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Food

Here's why Nature Valley granola bars are so crumbly, and how to eat them right

When we're babies, we make a lot of mess with our food. By the time we get to be adults, we've pretty much got food messes under control.

But when it comes to Nature Valley granola bars, we're all 2-year-olds again, because basically if you look at a Nature Valley granola bar, it falls apart.

Like we said.

Nature Valley
The crumble king: Nature Valley granola bars!

Fortunately, Slate decided to get to the bottom of this crumbly mess, and find out exactly why General Mills, which owns Nature Valley, doesn't make it a little easier to eat those crispy, crunchy rectangular snacks. And the answer is ... it's all our fault.

"People love the crumbs, they told me," Slate's Jeffrey Bloomer explained in a video accompanying his report. "They grew up expecting the hardness and mess from Nature Valley bars."

It is true, we love the crumbs, particularly the ones we don't have to fish out of our car interiors, beds and computer keyboards:

Also, sometimes we eat them on the road, for quick fuel:

Fortunately, there are ways to eat Nature Valley granola bars that prevent a little less of a crumble catastrophe.

General Mills told Bloomer that eaters could try warming the bars up in the microwave to soften them first (but take them out of the package first). This seems to work, according to one test video, but it turned out the tester preferred the taste of the crunchy, crumbly version to the less messy one.

Another solution was to eat a bar over a container of yogurt, which would send the crumbles down into the second part of your snacking experience.

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How to make Katie Lee's berry yogurt granola pops

Play Video - 0:53

How to make Katie Lee's berry yogurt granola pops

Play Video - 0:53

And a colleague of Bloomer's at Slate also suggested just pre-crunching the whole bar up in the package before opening. Then just open the package and pour the contents directly into your mouth, so all the crumbs will fall precisely where they're supposed to go!

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