Write The Company: Total Up Your Iron

July 22, 2010

Write The CompanyThey say Corporate America has no sense of humor. Are “they” right? Find out by following Write The Company — a consumer humor blog consisting of crazy consumer affairs and customer service letters about everyday products, services and brands … and what the companies behind them had to say about it.

Each week Zengage brings you a classic correspondence from the Write The Company archives.  (For more, see our interview with Write The Company.)

Total Up Your Iron

It’s critical for your body to get enough iron. Ironically, there are different forms of iron. What kind can you eat? I wrote Total cereal to find out…

Dear Total Nutritionists:

Can you please iron out a few details regarding Total cereal for me? You claim that Total supplies 100% of the daily requirement for iron. Exactly how do you get the iron into the cereal? I totally can’t fathom how you can put a strong, rigid, unyielding, ductile, malleable, silver-white metallic element scarcely known in pure condition with an atomic number of 26 and atomic weight of 55.847 into a cereal without it making the box too heavy to lift.

Also, what can you tell me about General Mills? What wars did he fight in? Did he ever see any action in Battle Creek against Kellogg’s? How come he ended up with a huge cereal company and General Patton only got a one picture movie deal?

Totally yours,
“Me”

A Total representative responded with:

Thank you for contacting General Mills inquiring about the iron we add to Total cereal.

Iron metabolism in humans is quite complex and tightly controlled. Men must replace about 1 milligram (mg) per day while women must replace about 1.5 mg per day. The U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for iron is 18 mg per day. This allowance takes into account the proportion of dietary iron that the body absorbs and the iron replacement needs of the individual.

A great deal of research has been done to evaluate the best form of iron to add to iron-enriched foods. Some iron salts, such as ferrous sulfate, are unstable compounds that can react with even a small amount of fat in the product to accelerate rancidity. Other iron salts have proven to be difficult for the body to absorb.

The type of iron added to our products is elemental iron, which is made by a process called hydrogen reduction. Most of the iron is converted to a soluble ferrous form, which means it has greater availability for absorption.

Once a person consumes the product, the body carefully regulates the amount of iron absorbed. An individual with lower amounts of iron stored will absorb a greater proportion of dietary iron than a person with adequate iron stored. Other important factors include the amount and chemical nature of iron in the food, and a variety of dietary factors that increase or decrease the availability of iron for absorption.

We appreciate your interest and hope you continue to choose our products.

Final Thoughts

Also enclosed was a document about the history of General Mills. There was nothing in it about going to war against Kellogg’s in Battle Creek. However, they did takeover one-time, hometown rival Pillsbury. In the 1940?s and 1950?s, General Mills had a Mechanical Division that “aided the war effort by building bombsights and precision control instruments for the Navy and Army. The division also facilitated the development of the Ryan Flight Recorder (the “black box”) and conducted hot air balloon experiments during the Cold War.” So, we salute General Mills not only for serving great food products, but for serving our country as well.

There’s nothing like sending a letter to a company and getting back an answer to your inquiry in Total. It only proves that you can often uncover lots of useful information if you Write The Company.

Looking for more laughs from letters to your favorite companies? Visit WriteTheCompany.com.

Watch for a new Write The Company post every Thursday at Zengage from Zendesk.

Today’s letter is republished with permission from Write The Company. All rights reserved. ?© Write The Company

We know. It's a lot to take in.

Sign up for our newsletter and read at your own pace