Cereal = Human Kibble?

Even fleeting comments can provide great blog fodder.


Now don’t get me wrong – I like cereal.  I like it for breakfast, as a snack (no milk denotes “snack” status), or as a quick meal when I’m pushed for time, out of groceries, or just plain lazy.

But when I put too much thought into it, lots of things about cereal strike me as very similar to commercial, dry pet food.

Is this photo of pet food or cereal?

The first obvious similarities are the physical properties kibble and cereal share.

They’re both processed, mass-produced dry foods that come conveniently bite-sized.  We put milk on cereal, and many people put water on their dogs’ kibble before serving.  Both cereal and kibble provide quick and easy meals, can be purchased in bulk, and unused portions keep and store well.

And both kibble and cereal are marketed to any specialty purchaser in a variety of price ranges.

Looking for a whole grain cereal?  They’ve got that.  Looking for a low-fat or low-calorie cereal to accommodate your diet?  They’ve got that, too.

Looking for a kibble “designed” specially for your dog’s breed, age or size?  Options abound!

And what about nutritional value?  A lot of our favourite cereals are “part of a complete breakfast”, right?  With lots of essential nutrients and whole grains?  Well, this website informs us that many of our trusted brands are not what they seem.  General Mills Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, a personal favourite, is reportedly 42% sugar – but what about all those whole grains? Do they count for nothing?!  I can’t  say this revelation will mean I’ll cease buying it immediately, but I’ll consider cutting back.

And what about those dog foods with pictures of meat on the packaging?

Well, even though the first ingredient of Iams Healthy Naturals is actually chicken, the inclusion of water content for the portion analysis means that after processing upwards of 80% of the volume is lost and it would no longer remain the main ingredient.  And the second ingredient is chicken by-product, which certainly doesn’t include those delicious-looking drumsticks.  The following ingredients listed by volume are rice, corn meal, whole grains, and barley.  What about all that promised meat and protein?

Which brings me to my final similarity between cereal and kibble:  the ingredients.


Corn Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken, Dried Egg Product, Chicken Fat, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Chicken Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Brewers Dried Yeast, Salt, Flax Meal, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Beta-Carotene, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (source of vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Caramel, Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, L-Carnitine, Rosemary Extract.

340 cals/cup


Corn meal, sugar/glucose-fructose, corn bran, fancy molasses, salt, oat flour, baking soda, colour, vitamins (niacinamide, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine hydrochloride, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid), minerals (iron, zinc oxide). BHT added to package material to maintain product freshness.

120 cals/cup

I put in bold above all of the duplicate ingredients between the two products.

Take out anything in kibble intended to represent meat and the two are quite similar, are they not?

What does this say about kibble? Or about cereal?