Friday, June 8, 2012

Fake Food Friday

Part of being passionately curious includes loving to learn. In an effort to learn as much as I can, I’m currently working through the books I own that I have yet to read. I’m sure you have them too – books you bought with the intention of reading, books friends leant you, books you bought for school and never got around to reading… After going through pretty much everything I own, I went ahead and separated out the books that I own but haven’t yet read.

The first one I tackled, and finished on my ride to Rhode Island last weekend, was Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food:


I really enjoyed this book, and learned a lot about the development of the Western diet, the way our obsession with nutrition (taking lots of vitamins vs. just eating food to get nutrients), and ways to eat in order to live better and healthier. It definitely made me want to pick up the rest of Pollan’s books; I enjoy his writing style as well as the content.

Anyways, at the end, he provides food rules to follow – one of which is to just eat food. Food, not “food.” The way he puts it is that if your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize it as food, it’s not food. For example, did you realize that most breads in the supermarket today have tons of ingredients, most that are unpronounceable? Even whole grain bread? Or that skim milk isn’t just milk, but also additives to preserve flavor? In the last week, I’ve spent time reading food labels, and it’s definitely pretty eye-opening.

Which brings me to today. Last night, I was in the grocery store picking up a few things, and I came across this:


Kelloggs Krave. Obviously a “food,” and not FOOD. Inspired by my find last night, I bring you Fake Food Friday.  This may or may not become a regular feature, but I thought it’d be interesting to break down what Krave is, and isn’t.

I would guess that Krave is pretty tasty. I say I would guess because I didn’t actually purchase it, but in theory, it sounds like it could be a crunchy, delicious treat. It also sounds like it would make Cookie Crisp or Reeses Puffs look like granola. I mean, those at least spell their names right. I also kind of want to write Barbara’s and ask them to create chocolate-filled Peanut Butter Puffins (the world’s most perfect cereal). I digress.

Anyways. This is the nutrition label:


130 calories! It almost seems like a dieter’s cereal! Until you realize that it’s only for 3/4 of a cup (let’s be honest, nobody eats only 3/4 of a cup of cereal) and that it only offers two grams of protein. Which means you’re going to krave, errr crave, more pretty quickly.

The ingredients list has over 30 ingredients. Some of which I can’t pronounce. And the first two ingredients are Chocolate Flavored Filling (read: sugar) and sugar. Plus four different artificial colors. WHY on earth do we have a need to artificially color our “food?”

Last lesson from this edition of FFF": if you have to add the vitamins and minerals, it’s probably not Food. And Krave? Krave is definitely “food.”

Plus the font on the packaging reminds me of an alien.

Should Fake Food Friday become an ongoing feature? And more importantly, has anyone tried it? Is it tasty?


  1. My greatgrandmother ate only potatoes and drank only port. Thank christ I have "food" available to me.

  2. I would love FFF to be a regular thing. Also, I haven't tried Krave, but I say that if you are going to eat a chocolate cereal, you should go with a classic like Cocoa Krispies :)

  3. Read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

  4. At my school lots of kids get chocolate milk to pour in their Lucky Charms or Cinnamon Toast Crunch and because their isn't enough grain to serve the cereal by itself, they also get either a pack of cookies or a wrapped donut hole to complete their meal. It's ridiculous and disgusting.