The Original Grape-Nuts, which now bear a non-GMO label, no longer contain vitamins A, D, B-12 and B-2.

The Original Grape-Nuts, which now bear a non-GMO label, no longer contain vitamins A, D, B-12 and B-2.
Claire Eggers/NPR

Remember when Cheerios and Grape-Nuts went GMO-free? That was about a year ago, when their corporate creators announced that these products would no longer contain ingredients made from genetically modified organisms like common types of corn, soybeans or sugar beets.

When they actually arrived on supermarket shelves, though, there was a mysterious change in their list of ingredients. Four vitamins that previously had been added to Grape-Nuts — vitamins A, D, B-12 and B-2 (also known as riboflavin) — were gone. Riboflavin vanished from Cheerios.

Wayne Parrott, a professor of crop science at the University of Georgia and defender of GMOs, was among the first to point out the change. He criticized General Mills and Post Foods for marketing their non-GMO cereals as especially wholesome. “The new version [of Cheerios] is certainly less nutritious,” he told a reporter for, which covers the food industry.
Mattheos Koffas (left), a biochemical engineer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Andrew Jones, a graduate student in his lab, with a flask of microbe-produced antioxidants.

Who Made That Flavor? Maybe A Genetically Altered Microbe
Vitamins may fail the non-GMO test for a variety of reasons, but they may not necessarily come from GMO microbes.

This mini-controversy never got much attention. Recently, though, as we interviewed scientists who are using genetically altered yeast and bacteria to make nutrients and flavors, we recalled the strange case of the vanishing vitamins. We wondered: Do GMO microbes make vitamins, too? Is that why they can’t be used in non-GMO cereals?

The companies directly involved weren’t terribly helpful. Post Foods, the maker of Grape-Nuts, informed us in a prepared statement that vitamins were removed because “they did not meet non-GMO standards,” but refused to explain why this was so.

Two of the world’s major vitamin makers, BASF and DSM, declined to provide details of their manufacturing. “There is very little non-proprietary information I could talk to you about,” a spokesman for DSM wrote in an email.

We dug further and discovered that vitamins may fail the non-GMO test for a variety of reasons.

Some companies are most likely making vitamin B-12 and riboflavin using genetically modified microbes; they have, at least, published scientific papers showing how this can be done.

On the other hand, these vitamins don’t necessarily come from GMO microbes. There are strains of bacteria that produce these vitamins naturally. Yet even such microbes may not qualify for non-GMO status, because there’s another hurdle. Vitamin-makers have to show that their microbes consumed feed — glucose, for instance — that came from non-GMO sources.

There’s a further complication. Some vitamins have to be mixed with other substances, such as cornstarch, to handle them easily. Can’t prove that the cornstarch was free of genetic modification? Sorry, no non-GMO certification from the Non GMO Project, an independent organization.

Bethany Davis, director of regulatory affairs at FoodState, which sells nutritional supplements, says that for all those reasons, vitamins get very tight scrutiny before they can be certified as non-GMO.

It is still possible to find non-GMO vitamins, she says. Increasingly, you can get them from China. But it requires additional time and attention. Big cereal manufacturers like General Mills or Post Foods, Davis says, may find it easier just to drop vitamins from the recipe.

Extracting vitamins from ordinary foods like carrots is possible, but it’s generally much more expensive.

That leaves one method of vitamin production that’s cheap, industrial-scale, and reliably non-GMO: synthetic chemistry. Vitamins are commonly manufactured from scratch in chemical factories, using ingredients that cannot be linked to any genes or biological process at all. That technology may not inspire great affection, but it does, at least, qualify as non-GMO.

Posted on December 19, 2014 at 12:04 am by rebrapp · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: General Topics, Health


These candies are OU-D.

Sixlets are a great candy. The taste is heavenly, and they are fun to eat.

So, what do they offer?
Sixlets® are the candy coated chocolate flavored candies you’ve loved since you were a kid! These fun candies come in a variety of colors.
Sixlets®’ small, unique shape and flavor make it like no other. Try one and you’re sure to be coming back for more!

Harvest Laydown Bag
Sixlets Holiday Theater box
Sixlets Pastel Laydown box
Sixlets Valentines Laydown box

Small Peg Bag Sidekick
Small Peg Bag Sidekick Christmas

Shimmer Party Jars:
Bright Pink
Powder Blue
Royal Blue
Light Purple
Dark Purple
White and Red
Spring Mix
Autumn Mix

Try them all- they’re grrrrrrrrrrreat!

Posted on December 18, 2014 at 12:04 am by rebrapp · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: General Topics, Kosher Desserts, Kosher New Products, Kosher News


These are amazing beverages. Real adult drinks. OU certified. Amazing flavors:
Ginger Blossom
Lemon Flower
Mojo Berry
Summer Pear

Here is what the company says about their products:

Soda’s Alter Ego

Filtered water, flavor, sweetener, and carbon dioxide: the basic recipe for all soda. What’s different about our concotions? We source and use only highest-quality, certified organic fruit extracts, teas, honey, herbs, and agave for each of our Sipp varieties. We take soda seriously enough to skip artificial flavors, additives, and cheap sweeteners.

Posted on December 17, 2014 at 12:04 am by rebrapp · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: General Topics, Health, Kosher New Products, Kosher News


Free Range
Generally the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) allows these words on a label when the chicken has had access to the outdoors for part of the day. Not all free-range chicken is organic, but all organic chicken is free range.

This USDA-regulated term means the chicken has been fed only certified organic feed that was grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. The chicken also has not been given antibiotics at any time—though it may have been vaccinated against common diseases.

Raised without antibiotics
This means the bird was not given medicine classified as antibiotics. Keep in mind that it may have been given other drugs and products to control parasites or other animal health risks.

Certified humane
A nonprofit organization called Humane Farm Animal Care administers the use of this label—also endorsed by the Center for Food Safety—by processors that meet its standards for raising, handling, transporting, and slaughtering various animals, including chickens.

All-vegetable or vegetarian diet
Most poultry feed is made from corn and soybean meal, but sometimes it also contains processed meat and poultry by-products (which include cooked, dried and ground chicken parts, such as intestines and heads). If the feed does not contain these fats and proteins, it can be classified as all-vegetable or vegetarian.

Most enhanced birds have been injected with a saltwater solution or broth to give them a saltier flavor and moist texture. The process can increase the amount of sodium in chicken by a whopping five times or more. Check the label: if the chicken contains 300 mg of sodium per 4-ounce serving or more, it’s been enhanced. Also, enhanced chicken often costs the same as unenhanced chicken, so if you buy a 7½-lb. chicken and it has 15 percent salt water in it, you’re essentially paying for more than a pound of salt water.

All commercial chickens are raised on farms, so any chicken could theoretically carry this label.

No hormones added
This is meaningless, since the Food and Drug Administration prohibits all poultry in the U.S. from being given artificial or added hormones.

You may see this on marketing materials, which are not regulated by the USDA, but it shouldn’t show up on labels. Antibiotic-free (not to be confused with raised without antibiotics) means no antibiotic residue is left in the meat when it’s processed, which is true for all chicken because treatment is stopped prior to slaughter.

Posted on December 16, 2014 at 12:04 am by rebrapp · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: General Topics, Health, Kosher Kitchen, Kosher News