First, the good news. I have been eating Kashi GOLEAN Crunch for years. I love it. I used GOLEAN to make a delicious parfait that was also high in fiber using it and several different flavors of yogurts as well as kefir that I wrote about last March.
In October I tweaked the recipe to use less yogurt because I was concerned about all the sugar in it. I substituted straight skimmed milk. This reduced the sugar and the calories. The dish also included strawberries and blueberries and, most importantly, remained delicious.
Making the parfait I always poured out my cup of GOLEAN into a bowl. The nutritional info on the box stated that one cup/53 grams yielded 190 calories. For some reason, I decided to weigh the GOLEAN instead of pouring out a measuring cup full. Wonder of wonders 53 grams of the cereal only came to 4 ounces in the measuring cup. As a result of this experience I wrote A Really Good Reason to get a Food Scale early this month.
The more I thought about it, though, the more it bothered me. Which measurement was correct? If it was the scale, I had been consuming 380 calories of Go Lean every day instead of 190 calories for years. On the other hand. If the cup were right, folks who weigh their cereal are only getting half what they expect.
I sent an email to the company. No answer. Here is a copy of my second request.
“This is my second attempt. I never heard from one of your humans yet. My problem is on the nutritional panel. It says 190 calories for one cup/53 grams. The problem is that a cup measurement actually weighs over 100 grams. How do you reconcile this? ”
After receiving mo response to my second email, I phoned them. The Kashi representative was surprised at the information (could I really be the first person to notice this???). He put me on hold several times while he checked further. In the course of a 15 minute conversation, I learned the following from him. He said the FDA has strange rules that required firms to print either 35 grams or 53 grams as the serving size. It was not supposed to be the correct weight.(!) He said I should pour the cereal into an 8 ounce cup measurer and use that.
Okay, that seemed an acceptable if less than perfect answer – use the volume measurement, the cup, not the weight. I think I got it.
However, the next day I received the following email from Kashi:
Subject: Kashi Consumer Affairs 021708736A
Date: Tuesday, April 19, 2011, 8:33 AM
Thank you for contacting us regarding the contents of one serving of Kashi® GOLEAN Crunch!® Cereal.
The serving size for the cereal is based upon weight not volume. One serving is 53 grams, which is approximately equal to 1 cup of cereal. Due to settling throughout distribution, the cereal may not be as clustered as it was when the product is freshly packaged. This will cause the serving size to appear less in volume but still remains the same in weight. If you have a small kitchen scale, along with the time and patience, you can also measure out your servings exactly to grams to ensure you are consuming the appropriate amount per serving.
We wish you the best with your health and wellness goals and appreciate the time you took to communicate with us.
Best of health,
So, Giselle Mendoza of Kashi told me exactly the opposite of the fellow I spoke with on the phone. I was back on square one again.
I went back to Kashi by email. No response. Following is a copy of my third attempt:
Subject: Fw: Re: Kashi Consumer Affairs 021708736A – 3rd Request
Date: Monday, April 25, 2011, 8:09 PM
Hi, and thanks for your note about the serving size for Kashi Go Lean cereal. Unfortunately, everything you say is exactly the opposite from what a Kashi representative told me yesterday on a 15 minute phone call I had to your office.
As you could see from my query, I had written you people twice and never received an answer, so I decided to phone yesterday. I was told in great detail that the weight was incorrect and due to strange FDA rules which required you to print either 35 or 53 grams and it was not supposed to be the correct weight. The representative told me to pour the cereal into an 8 ounce cup measurer and use that. I told him that when I weighed out that much cereal it weight over 100 grams. That is when he explained that the weight was not correct.
Now, I am confused as you are saying the use the weight. When I weigh out 53 grams it comes to around 4 ounces in a cup measurer.
Can you clarify this, please?
I co-write a diet, exercise and good health blog and have written favorably about Kashi products in the past, but this is a real problem. We are talking about 190 calories difference if it is only supposed to come up to the 4 ounce measurement.
If/when they ever get back to me, I will post the result here. In the meantime I will be doing what the first fellow suggested and pouring my GoLean into a measuring cup.
If you have a food scale, you might try weighing your cereal next time and see how close it comes to the info on the box.