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TODAY IN FOOD: It’s National Cereal Day

Does National Cereal Day sound like nothing to get worked up over…because you enjoy that bowl of Cheerios 365 days a year?

Are you bummed that it isn’t National Bacon Cheeseburger Day or National Apple Pie À La Mode Day? Show a little love, please!

Cereals are wild grasses that were cultivated thousands of years ago. Their edible grains, or seeds, are staple crops throughout the world.

A staple crop is one that is grown in greater quantities, and provides more energy calories, than other crops. In some developing nations, grain constitutes almost the entire diet. But, here’s a happier fact: Cereal takes its name from Ceres, the Roman goddess of harvest and agriculture. The Greek goddess equivalent is Demeter.

Corn, wheat and rice account for 87% of cereals grown worldwide—wheat in temperate regions, rice in tropical regions, corn in the Americas and Africa.

Many grains are grown to feed livestock and for specific human uses:

  • Barley for beer and other malted foods.
  • In the U.S., more corn is grown to feed cattle than humans.


    Amber waves of grain. Note the grains, or seeds, at the top of the stalk. Edible kernels are inside the husks.

  • Buckwheat and quinoa (an incredibly high-protein, nutritious grain), both food crops, are not true grasses, but “psuedocereals.”
    Read about some of our favorite grain-based foods in the:

  • The Breads Section of
  • The Cereals Section of THE
  • All about whole grains in our article on Whole Grain Cereals.

    Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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