Monday, June 15, 2009

Eat Your Packaging For Breakfast

by Rob Kaszubowski, CPP - Chainalytics

I recently had the pleasure of watching old re-runs of Mythbusters on a lazy, rainy Sunday afternoon. The second part of the episode was set aside to debunk the myth of which had more nutritional value … a fruity, sugary breakfast cereal, or the paperboard box it actually came in. Adam recalled how his mom always told him that the paperboard box was healthier than many of the sweet, sugary cereals he wanted as a child.

The team used a calorimeter to test the amount of calories in each specimen. The paperboard box was ground up and blended to a mush, and 1 gram of the mix was placed on top of the calorimeter and lit on fire. The same was done to the cereal mash. Once the samples finished burning the temperature was recorded and calculations were made. It was determined that the 1 gram of cereal had 9 calories, while the mix of the box had around 7 calories.

Next they tested the nutrients in each sample. It was deemed that the cereal had sugar, protein, fat and starch – just as the label on a cereal box would say. The box on the other hand had almost no notable nutrients.

Sorry mom… Myth Busted! The paperboard cereal box had some calories, but no nutritional value. Now I can feel guilt free the next time I’m eating my favorite morning cereal (Cinnamon Toast Crunch – in case you were wondering!).

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