Cereal, Gluten, Mold

Milk + Cereal Grains: Fattening Pigs and Kids since the last​ century

Skim Milk +/- breakfast cereal is known to fatten pigs – effectively. Sound like a good choice to start your day with?

If you are looking for a first step toward improving the health of your child or yourself, eliminating junk breakfast cereal is a fantastic place to start.

Normally, I would start a discussion about breakfast cereal by going over how they impact blood sugar, insulin, and weight gain. That changed when I saw these images in my feed one morning.

Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin Illustrations, 1925-1941
The Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin Illustrations consist of photographs and other illustrations reproduced in Station Bulletins published from the mid-1920s to early 1940s. The subjects are representative of the various agricultural research projects conducted in Corvallis and at Branch Stations throughout Oregon.

It was apparently well known and documented that in addition to feeding grains (like – maybe – TOAST?), cereal may work (even though it has deficiencies that are expensive to correct) but SKIM milk is superior for fattening pigs.

Skim Milk: This is not only the very best supplement for growing pigs, but is of almost equal value for fattening purposes. Though very low in dry-matter content, milk furnishes a complete protein, which fact accounts in a large measure for the excellent returns. Milk renders the ration more palatable, including greater consumption and consequently greater daily gains.

Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin No. 269 November 1930

How does this info square with current nutritional guidance?


Seems to me like our government advice is meant more to fatten than provide nutrition; in which case they are succeeding! Childhood obesity is off the charts.

In the United States, the percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s.1  Data from 2015-2016 show that nearly 1 in 5 school age children and young people (6 to 19 years) in the United States has obesity.2



These associations to me speak for themselves, but it is fair to evaluate the mechanistic angle on how the cereal + milk strategy can cause negative health consequences.

Blood Sugar

I mentioned this is where I start on the standard breakfast approach of grains and milk. The mechanism is straight forward. Spike blood sugar, cue insulin, signal fat storage. To back this up with all the references available may crash the web host. I think this Stanford study will suffice:

A standardized meal of cornflakes and milk caused glucose elevation in the prediabetic range (>140 mg/dl) in 80% of individuals in our study. It is plausible that these commonly eaten foods might be adverse for the health of the majority of adults in the world population.

Glucotypes reveal new patterns of glucose dysregulation.
Heather Hall , Dalia Perelman , Alessandra Breschi , Patricia Limcaoco, Ryan Kellogg, Tracey McLaughlin, Michael Snyder 3


These are toxins produced by mold. It is a topic that will require a number of posts to cover. They are in grains and cereals prominently. For now, they should be avoided at all costs.

Mycotoxins can have serious health effects in concentrations as low as 100 parts per billion. They also bioaccumulate – ochratoxin stays in your system for 35 days. Even if you’re eating or breathing in only small amounts every day (in a morning cup of coffee or a bowl of cereal, for example), mycotoxin levels can build up fast. It’s incredibly important to avoid mycotoxin-laden foods, for stretch mark purposes and for far more serious reasons (mycotoxins are strongly carcinogenic).

Asprey, Dave. The Stretch Marks Factor: Prevent Stretch Marks & Build Naturally Vibrant Skin . Bulletproof. Kindle Edition.

Carcinogenic, for sure, but mold toxins also cause many other problems. These problems tend to not be talked about in humans as much (hmmm, I wonder why?), but they are known about in agriculture.

Aflatoxins are extremely toxic, mutagenic, and carcinogenic compounds produced by Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. Aflatoxin B1 is excreted in milk in the form of aflatoxin M1. The FDA limits aflatoxin to no more than 20 parts per billion (ppb) in lactating dairy feeds and to 0.5 ppb in milk. A rule of thumb is that milk aflatoxin concentrations equal about 1.7% (range from 0.8 to 2.0%) of the aflatoxin concentration in the total ration dry matter. Cows consuming diets containing 30 ppb aflatoxin can produce milk containing aflatoxin residues above the FDA action level of 0.5 ppb. Aflatoxin appears in the milk rapidly and clears within three to four days (Diaz et al., 2004 and Frobish et al., 1986).
Symptoms of acute aflatoxicosis in mammals include inappetence, lethargy, ataxia, rough hair coat, and pale, enlarged fatty livers. Symptoms of chronic aflatoxin exposure include reduced feed efficiency and milk production, jaundice, and decreased appetite. Aflatoxin lowers resistance to diseases and interferes with vaccine-induced immunity (Diekman and Green, 1992).

Mold and Mycotoxin Issues in Dairy Cattle: Effects, Prevention and Treatment4

Tomorrow’s Breakfast Menu: Cereal (NOT!!!)

Cleaning up breakfast is hard. When we started working on my daughter’s nutrition, see her success story, the first step was to get rid of junk breakfast foods – and the school lunch. Again, it’s hard due to the increased effort. Cereal + milk is easy but extremely problematic. It has been shown here to cause weight gain and many other problems. We noticed it first in improved school performance; your brain can’t work on this type of “food”.

Beef (grass-fed/organic) is definitely a good choice for dinner. What’s for breakfast?

  1. https://www.choosemyplate.gov/moms-making-healthy-food-choices
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/obesity/facts.htm
  3. https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.2005143
  4. https://articles.extension.org/pages/11768/mold-and-mycotoxin-issues-in-dairy-cattle:-effects-prevention-and-treatment

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