Were Battle Creek Kellogg’s Corn Flakes Created to Stop Masturbation?
Who knew cereal could potentially have such an affect on people.. at least according to John Kellogg. Did he really think Corn Flakes would stop people from masturbating? Was John Kellogg a founding member of "Team No-Fap?"
Seems a bit odd, but there seems to be some truth behind the rumor.
The original flake was made in 1894 by John Kellogg, either after coming to him in a dream, or because his wife, Ella Eaton Kellogg, told him about her idea. Nonetheless, one night, he left out a batch of dough, and instead of throwing it out the next day, he rolled it out, baked it, and BOOM... the cereal flake was born. (Though not yet made of corn. That would come later.)
John decided to make the cereal flakes in bulk, calling it "Granose," and served it to patients at the Battle Creek Sanitarium, where his brother Will Kellogg was manager.
The cereal was SO popular, they decided to mass market it, tweak the recipe in the early 1900s to include corn, instead of wheat dough, and together, created the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company.
Where the rumor truly begins is when Will decided to alter the recipe to Corn Flakes, and add sugar. That decision did not sit well with brother John, because apparently, he wanted the cereal to be an anti-masturbatory food. Yes, you read that right... he allegedly thought Corn Flakes would stop people from masturbating, and Will's idea to add sugar would decrease its effect.
John was part of an alleged crusade against self-pleasuring. Admittedly, he was a bit uncomfortable talking about sex, thinking it was detrimental to physical, emotional, and spiritual well being. He personally abstained from it, and rumor has it, he NEVER consummated his marriage. He and his wife allegedly kept separate bedrooms and adopted all of their children.
In his own words, Kellogg wrote in the book "Plain Facts for Old and Young: Embracing the Natural History and Hygiene of Organic Life":
"If illicit commerce of the sexes is a heinous sin, self-pollution is a crime doubly abominable."
In the same book, he lined out 39 different symptoms of a person plagued by masturbation, including defective development, mood swings, boldness, bad posture, stiff joints, fondness for spicy foods, acne, palpitations, and epilepsy.
His thought was, a pure, clean diet could cure someone of sexual desires. Certain meats and flavorful or seasoned foods would increase sexual desire... hence, why he was so upset about adding sugar to corn flakes.
He thought plainer foods, especially cereals and nuts, could curb the desire.
Now, there are some who might say the anti-masturbation intent is falsified, and that was NOT his intent. One writer even said it was not actually advertised as an "anti-masturbatory morning meal..."
That's this guy's only argument? It wasn't ADVERTISED as anti-masturbatory? They don't advertise tequila making people's clothes falling off, but we all know it does. They don't advertise that Taco Bell will almost certainly send you to the bathroom within 30 minutes of eating it... but we know.... we know.
Given John Kellogg's SUPER conservative lifestyle, it wouldn't surprise me one bit that his ACTUAL intent was anti-masturbatory... but thanks to the marketing mind of brother Will, it was never "advertised" that way.
I can just see that conversation...
Will: "Alright, whatcha got John?"
John: "Well, it's a grain-based, ready-to-eat cereal that is healthy for you."
Will: "Great! I can work with that!"
John: "And it'll stop you from masturbating."
Will: "OH... um.... well... maybe we just... leave that last part off. We'll add a little sugar to it, and keep that whole anti-masturbation thing between you and I, OK?"
So Kellogg's MAY have been founded on the idea of creating anti-masturbatory flakes... makes you wonder what the REST of the early cereals were created for? Like, what kind of anti-fun was behind the creation of Rice Krispies?