Millennials Are Right, Cereal Is Kind Of A Huge Hassle


A new study has found that Millennials don’t like eating cereal, and for a supposedly odd reason: They don’t like doing the dishes, although parental pranks can’t be ruled out as a contributing cause. This was immediately focused on to the exclusive of all else because “Those Darn Kids Are Lazy And Ruining Breakfast” is a way better headline than “Millennials Tend To Eat Breakfast At Work, So Cereal Doesn’t Really Seem Viable For Them.” That said, though, I will step in to defend the “lazy Millennial,” here, and not just because nobody can insist with a straight face they wanted to do the dishes in their early 20s. But I do want to point that out: Unless you’re a neat freak or absolutely desperate, nobody does the dishes in their early 20s. I vaguely remember a solid week spent eating off of Solo cups and paper towels in college, and that was far from the most disgusting thing I saw used as a plate. Anyway, my real defense comes from personal experience, because I both eat cereal and hand-wash dishes nearly every day. And those darn kids are absolutely right. Cereal is delicious, but it is an enormous pain.


I recently moved to an apartment with no dishwasher, and the cereal I eat has become my enemy at the sink. Now I rinse the bowl right away because otherwise, I am doomed to stand at the sink the next morning, barely awake, chipping at dried cereal with a sponge, then a scrubby pad, and then, finally, with my thumbnail, a slow, death-march that ends, more often that not, with sore thumbs and a bowl that I suspect still harbors one last tiny jagged peak of grain, just waiting for me to pull the bowl out, see it, and wash the bowl again.

Even when I had a dishwasher, I quickly discovered that even a small quantity of inoffensive sugar-free cereal became a rock-hard gluten cement in minutes, dooming me to chip and chip and chip until every rigid, pointy speck was gone. And if it was a sugar cereal, it would turn into a caramel with more endurance than titanium. Only a scrubby pad and insane-not-native-to-young-people levels of patience could help. When I could just chuck it back into the dishwasher, it was annoying, but fine. Now those monstrous, immoveable specks are my mortal enemy.

Not that I’m going to stop eating cereal, because it’s incredibly convenient and easy for me. Personally, I suspect the cereal industry’s fortunes will rise sooner rather than later; cereal is a more versatile food than the bowl might suggest, and it has powerful champions. Besides, I happen to like cereal. And if it wasn’t cereal, it would be bacon grease, or the tyrannical unremovable egg, or the waffle iron with its many places for half-cooked batter to hide that would be my dishwashing foe. So I am doomed to scrub, but I can’t fault those who don’t want to join my eternal fate.

(via The New York Times)