The Boxtop - Cereal Netletter
Volume 5, Number 4 Winter Holiday Season 2003

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Winter Holiday Season 2003 Index

Character Profile: Quake
Cereal Box Collecting
Hydrogenated Oils - What's All the Fuss?
Barbara's Bakery
General Mills "What Will You Bring to the Table?" Contest
Cereal Review - Kellogg's THE CAT IN THE HAT Cereal
What's New in Cereal?
  • Looney Tunes - Back in Action Cereal
  • Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat Promotion
Send Us Your News

Character Profile: Quake
by Topher
Miner QuakeQuake (1966) provided "earthquake power!" to those who ate it. Quake was originally a giant of a man in a miner's helmet, with flexed biceps, and a "Q" on his big, muscular chest. Quake had the unfortunate distinction of squaring off against the more popular Quisp in a series of commercials produced by the Jay Ward Studios.
In 1969 he trimmed down and put on an Aussie cowboy hat. This didn't help his image. The new, less macho, Quake was joined in 1991 by Simon the Quangaroo. Quake was voiced by William Conrad (TV's "Cannon", and the narrator of "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show").

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Cereal Box Collecting
by Topher
We are often asked about the best way to collect cereal boxes. Here are our observations.
  1. An unopened box is indeed more valuable than an opened box, especially if there is a cool prize inside. However, a Mint condition flattened box is worth more than an unopened bug-infested box.
  2. If you leave the cereal in the box, you must protect it from bugs and rodents. If they discover it, they'll eat right through your box and it'll be worthless. Therefore you have a trade-off.
  3. If you empty the box, it's best to store it flat. Carefully open the top and bottom flaps. Take your time. You do not want to puncture, tear or cut the box in any way. There are two ways to achieve this: a) slide something like a sharp non-serrated knife, letter opener, or putty knife under the top and bottom flaps to carefully release the glued flaps, or b) blow hot air across the flaps with a hair dryer on the hottest setting. This will melt the glue. Once you get the box opened on top and bottom, the box will fold down flat and be very easy to store. Keep in in a dry, dark place, away from bugs and rodents who might want to take up home in your cardboard.
  4. If you like displaying your boxes, consider filling them with lightly crumpled paper or Styrofoam packing peanuts to retain the shape. Then seal them in a clear display holder. We've seen a couple different types: a sturdy acrylic box, and a soft vinyl package called a "Cerealboxer" that fits around your cereal box.
  5. It is best to store prizes sealed in their original packaging.

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Hydrogenated Oils - What's the Fuss?
by Topher
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requiring that trans fatty acids be declared in the nutrition label of conventional foods on a separate line immediately under the line for the declaration of saturated fatty acids. This rule is effective January 1, 2006.

Why? Trans fat raises the "bad" LDL blood cholesterol levels, while lowering the "good" HDL blood cholesterol in your body. Trans fatty acids are also found in all hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, including margarine and shortening. Hydrogenated fats and partially hydrogenated fats are saturated fats.

Saturated fat contributes to heightened levels of cholesterol in your blood. Saturated fats are found in meat, fish, poultry and high fat dairy products. They are also present in hydrogenated vegetable oils and tropical oils such as palm oil, palm kernel oil, coconut oil, and cocoa butter. They are usually solid at room temperature.

Hydrogenation is a process which changes liquid vegetable oils into a more solid form. Hydrogenated oil extends the shelf life of various foods --- including cakes, cookies, crackers and breakfast cereals. Unfortunately this process produces trans fatty acids.

Partially hydrogenated fats are liquid oils processed to a somewhat solid form. Margarines and many processed foods such as crackers, cookies, convenience mixes, and breakfast cereals, are often produced with partially hydrogenated oils.

Clearly, it would be beneficial to our health if we could avoid Hydrogenated Oils, Partially Hydrogenated Oils, and Trans Fatty Acids. We'd like to see the major snack-food companies and cereal manufacturers eliminate these artery-clogging additives from their products. Read the detailed ingredients labels of your favorite foods to see what they contain. You may be very surprised at what you find.

