2014: The Year of Non-GMO Cereal?

Another familiar (if not exactly beloved) cereal brand is moving away from genetically modified ingredients.

(Photo: Katesea/Flickr/Getty Images)

Jan 17, 2014· 1 MIN READ
Willy Blackmore is TakePart’s Food editor.

Coming fast on the heels of General Mills' announcement that Cheerios—the emotion-laden cereal so many babies gum and push around on high-chair trays—was shifting away from genetically modified ingredients, another storied American breakfast brand announced today that it's going non-GMO: Grape Nuts.

Yes, the weirdest of breakfast cereals, the dark-brown pellets that can go from too crunchy to too soggy in a heartbeat, is jumping on the GMO-free bandwagon. Post, which makes Grape Nuts, told GMO Inside the new formulation is set to debut this month.

Journalists like to say three’s a trend, and while we’re just one GMO-free cereal away from a barrage of stories about the changing attitudes of breakfast food companies, Grape Nuts, like Cheerios, barely had any genetically modified ingredients in them to begin with.

Here’s the ingredient list, save the added vitamins and minerals, from the Post website:

Whole grain wheat flour, malted barley flour, isolated soy protein, salt, whole grain barley flour, malt extract, dried yeast.

Only the isolated soy protein, which helps boost Grape Nuts to eight grams of protein per serving, is genetically engineered. While at this point nearly all of the soy in the country is grown from GMO seeds, making the sourcing of non-GMO soy products at a Grape Nuts scale a challenge, this is still a minor overhaul.

Yet Post says it’s looking at other products “to see if there is potential going forward to add more non-GMO verified products to the Post Foods product line.”

If one of those cereals is corn-based, then we can talk about something that’s more than a trend, that’s potentially something much bigger. It's the only genetically modified cereal grain in production, after all, and a whopping 88 percent of the American crop is grown from GMO seeds.