fiber per cup. Cheerios have always come in a bright yellow box and probably always will.

Other variants on Cheerios include Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, multi-grain Cheerios, and the recently introduced Team Cheerios.

According to a box of Honey Nut Cheerios announcing the Cheerios line of cereals' 60th anniversary, "Cheeri Oats" were the first ready-to-eat oat cereal.

Today, General Mills's Cheerios are the number one ready-to-eat cereal in America (perhaps because they are so good dry, without milk, fruit, or any other fixings).

Because of their nifty miniature donut shape, Cheerios are a popular baby food. Though one of the few breakfast cereals that doesn't get soggy from lengthy exposure to milk, the O's soften up after a little sucking, which is why even toothless infants can eat them. (Update, 13 June 2002: arcanamundi informs me that the donut shape also makes Cheerios baby-safe in that they're pretty much impossible to choke on.)

Honey Nut Cheerios were the first spin-off cereal based on the plain whole grain oats Cheerios, introduced in 1979. Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios, and Team Cheerios (which combines the regular, Apple Cinnamon, and Honey Nut varieties) are more recent developments (I'll add the years these went to market as soon as I find them out.

Contrary to previous writeups, Cheerios have been advertised by cartoons in the past. "Cheeri O'Leary" was the cereal's first mascot, starting in 1942. The characters Kid and Sue also appeared in Cheerios commercials until 1977. One final funfact: the use of a Cheerios O to dot the "i" on the cereal's logo was first used in 1953.


Source: More than ten years after the fact, I'm guessing http://www.cheerios.com/ and other General Mills-type sites, and/or maybe the back of a box of Honey Nut Cheerios since I did love them as a snack back in the day: just handfuls, straight out of the box, om nom nom nom nom. (3 April 2012)

Before the gas crisis of the 1970's Cheerios were produced using a very gas-intensive method. As the cost of gas rose, General Mills began looking for alternative methods to produce the puffed oat cereal.

General Mills sought out an MIT electrical engineering professor for this endeavor. He developed a method of forming the famous small ring shape for the Cheerios, then superheating the oats. When the oats were heated up, steam accumulated inside the little rings. When the oats were then exposed to colder air, the steam could not escape, had a little "explosion" and the oats became puffed.

The development team worked on this method until it became one of the most efficent food processing methods on the market. When it was completed, the machine they had made was producing 100 pounds of Cheerios in an hour, at a much smaller cost to General Mills than the previous method.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.