Kelloggs Cornflakes

In 1969 I worked as a mineral sampler/field assistant on an offshore heavy mineral exploration project at Tweed Heads, NSW; I was  billeted in the local motel whose owner also had a piggery. Breakfast was delivered each morning on a tray and then included a bowl of corn flakes. So the owner asked why I ate cornflakes and I really didn’t know apart from it being the result of habit and taste.  Why do you ask I said? Well, the owner chanced upon a large load of boxed cornflakes and working on the premise that it was corn and his pigs also ate corn, inter alia, he thought he could save some money and feed them with the ‘fell off the back of a truck’ free cornflakes.  He lost half his herd from malnutrition and concluded that any nourishment one might get from cornflakes comes from the milk and sugar we add to it.

So this snippet of historical fact about Kellogs and its creation of cornflakes by Breitbart News is, ahm, interesting.

A Michigan physician named John Harvey Kellogg came up with Corn Flakes while searching for a cure for auto-eroticism, believing that flavorful or seasoned foods increased sexual desire, while bland, tasteless food could curb it.

While working as chief physician at Michigan’s Battle Creek Sanitarium, Kellogg developed a few different eating ideas for the patients, which he denoted as “healthy, ready-to-eat anti-masturbatory morning meals.”

Described as a “fanatically religious” Seventh Day Adventist, Kellogg believed that all sex was evil and never even consummated his own marriage, sleeping in a separate bedroom from his wife and adopting all their children.

“If illicit commerce of the sexes is a heinous sin,” Kellogg wrote, “self-pollution is a crime doubly abominable.”

In Plain Facts for Old and Young: Embracing the Natural History and Hygiene of Organic Life, he laid out 39 different symptoms of a person who engaged in masturbation, including general infirmity, defective development, mood swings, fickleness, bashfulness, boldness, bad posture, stiff joints, fondness for spicy foods, acne, palpitations, and epilepsy.

Seeing the success of Corn Flakes at the sanitarium, Kellogg partnered with his brother Will, the institution’s bookkeeper, to produce the cereal for sale to the general public.

Will believed that the product would sell better if sugar were added to the flakes to make them more palatable, but John rejected the idea. Will eventually started selling his brother’s cereals through his own business, which became the Kellogg Company.

In June of 1930, Will Kellogg also founded the non-profit W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which has grown into the seventh-largest philanthropic foundation in the United States.

Rest here

About Louis Hissink

Retired diamond exploration geologist. I spent my professional life looking for mineral deposits, found some, and also located a number of kimberlites in NSW and Western Australia. Exploration geology is the closest one can get to practicing the scientific method, mineral exploration always being concerned with finding anomalous geophysical or geochemical data, framing a model and explanation for the anomaly and then testing it with drilling or excavation. All scientific theories are ultimately false since they invariably involved explaining something with incomplete extant knowledge. Since no one is omniscient or knows everything, so too scientific theories which are solely limited to existing knowledge. Because the future always yields new data, scientific theories must change to be compatible with the new data. Thus a true scientist is never in love with any particular theory, always knowing that when the facts change, so too must he/she change their minds.
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