Monday, May 31, 2010

John Harvey Kellogg and the corn flake...serendipity in action

Ah, a day in history:

In 1884, a patent for "flaked cereal" was applied for by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. He was trying to improve the vegetarian diet of his hospital patients, by searching for a digestible bread-substitute by the process of boiling wheat. Kellogg accidentally left a pot of boiled wheat to stand and become tempered. When it was put through a rolling process, each grain of wheat emerged as a large, thin flake. When the flakes were baked, they became crisp and light, creating an easy to prepare breakfast when milk was added. His brother Will Keith Kellogg (W.K.) began his cereal-making career in the 1890's when he assisted his brother, then saw the potential, and on 19 Feb 1906, he created the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Co.

He offered a sugar high and attempted to quell human sexuality.


He was " advocate of sexual abstinence, Kellogg devoted large amounts of his educational and medical work to discouraging sexual activity, on the basis of dangers both scientifically based at the time - as in sexually transmissible diseases - and those taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He set out his views on such matters in one of his larger books, published in various editions around the turn of the 20th century under the title Plain Facts about Sexual Life and later Plain Facts for Old and Young. Some of his work on diet was influenced by his belief that a plain and healthy diet, with only two meals a day, among other things, would reduce sexual feelings. Those experiencing temptation were to avoid stimulating food and drinks, and eat very little meat, if any."

John Harvey Kellogg [Wikipedia]

Tony the Tiger [Wikipedia]

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