After checking my blood pressure and listening to my heartbeat, somehow the subject shifted to diet the other day at my doctor’s office during a routine checkup.  He started telling me what I should eat less of to stay healthy. 

When I told him that I liked hot oatmeal for breakfast with blue berries and bananas sprinkled with cinnamon and raisins, he objected to the latter as having little nutritional value and way too much sugar. He said one little red box of SUN-MAID Raisins contained about 18 grams and was packing 90 calories.  Maybe that’s why it warns on the box “raisins are not a calorie reduced food.”   

This cut me to the quick as Sun-Maid raisins have long been one of my favorite foods dating to when I was a kid splashing and spooning down Kellogg’s Raisin Bran when not hanging out at breakfast table with my other pals Snap, Crackle and Pop

You might say Sun-Maid was my raison d’etre for arising each day and eating what I always thought was a healthy, energizing kickoff for school.

While perhaps raisins aren’t as nutritious as they pretend to be, they’re delicious and for me meaningful.

Wouldn’t you know later in life I would become a public relations professional and who do you think was one of my first clients? You’re right! Kellogg’s of Battle Creek.  

I actually represented Kellogg Company chairman and CEO at the time, Bill Lamothe, for whom I wrote speeches, which occasionally were reprinted in The New York Times. 

Whenever that happened, he would be so grateful he’d fly into New York from Battle Creek, MI in his private jet to take me to dine with him at the Plaza Hotel. It was always breakfast, of course, which is all we ever ate or talked about as one of the main goals of his tenure as chairman was to put more raisins into each box of Raisin Bran.

This was around the time when the Federal Trade Commission was trying to break apart the three major cereal companies, calling them an oligopoly that constituted unfair trade practices. 

As the Spin Man, I would insert into Lamothe’s speeches that this was a dirty trick the government was trying to play on poor Tony the Tiger who at least was getting kids to slurp down nourishing milk every morning with each bowl of wholesome, crispy, colorful, and yes, I guess sweet cereal.

So, please doc, don’t raisin on my long, happy parade with those tasty nuggets so deliciously dotting my morning cereal. 

For as Tony would say:  THEY’RE GR-R-REAT!

Besides an inveterate blogger, Tom Madden is an author of countless published articles and five books, including his latest, WORDSHINE MAN, available this summer on Amazon.   He is the founder and CEO of TransMedia Group, an award-winning public relations firm serving clients worldwide since 1981 and has conducted remarkably successful media campaigns and crisis management for some of America’s largest companies and organizations.