She asked Marash Boy (more scientist than she) who suggested she go to the source to find the answer, and so Marash Girl dutifully called General Mills (as you can at 1-800-446-1898 ). A customer representative answered the phone, a representative who knew nothing about the article in the Wall Street Journal. "General Mills has 100,000 employees. Do you think they're going to tell every customer service representative that there was an article in the Wall Street Journal about them?" commented the representative to Marash Girl. Well, Marash Girl would certainly hope so! Especially with the convenience of email, every customer service representative at General Mills not only should have known about the article in the Wall Street Journal, but should have been able to respond to the customer calling to inquire, in this case, Marash Girl. The representative continued. "I know nothing about the article or the issue." "Well," asked Marash Girl, "could you please have someone who does know about it return my call?" The General Mills customer representative assured Marash Girl that it was unlikely anybody would return her call, much less be willing to answer her question. He was right. It has now been 12 days since Marash Girl called General Mills and there has been no response from General Mills by phone or by email. So Marash Girl has resorted, once again, to those nearest and dearest, her scientist friends. Though most of them explained in scientific terms why reducing the sugar would eventually prevent the cereal from floating, only one, Marash Girl's cousin, Staten Island Baby, could explain the phenomenon in lay language. Here's what she said.
"It has to do with weight and volume and density. Which is heavier - the cereal or the milk? Think of it as a person trying to float on water. If you are upright and trying to float, you have to move to stay afloat. If you are in a prone position, you body weight is distributed over a greater area of water and you float. The cereal cannot tread water so the weight of each flake or piece needs to be lower than the area of milk it covers. Sugar weighs less than wheat or corn so the greater the volume of sugar, the easier to float. Puffed cereal floats easily because of the density - less dense than non-puffed cereal." Staten Island Baby added that it had been years since she studied biochemistry, and therefore her explanation may not be quite up to snuff.
A shame that the General Mills folks couldn't take time from their busy day to answer the concern of a consumer (now a non-consumer) of General Mills products.
And why do cereals need to float anyway? Marash Girl will not take the time to call General Mills with that question! She already knows that General Mills will not return the call!
So now that we have a partial answer, Marash Girl would like to ask General Mills and her readership, Why is it so important that cereals float? Will anyone answer her?