There have been few moments in my life when I’ve tasted something to eat and I am immediately forced to react to that tasting by spitting the food back out of my mouth. That unfortunate, autoimmune, pre-vomit-spitting-response happened to me again this week. I was stuck in an unfamiliar place and I was offered a way to feed my hunger that I had to accept if I wanted anything to eat over the next 12 hours.


That offer I should have refused came in the form of the new Life Chocolate Oat Crunch “cereal” and I am warning you now, as I previously warned you away from Coke Blak Tasting Like a Polyester Sweater a year ago:


I recommend you starve instead of eating that awful cereal because there is an uncomfortable disconnect going on between the actual cereal and the “delicious touch of real chocolate” bits. The “real chocolate” appears to be embedded in and around some kind of “oaty granola” chunks that, when mixed with milk (soy milk), become super-hard and impenetrable rock-like things in your mouth!

The cereal instantly becomes soggy the second it gets wet, while the coldness of the milk (soy milk) creates bits of freezing granite-like stuff that you try to enjoy and chew with a cereal that needs no mastication whatsoever because it has already pre-melted in the milk (soy milk).

So there you are in the middle of your first mouthful — soggy cereal mixed with bits of frozen “chocolate rocks” — and you can neither continue to chew or to swallow — and so you take the only route left to you for release.


  1. David,
    Ew! Ick! Ew ew ew!
    I am a cereal fanatic and would eat it for every meal of the day if I could. This sounds disgusting!

  2. It was a miserable experience, Emily. Chocolate bits seems to be the new, hip, thing with previously “healthy” cereal brands. Special K now has a “imitation chocolate-like-bits” cereal with the bad stuff in it.
    What are your favorite cereals?

  3. I have to agree with Emily, David, why in the world are you eating such a thing?

  4. Well, Anne, in a perfect world, we would be able to eat as we wish when we wish. But when real life calls and emergencies arise, sometimes we’re obligated to take the next best offer.

  5. Maybe if you get stuck like that again you can pick out the chocolate rocks?

  6. Chocolate is good — and cereal is good — just not together.
    People who live near corn and grain farms always keep cats around to eat the mice — otherwise the farmers would be overrun with the little rodents. A certain number of these mice crawl into the grain storage silos. It’s a fact of life, despite having cats and pest control systems in place.
    But, having little bits of chocolate in the cereal makes this image pop into my mind and makes the thought of a spoon-full of cereal with “chocolate bits” extremely unappetizing.

  7. Hey Chris —
    That’s right! Chocolate wants to melt and be warm and gooey. Chocolate doesn’t want to be cold and bitter in your mouth!
    Ha! If you ever saw these “chocolate bits” with “stuff” in them — you’d laugh before you retched because they do look an awful lot like vermin leftovers! 😆
    Are you a cereal person?

  8. Ha!
    I found this on The Internets via

    Kellogg and Quaker are going to push chocolate varieties of Special K and Life cereals: Special K Chocolatey Delight and Life Chocolate Oat Crunch. Apparently, these aren’t truly “breakfast” cereals as the companies are encouraging folks to indulge in something they’ve already been doing: late-night snacking on sweets.

  9. i love cereal. it’s one of my main staples. and i love chocolate. it would be my main staple if i didn’t mind triple chins. i find it very hard to believe that this cereal could be that bad. in fact, you’ve inspired me to go try it just to satisfy my own curiosity.

  10. Welcome to Urban Semiotic, christine!
    Hey! I welcome you to try this cereal and report back! I’ll be thrilled to find out what you think. I, too, love cereal! That’s why I’m so disappointed! 😀

  11. David,
    I have so many favorite cereals! I guess the ones I buy the most are:
    Maple & Brown Sugar Frosted Mini Wheats
    Frosted Flakes
    Cocoa Krispies
    Lucky Charms

  12. You eat a lot of fun cereals, Emily!
    I tend more toward the Post cereals with the grains and dates and pecans.
    Oatmeal is also another big favorite here.
    How much cereal do you eat in a day?

  13. Love oatmeal!
    I am a big fruit-adder to my cereal. If I don’t eat one of the types above and stick to a bran variety, I am dumping in strawberries, cranberries, raisins or blueberries! And, okay, sometimes I also add those to a couple of the cereals listed above. :mrgreen:
    I really try to stick to one bowl a day, David. However, I LOVE cereal at about 9 or 10 pm when I’m in bed watching a movie before I go to sleep. That is becoming a bad habit that is hard to break! So lately it’s been two bowls a day.