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Barbara's Bakery
by Topher
Here's a cereal company you can really appreciate. It's the "Ben Jerry's" of cereal. Barbara's Bakery makes all-natural cereals that are made from organic grains. They contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, refined white sugar, MSG, or hydrogenated oils. They use recycled materials in their box construction, and donate time and money to non-profit groups through their Brighter Future program. They have a full stable of cereals. We sampled four.
Organic Wild PuffsOrganic Wild Puffs is a lightly sweetened puffed-wheat cereal. It is reminiscent of Nabisco's Wheat Honeys and Kellogg's Sugar Smacks cereals. It is currently one of the few puffed-wheat cereals currently on the market. Our sample had a small but discernable burnt flavor.
GrainShopGrainShop is a medley of organic whole grain flakes including corn flakes, rolled oats, bran flakes, and fiber strands. It's not sweet and has lots of texture. It boasts 8 grams of fiber into every serving --- and they aren't kidding. This cereal will clean your plumbing. It's also kind of bland. It needs a fruit or a nut. If you mix-and-match cereal combinations, like my mother-in-law, this cereal makes a great starter. (In fact, it's the BEST starter she has found). She says mixing GrainShop and Post's Great Grains creates the perfect cereal taste. (Just don't expect the resulting cereal to be as healthy).
Shredded SpoonfulsShedded Spoonfuls are crisp lightly sweetened biscuits. They are very similar in taste to Quaker Oats' Life Cereal --- only better, primarily because the don't taste as sweet. While Life Cereal is square, Shredded Spoonfuls are hexagonal.
PuffinsPuffins are crunchy, lightly sweetened, corn pillows. We tried the Puffins original flavor. The cereal looks like big Cap'n Crunch nuggets but they don't tear up your mouth. They float in your bowl and pack quite a crunch. This was our clear favorite of the four cereals we sampled. We enjoyed these so much, we out went and bought another box. Puffins also come in Cinnamon, Honey Rice, and Peanut Butter flavors. These are likely to be quite tasty as well.
Barbara's Bakery cereals are available at many grocery stores.

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General Mills "What Will You Bring to the Table?" Contest
by Topher
Snowflakes cereal? Glow-in-the-dark Jell-O? Jalapeno freedom fries? Ever come up with a cool food idea and wish you could do something with it?

To celebrate 75 years on the New York Stock Exchange, General Mills is challenging kids ages 8-14 to let their imaginations run wild and come up with a food innovation that will impact the next 75 years. The contest welcomes any new food idea.

Entrants are required to write an essay of 250 words or less about their new food idea that will change the way we eat over the next 75 years, illustrate it, and create a name for it. Winners will be selected primarily on the creativity of their entries and how well their drawing depicts their idea. The grand prize is 75 shares of General Mills stock, a $7,500 scholarship and a trip to General Mills' world headquarters to be President of Future Innovations for a day. Four runners up will win 75 shares of General Mills stock and 75 of their favorite General Mills products.

Check out to download an official entry form. Entries must be received by January 15, 2004.

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Cereal Review
by Shaun McCrary
Kellogg's Dr. Seuss' THE CAT IN THE HAT cereal

Cat in the HatThis sweetened, strawberry flavored semi-puffed corn and oat based cereal looks like miniature puffed hats with red stripes (like those worn by THE CAT). It is crunchy, floats on top of the milk, and tastes a lot like Kellogg's Hunny B's would taste if they were strawberry flavored. The strawberry flavor itself is very reminiscent of a Neapolitan's strip of strawberry ice cream. Kellogg's could have done better. THE CAT really needs another flavor added to the mix. A shortcake-tasting fish shape might have made this cereal a winner. It's about a 7 on the sweetness scale.
The box is nice. It features THE CAT and his fish-in-teapot adversary in their Seuss-drawn splendor. I rate CAT IN THE HAT Cereal at 5 Boxtops (Middle Of The Road. You Could Do Worse).

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What's New In Cereal?
by Topher

Looney Tunes - Back in Action
General Mills released a "Looney Tunes Back in Action" cereal in November 2003 as a tie-in to the movie sequel under the same name. The cereal itself looks and tastes like the old Trix with little "balls" instead of the newer fruit shapes.
Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat Promotion
Kellogg's released a limited edition "Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat" cereal in late October 2003 as a tie-in to the movie release under the same name. Technically, it's called "Dr. Seuss' THE CAT IN THE HAT" cereal --- why? like we're going to confuse this with somebody else's "Cat in the Hat"?! In addition, Kellogg's also released Cat in the Hat Pop Tarts (rated "disgusting" by my kids) and included a free plush "Thing 1" or "Thing 2" in specially marked boxes of Froot Loops, Rice Krispies, and Frosted Flakes.
Send Us Your News
If you notice anything new in your supermarket cereal isle, or wish to report a new cereal development, please email us. We'll give you credit for your information, or keep it confidential, at your request. Thank you.

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The Boxtop is a non-commercial publication. It is not affiliated with or endorsed by any cereal or company. All of the names, characters, brands, and icons included here are trademarks of their respective parent companies and cannot be used for commercial purposes. Enjoy breakfast and support your favorite characters!
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