Thursday, December 17, 2015

Heavy Metal Cereal

Iron-fortified cereal is just that: manufacturers add the metal element to many cereals as a dietary supplement. I bet you thought that was in the form of microscopic bits. Not quite. Food artist Henry Hargreaves decided to find out how much iron was added to his cereal.
A few weeks ago, a friend informed me that many of our everyday breakfast cereals contain so much physical iron—in other words, actual metal—that the individual flakes could be magnetized. Refusing to believe this could be correct, I did a little research and found quite a few heated discussions on the topic online. As an uneducated consumer, I’d always assumed iron, which helps create oxygen-carrying red blood cells, was a naturally occurring protein that shared the same name as a rock-hard mineral purely by coincidence. Curiosity piqued, I conducted an experiment on my own using cereals found at my local supermarket.
See some familiar cereals and how much iron can be extracted from them here.

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