MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) students created the world's largest bowl of cereal during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to MSOE, senior mechanical engineering major Joseph Carey found a listing for a free pallet of Cocoa Puffs cereal on Facebook Marketplace in 2019. The cereal was unable to be boxed and sold due to a missing tamper seal. MSOE says Carey decided to repurpose the cereal and use it as an opportunity to think about food waste in America, while breaking a world record.
The Cocoa Puffs were stored in lawn bags until the main event in August of 2020, MSOE said. The students were unable to find a public location to set up due to the pandemic. Carey and his MSOE classmate Fahim Mahmood then decided to set up operations in Carey's parent's driveway in Glencoe, Illinois.
With the help of 80 volunteers, including several MSOE classmates - notably Will Naviaux - Carey was able to turn a dumpster into the world's largest bowl of cereal.
MSOE says in order to qualify for a Guinness World Record, the team had to follow rules and protocols.
"For example, they had to rent scales to measure the final weight of the cereal and complete the project in two hours per the Guinness requirements," MSOE said. "They also made sure to keep safety a priority, renting a forklift, building a crane, having a mechanical engineering graduate on site as well as two health inspectors."
Joseph Carey also explained in an email to us that they didn't get counted officially by Guinness World Records due to stringent guidelines and a process geared towards paying Guinness several thousand dollars to orchestrate the event. Carey said since he paid for the project personally he was not able to spend extra, nor did he have the time to wait for responses from Guinness regarding a free option for official approval.
The team added milk to the cereal using eight to 10 food-grade 55 gallon barrels containing powdered milk. The dumpster was also fashioned into a bowl using tarps and a circular barrier, which was painted to look like a bowl.
The bowl of cereal had a total weight of 9,045 pounds. The previous record within The Guinness Book of World Records was 3,504 pounds.