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Cereal du Jour: Quaker Natural Granola Oats, Honey & Raisins, the least healthy "healthy" cereal ever made (almost).
History: Unlike many of the cereals we talk about here, Quaker Natural Granola doesn't have some kind of long, drawn-out history having to do with Cold War atomic propaganda, Thundercats, or the bloody rivalries of competing cereal magnates. It is a fairly recent creation, and came about the way all new cereals do--by way of an earthquake.
Granola Bar Warehouse Manager: Hey, Bob? This is Jimmy, down at the granola warehouse. Hey, so you know that big earthquake we just had? Yeah, well, the granola bars didn't come through it too well . . .
Bob the Quaker Executive: No shit? Well, I guess you could just sweep up all the granola-bar pieces and make cereal out of it . . .
No . . . That's not true at all. Quaker Natural Granola cereal came about the way all new cereals do--by way of a marketing error.
Granola Bar Warehouse Manager: Hey, Bob? This is Jimmy, down at the granola warehouse. Yeah, so you know that big shipment of granola bars that just came in? Well, word on the street is that no one is eating granola bars anymore because they have all these new things covered in chocolate or full of peanut butter or whatever. Just wondering what you think we should do with these 10 million old-fashioned non-chocolate-covered granola bars . . .
Bob the Quaker Executive: No shit? Peanut butter, you say? Well, I guess you could just crush up all the granola bars into pieces and make cereal out of it . . .
OK, so I made that up too. The truth is, Quaker Natural Granola cereal came about the way all new cereals do--by way of a Godzilla attack.
Granola Bar Warehouse Manager: Hey, Bob? This is Jimmy, down at the granola warehouse. So I guess you've probably heard that we transferred all our warehousing to Japan. And you know what they have in Japan, Bob? Godzilla. Well, yesterday Godzilla came stomping through Tokyo and he crushed our entire stock of crunchy, old-fashioned, completely non-chocolate-or-peanut-butter-covered granola bars. Killed a bunch of workers, too. Did you know Godzilla could shoot laser beams out of his eyes? I sure didn't know that. So, what should I do, Bob? Things look pretty bad here . . .
Bob the Quaker Executive: No shit? Godzilla attack, you say? Well, I guess you could just take all the crushed-up granola pieces and make cereal out of it . . .
And that, my friends, was how they made Quaker Natural Granola cereal. One Godzilla attack, plus a total fuck-ton of sugar.
The Product: What's that? A fuck-ton of sugar? Oh, yeah . . . See, Bob the Quaker Executive is no dummy. He's been hawking granola for a long time, and he knows damn well that no one will eat the stuff unless you pretty much dip it in sugar and then sprinkle some more sugar on top for good luck. Quaker Natural Granola Oats, Honey & Raisins was recently tagged by Men's Health as one of the "20 Worst Breakfasts In America," mainly because one bowl of it has more calories and more sugar than a bowl of Cocoa Krispies or three Krispy Kreme original glazed donuts (in keeping with the fucked-up-spelling theme). What does it? The one-two punch of brown sugar and honey, which more or less completely overwhelms any supposed health benefits that might come from eating actual Godzilla-squished granola.
Of course, all this sugar also means the stuff tastes pretty good. Pretty really good, actually. It's a bit tough on the teeth for the first couple of bites, and overall it gives one the sensation of being slugged in the mouth by a sack of rolled oats. But since it's a sack of rolled oats fairly dripping with honey and brown sugar, that's OK.
The Box: Just a bowl of cereal, with no cartoon characters or anything. That's how you know it's supposed to be healthy.
Best Feature: Can pretend you're eating healthy when really you'd be better off eating a bowl of donut holes with Diet Coke poured over the top.
Worst Feature: Has a texture kind of like chewing chunks of particle board. Also, the raisins are the least sweet thing in the bowl--which should really be the first sign that you're basically eating candy for breakfast.
Is It Better or Worse Than Apple Jacks?: Worse, obviously, and by a large margin. But the stuff is still edible, so that's an improvement over many of the cereals we've been talking about lately.