  14. That very smart to add fruit to your cereal, Emily. Does the fruit get cold, though, so it makes it uncomfortable to chew?
    Oatmeal is the tops. It fills you up and is very healthy for you.
    I think a nice bowl of cereal before bed is good. It’s better than pizza or BBQ or something heavier and less healthy.

  15. David – you really should know better ! I am surprised you even went near it.
    It amazes me that all the so call healthy cereals are now adding chocolate – but your link about the companies aiming at the late night snack market explains that.
    I eat porridge in winter – or organic weetabix as a snack. Mostly I am a fruit and probiotic smoothie drink for breakfast person as I cannot eat much first thing – but can drink.

  16. Hi Nicola!
    Yes, I was stuck. I’m usually better prepared when I’m out “in the real world” to protect my vested eating interests. 😀
    What’s the difference between porridge and oatmeal? What is weetabix?
    Do you have a juicer? How do you make your smoothies?
    I used to have a sort of orange juice and Green Frog protein that I’d mix together for breakfast. Delicious stuff, but expensive, and it didn’t say with you very long.

  17. Porridge and oatmeal are the same I think – oats plus milk or water – pinch of salt and a little sugar – or fruit.
    Weetabix is a whole grain cereal – details here :-
    I have a wonderful Kenwood Chef that has a liquidiser which makes excellent smoothies.
    Not sure I fancy the Orange and Green Frog mix ………….. ( why am I thinking Kermit in the liquidiser? )

  18. Nicola!
    I wonder how “porridge” became “oatmeal?” I much prefer “porridge.” Is your porridge soup-like or is is normally clumpy?
    Gotta find some weetabix! Now that looks fun! What’s the difference between a “kilojoule” and a “calorie?”
    You’re lucky go have a good smoothie maker.
    Okay, it’s “Organic Frog” not “Green Frog” —
    — does that make it better? :mrgreen:

  19. In all fairness, though – perhaps the kosher certification should have given you a good warning – it’s OU(D) which means it has dairy ingredients.
    Weetabix is an awesome cereal that I loved back in my vegan days (those days may yet return) and even today whether in homemade soy milk or store soy milk.

  20. Porridge entirely depends on how it is made – it can be thing and soup like – gruel – or thicker, richer and clumpy. A lot depends on what you add – milk or water.
    Organic frog sounds better than green frog !
    The relationship between calories and kiljoules is explained here

  21. Very funny! And I completely resent how they say, “Real Chocolate!!!” as if chocolate is this rare, expensive substance and we should be slavering and panting at the fact that they shaved a scrap of it into the box. It’s not like it’s… “Real Ambergris!!!” or something. Although that would probably also make you spit it out.

  22. Hi Gordon —
    As I said in the article I wasn’t in my own domain when I was served.
    The cereal was presented to me without a box to check and asking for one would not have gone over well in that situation.

  23. Hi Lydia!
    There was a time not too long ago in the cereal wars where they used carob instead of chocolate and they called it “added chocolate taste” and, I understand, it was pretty awful. So the companies were forced to broker “truer” chocolate that was “realer” — but it tastes just as bad as the carob. Ick!
    You’re right that trying to call chocolate in cereal anything but “fake and “overwrought” is to tempt the wrath of the Cereal Gods!

  24. Hi David,
    I didn’t get back to you earlier about being a cereal person.
    I always like a good bowl of cereal.
    Here are some of my favorites:
    Rice Crispies
    Frosted Flakes
    Captain Crunch
    Frosted Mini-Wheats
    Raisin Bran
    Corn Chexs
    Fruit Loops
    Apple Jacks
    Special K
    Honey Bunches of Oats
    and probably a bunch more that I’ve forgotten to list, including most kinds of hot oatmeal!
    For a while, we were using soy milk with our cereal because we thought our oldest son might be lactose intolerant, but since he has gotten older, he tolerates milk well and actually loves to drink it. Our youngest son drinks Similac Isomil Advance 2 for the older babies and toddlers because he doesn’t tolerate milk well.

  25. Hi David,
    My oldest son was reading the milk jug and saw that the dairy producers don’t use bovine growth hormone. He was asking me about it. (I didn’t even think about the issue when I bought the milk from Costco — I was just thinking about the price).

  26. Or you could have your son research the effects of too much soy on people – it’s a shocker people, but soy is not all good, especially in large quantities. It can really mess up your hormones.

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