Cheerios, your trusted honey nut bowl of oats is hiding a dirty secret. Although Trisodium phosphate is clearly labeled on the ingredient list few know really what it is or what its used for.

TSP, According to Wikipedia is a cleaning agent commonly used to clean anything from laundry to concrete driveways. TSP is still sold, and used, as a cleaning agent and food additive although it was found to cause ecological problems in the 1960s.
Its the most common ingredient in toilet bowl tablets but is not recommended to be used to clean bathrooms because its known to stain metal and damage grout.
Its also sold as an enema in the united states, it works as a laxative to treat constipation.

Cheerios ingredients dissected…(from

For starters, I don’t know about you, but when I look at Cheerios, I do not see any whole grain oats. This is important because when the “whole grain” bandwagon started, people lost site of what “whole grain” really is supposed to be.Whole grains ground down to flour, do not offer you the same health benefits as whole grains period. Quick lesson from chemistry tells us that, the more we expose of a surface area of a product, the chemical reaction rate increases. What does this mean to you and I?

This means that the product acts more like an unhealthy simple sugar in your body, than a healthy complex carbohydrate.

The second ingredient is corn starch. Not only is this offering us little in terms of high quality nutrition, but there is a SUPER high chance that this is coming from genetically modified sources, as today corn is one of the top 3 genetically modified crops grown.

The third ingredient? Well wouldn’t you know it – sugar.  sugar and salt should not be in the top five ingredients of any foods your purchasing.

This leads us to the fourth ingredient – salt. As you will notice below in the nutrition facts, Cheerios is not a healthy option for people at risk for cardiovascular problems.

TSP is fifth. In food, TSP is used as an acidity regulator (buffering agent), emulsifier, thickening agent, nutrition enlargement agent and sequestrant (metal-chelating agent). Although naturally according to the FDA, the TSP is GRAS (generally recognized as safe), I think common sense tells us chemicals like this should not be in our food period. It is one thing having adults eat this, but the common parent gives Cheerios with these chemicals, as a treat to their babies.

The calcium carbonate, is a common dietary source of calcium, which makes it sound fine, but more so it is used as a food preservative, color retainer, emulsifier, firming or bleaching agent.

Monoglycerides are single fatty acids attached to a glycerol molecule. Basically, they are modified fats, which are used to blend together certain ingredients, such as oil and water. According to, the commercial source may be either animal (cow- or hog-derived) or vegetable, and they may be synthetically made as well.

Tocopherols are a series of organic compounds consisting of various methylated phenols. They usually have vitamin E activity, and are mainly used to preserve food, especially oils from going rancid.

There is not much to say about wheat starch, so we will skip on to the last ingredient – annatto. This is a color additive, and is generally considered to be a natural one. Despite this, it is known in many cases as a food allergen.

I switched to bulk Organic heritage Os, less packaging, Non Genetically modified ingredients and NO TSP! Choose and experiment with Organic cereals low in sugar for you and your family!