Virtual Cereality

This past week my wife and I watched I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With. It looked funny… but was disappointingly boring. BUT the DVD had a trailer for an upcoming movie called Flakes featuring Zooey Deschanel (of Elf fame and recently making music with M. Ward as She and Him…sorry I dig Zooey okay?). The plot is that Deschanel’s boyfriend manages a cereal bar called Flakes, but wants to be a musician. She encourages him to pursue his dreams and then helps him along by scheming to shut down the cereal bar.

I thought… a cereal bar? That’s a funny idea. Quirky and kind of neat in a movie, but definitely too ridiculous for reality. Well, maybe it’s too ridiculous for reality, but not for Cereality. That’s right nothing is too ridiculous to actually exist. This new franchise has five locations in California (where else?). Employees dress in pajamas and there are cabinets full of cereal on the walls. Framed art features specimens of various cereals and the milk station is called the “Moo Bar.” You can mix cereals, add toppings and get your choice of milk. A bowl of two mixed cereals with two toppings and your choice of milk will cost you $3.99. You can get two boxes of cereal for that.

The Ethicurean skewers the concept at The Cereality show, coming to a college town near you! The post pretty much covers a lot of what is wrong and disturbing about the concept. The craziest part is the way that this idea adds another layer of markup to an already ridiculous processed food. Grains like oats are ridiculously cheap compared to their processed counterparts from Cheerios to cereal bars. Michael Pollan points out that the more processed something is the more companies make off of them, because they have taken a cheap commodity, oats and grains, and convinced you to pay through the nose. Now you can not only get ripped off buying cereal, but pay for the novelty of a café that marks up the price of these processed foods even further.

But hey… Lord knows people will pay to be served by people in pajamas!

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