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Oatmeal should be a healthy breakfast choice. Its whole grains are rich in fiber, and it’s easy to top with delicious fruit and nuts. But a new report has people second-guessing their oat-based breakfasts. A study from the Environmental Working Group found that some oat-based foods contain glyphosate, a chemical used in weed killers such as Roundup. The findings aren’t something to take lightly—but there are conflicting reports about the chemical.
Here’s what you need to know! And make sure to watch out for these other “healthy” foods that you actually need to avoid.
What to do about glyphosate in food
Before you toss that oatmeal in your pantry, it’s important to know what’s all being said about the chemical. In December, the EPA issued a statement that “glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans,” says USA Today. The EPA has a set of standards for how much glyphosate would need to be in food to be dangerous to humans, and the foods tested by the Environmental Working Group all fell below the EPA’s threshold.
So why all the panic over the report, then? The Environmental Working Group appears to have a much stricter definition of what’s safe for humans, especially for children. In Quaker Steel Cut Oats, for example, the study found 530 glyphosate parts per billion during one test. But the EPA has determined that the safe amount for glyphosate in grains is 30 parts per million (not billion), which means the products in the study would easily meet the EPA’s safety standards.
If you’d prefer to use the EWG’s guidelines, stick to organic oats and cereals, and you’ll avoid eating glyphosate altogether. Here are some more organic shopping tips we love.
How to change up your breakfast routine
According to the EPA, eating one serving of oatmeal or an oat-based cereal like Cheerios probably isn’t going to hurt you—or your children. Still, there’s no harm in adding some variety to your breakfasts. To switch things up, try one of these 27 healthy breakfast recipes you can use today.