Don't take Quaker Oats for granted

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Isaiah Kelly, guest columnist

You know that factory you go by on the interstate to get to work, school, or Wal-Mart? That place is Quaker Oats and also referred to as the cause of all the horrible smells that are in the air from time to time. In fact, some people have even named Cedar Rapids, “The City of Five Smells” because of it. But the thing is, people tend to forget or take for granted the advantages Quaker Oats gives to our community.

For one, the cereal that comes from them is just plain amazing. Plus it produces more cereal than most companies around the globe because of its immense size. In fact, according to Ag Advance, it is actually the largest cereal mill in the world and the chances are, if you’re a cereal lover and/or a person who needs a cheap and easy breakfast, you’re going to eat a bowl of cereal. Where is that cereal going to come from? If I had to guess, it would probably be Quaker Oats.

The next advantage Quaker Oats provides is its whole base economic value. With 1,100 employees, over the years it has provided many jobs for people. The jobs offer steady work hours, a lot of workers also get all the overtime they want. My grandpa worked there for at least 40 years and he could support his family very well with that job. If it weren’t for Quaker Oats, the odds would be he wouldn’t have had such a long lasting job.

Lastly, people are always complaining about the smell it sometimes produces because of the corn sweeteners. But other than that, the smells emitted from Quaker Oats are actually really good. For instance, in the summertime I sometimes go for a ride on the Cedar Lake Trail. When I get close to the pipes or even close to the factory, I can smell a brilliant, vast array of berries and nuts. If it weren’t for Quaker Oats, those memories of strolling along down the path smelling those diverse, mixed aromas wouldn’t have ever existed.

• Isaiah Kelly, 14.

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