The Real Scoop on Raisin Bran
It was Ronald Reagan who said, “Trust, but verify.” He meant Soviet arms control treaties, but he might as well have been talking about raisin bran. For years, one brand has claimed they put “two scoops” of raisins in every package. There’s even an illustration of smiling mascot “Sunny” holding two raisin-packed scoops on the box. We all just accepted this as truth, like fiber-needing sheep. Until today, when I spilled out the contents onto the breakfast table, and counted every last raisin.
Without these plump beauties, we’d simply be eating 100% bran flakes, without that chewy kick to mark us as more adventurous than the poor souls who take their cardboard-tasting flakes straight, or worse, forgo flakes altogether and consume all-bran, tiny little tubes of bran that advertise their purpose all too well.
So raisins are important. We know it. They know it. My wife knows it, too, which made it surprising when she objected to my dumping the box on the table, as if it were not some legitimate scientific inquiry. Sir Isaac Newton probably faced similar criticism when he himself experimented with fruit — apples, in his case — to prove once and for all that they fall down, not up. This, by the way, is considered one of science’s great achievements.
One raisin. Two raisins. Three raisins. I was very careful adding them up, after first separating the cereal into its raisin and bran components. A few may have been subtracted into my mouth. The grand total? Two-hundred and four juicy raisins. And here’s where things get sticky, because as far as I can ascertain, there is no established volume for a transfer scoop.
I did, however, discover that the raisins added up to approximately one cup. Thus, the two scoops in question would have to hold a half-cup of raisins each.
I will leave it for the reader to decide whether this is an acceptable scoop size or not. But let me say, I have never been disappointed with the number of raisins in any bowl of raisin bran I have eaten. I am satisfied that the “two scoops” claim, while it may or may not be meaningful, lives up to its promise on the spoon.
Thank goodness. In these skeptical times, we can continue to trust the voices we have always relied on for the truth, like Sunny, Tony the Tiger, Count Chocula, and Cap’n Crunch. Fortunately, the truth is sugarcoated.