I like to send for free samples — sometimes they are “real food,” and sometimes, they just look like it. Last week, I got this sample of Bear Naked Nut Cluster Crunch Cereal – Honey Almond. At first glance, it looks like it might be real food. It certainly looks healthy, and depending upon your definition of “healthy,” it may be.

But, it’s not “real food,” by my definition. I’m sticking with my homemade granola. Here’s the listing of ingredients in this cereal:

If you’re familiar with how I define “real food,” you’ll see that this cereal fails on a few levels.

  • It includes white rice, not brown
  • I count four variants of sweeteners in this cereal, even though the ingredient listing doesn’t specifically call out sugar:  Evaporated Cane Juice Crystals, Brown Rice Syrup, Barley Malt Syrup, and Honey
  • There are more than 5 ingredients in this cereal
  • I can’t pronounce all the ingredients — Mixed Tocopherols
  • This cereal contains another “cereal” (crisp rice) and it is not “real food”
  • I have no idea what they mean by Natural Flavor?