Other than toys, there is not a product more targeted at children than sugary cereals. From cartoon characters to prizes in boxes, I succumbed to the lure of Captain Crunch and the Trix Bunny as a child. At least organic cereals try to appeal to children by educating them about endangered species. Marketing strategies aside, many commercial cereals are chock full of artificial colors and flavorings linked to hyperactivity in children; however, there is a new threat to our health from cereal: petrochemical 2-methylnaphthalene.
One might assume this petrochemical is present in children’s cereals from conventional farming methods, yet the source is actually the packaging. Natural News reports how 2- methylnaphthalene ended up in Kellogg brand cereals:
It turns out this chemical was most likely released from the wax paper cereal liners that hold the cereal. This could have been due to the heating of the wax paper when it’s sealed. This causes the off-gassing of chemicals which can then be absorbed by the cereal itself.
The effect was so bad that the FDA received dozens of complaints from consumers who could taste and smell the chemical. Some said the cereal made them feel ill.
A recall followed, but the FDA did nothing to explore the safety of this chemical used in packaging. I can’t help but wonder if even the organic cereals we eat use the same wax lining bags that contain this chemical however small the amount? We may eat organic food, but if it comes in packaging, we may not be as safe from chemicals as we assume.