Rear Reading

Rosetta Stone would be out of business, and we would all have our Master’s degrees if the back of cereal boxes provided useful information.

Think about it. We ALL stare at that cereal box each morning. The rear side of box really is a blank slate that has so much potential. What if “where is the bathroom, ” and “my cereal is soggy” was translated on the back of a box in Spanish? Learning a new language would suddenly become easier (and tastier) for so many people. What if the basic principles of philosophy were outlined on the back of a box of Frosted Flakes? That PhD would become a lot more realistic for breakfast eaters everywhere. If “Tony the Tiger” became  “Tina the Teacher,” and  if each box provided educational content, then the world would be a whole lot smarter. Parent’s everywhere would be thrilled to know they could spend less on private education and more on breakfast.

And of course we are not asking for “Snap, Crackle , and Pop” or “Captan Crunch” to be removed from the cereal landscape. These mascots could still grace us with their presence every morning: Couldn’t Froot Loop’s Toucan Sam teach us about rainforest conservation? The Honey Nut Cherrios bee could lecture us on the finer points of the “birds and the bees,” saving many gym teachers the embarrassment of teaching sex-ed. Hell, a box of Wheaties, the “breakfast  of champions,”  should  show you how to work off that pile of bacon you ate alongside the bowl of cereal. There is SO MUCH POTENTIAL!

It is kind of sad that there is an entire cereal box back dedicated to how to make a "Snack Mix." Is it really that complicated to mix cereal and nuts together? I bet we could fit a good portion of America's history in that same space, and we would be a whole lot better off.

Instead our boxes are just billboards for “Big-Cereal’s” propaganda,  which blatantly tries to get us to  purchase more of their products. Or even worse, when we must spend the morning getting a stupid rabbit to the end of a maze or tasked with completing some other boring game or puzzle printed on cereal box’s back.

And then there is a whole other level of crap on the back of the box…those ridiculously dumb recipes. Do we really need ANOTHER recipe for how to make “Chex mix?” I don’t think this recipe is so complex that it justifies taking up the entire back side of a family-sized cereal box. All you basically do is mix Chex with pretzels…

Maybe the cereal companies don’t realize that society would be so much more intelligent if they just sacrificed the back side of their boxes to provide valuable information. But I do understand how this space is a useful advertising asset for cereal companies, so they won’t just give it up. So… how cool would it be if the government subsidized “Big-Cereal” to provide a serving of education along with a each serving of cereal. I am sure if Kelloggs got some tax relief, then they would not mind ditching their various promotions on the rear of their boxes in favor of some college level course work. There could even be quizzes on the back of cereal boxes that you could fill out and send in for your GED or some sort of doctoral certification. If there is online college programs, can’t there also be similar programs on cereal boxes?

For now though, I guess I will just have to be content with going through that maze ANOTHER time and possibly rereading about how to combine chex cereal and pretzels to make chex mix. At least there will be something tasty to snack on.

Cereal companies have accomplished great things. There boxes are filled with amazingly addictive food that has become the “crack of breakfast.” They have found ways to make it healthy and ways to make it highly processed so that it NEVER goes bad (have you ever seen stale Rice Krispies before? I sure haven’t). And cereal has now even become a popular morning meal world-wide. Now all they have to do is give us back our “free-prize-inside” and provide  a little early-morning-education, then this will be the perfect model of what a food should be.


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Categories: Rants

Author:Mr. Fed Up

A guy looking for good grub. and YES....I have a website...and I am not going to bore you with one of those personal journal type of blogs. I promise. Check it out;


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9 Comments on “Rear Reading”

  1. April 14, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    How about information about how the foods that the box their holding carries the crap that’s gonna kill them later? Solid idea.

    • April 15, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

      Not all cereal is that terrible for your health BUT I DO AGREE, that many cereals try to look healthy by showing off their “whole-grain” or “all-natural” content, while trying to hide the fact the cereal is drenched in sugar.

      I just don’t see cigarette-style warning labels covering cereal boxes just yet.

  2. April 16, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    Why stop at cereal boxes? If we expected boxes to provide useful info, a box of cake mix would rattle out word after word that end in “ose”…you could go into a sugar coma just by reading the back.

  3. April 19, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    Even my four-year-old is tired of reading the same stuff on the back of cereal boxes. I used the back of the Rice Krispies box to help her recognize her words and she’s annoyed that every new box we get has the SAME stuff on it. 😉 Poor kid. She’s going to have to start eating a different kind of cereal.

    • April 19, 2012 at 9:36 am #

      Ha. But at least she will know the nutritional fact of Rice Krispies by heart, and can probably recite the recipe for Rice Krispie Treats by memory (assuming they are STILL printing that recipe on all the boxes).

      Oh and your four-year-old has good taste! I am a big fan of Rice Krispies…but they don’t match the awesomeness of:


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