Jan. 10, 2012 UPDATE: 2 years later, Kashi has released a long-overdue SECOND vegan cereal, GoLean Crisp! Cinnamon Crumble. Fantastic… I’ll be on the edge of my seat for the next 15 years while they max out their fiscal budget coming up with a nearly impossible formula for milk-free instant oatmeal.
It’s true folks, despite the idea of granola-gnoshing, tree-hugging, pot-smoking, nature-hike-taking dirty hippie yoga fanatics conjured up by the utterance of the word “Kashi,” no Kashi GoLean! cereal has been vegan-friendly thus far. Both actually good-tasting “Crunch” versions (Original & Honey Almond Flax) as well the shitty twigs/sticks GoLean! Original contain honey (putting the commercially produced vegan-friendly products score at Oreos: 8, Kashi: 0.) That’s not to say I haven’t been indulging in all of these cereals since beginning my journey to veganism back in August ’08. I certainly have, but now I’m trying to really hunker down and get serious (ethical) about being a vegan. If not for the animals, then atleast for the safety of my teeth: I mean, who could forget that horrifying Kashi ball ordeal?? (I am convinced the honey was the culprit behind that experience; there is simply no way any brown rice syrup or evaporated cane juice could have withstood the things I did to that reverse-crunch bolus, which was everything short of shoving bamboo shards under it’s fingernails.. and that was only because it didn’t have any fingernails. And I didn’t have any bamboo shards. But who knows, both were probably included in the bolus mixture.).
So seriously, let’s set aside our questions about why honey isn’t vegan, how Oreos ARE (could “creme” really just be a grammatical loophole in the contract of honest food rather than a fancy French spin on the word “cream”?), why I’ve suddenly decided to go all out in my cruelty-free lifestyle choices and about whatever happened to that Kashi death ball (it haunts me) and just focus, FOCUS! on the most important task at hand: the fact that Kashi has released this new GoLean! Crisp Toasted Berry Crumble cereal. It’s sweetened with brown rice syrup & “evaporated cane juice crystals” (yuppy phrase for sugar). It’s alot more hearty, crunchy and flavorful than the bee-slave-driving Original GoLean – but, sadly, the competition pretty much stops there. Now for some people, it’s all about the flavor & texture of their cereal; these are the only components that can make or break the cold breakfast treat. However, for people like me, the side of the box is where it’s at. Sure, Crisp! tastes like an adult version of Crunch Berries (think the Cap’n, Trader Joe, civil union, bam) but nutritionally, it’s kind of a nightmare in comparison to the original twigs/sticks. Cup for cup, the original simply offers more bang for a smaller calorie buck: to start, it weighs 1g more than a cup of Crisp! It also only has 140 calories rather than the 250 calories in a cup of Crisp!, and it packs 13g protein while the new cereal contains 12g. Boo. (And while both Crunch! versions have about the same stats as Crisp! nutritionally, they taste a hell of a lot better.)
Would I completely write off Crisp! altogether? Absolutely not! Until Kashi is willing to ditch the honey & sweeten all their GoLean with an alternative, Crisp! is left to stand alone, and I simply will not turn my back on her at this harrowing time. While Crisp! would make a great, lower-calorie version of granola in my soy yogurt snack, I am not ready to relegate it to such a lowly status just yet; I am willing to reach a breakfast negotiation through a system which I have aptly named “Danielle’s mixy matchy cereal swippy swappy for a happy morning which will hopefully lead to a day filled with emotional stability and socially acceptable statements made at an appropriate volume” (DMMCSSFAHMWWHLTADFWESASASMAAAV): I would do 1/2 cup Crisp! -get this now- MIXED with a lower calorie, vegan-friendly cereal (perhaps Barbara’s Shredded Spoonfuls? Think Life cereal as Trader Joe’s molasses-sweetened, thinner adulteress. Cap’n was lookin a little scurvied anyways justsayin) to create a flavorful, crunchy, lightly berried, perfectly sweetened bowl of cereal with probably around 180 calories total. Top it off with some banana or peaches, a dollop of almond milk & now THAT’s a great start….or continuation, depending on how late in the day you indulge in breakfast, I suppose…….but who am I to judge? I seriously just spent 3 days writing an article about fucking cereal.