And that history is oddly connected to the danger the food may pose today.
That bowl of breakfast cereal that you enjoy in the mornings has a sinister past. Kellogg’s Corn Flakes weren’t created to offer an easy, healthy breakfast to Americans. Oh no. Kellogg originally introduced Corn Flakes to help you keep your hands off your junk.
That’s right. Corn Flakes were meant to discourage people from masturbating.
Photo by 5PH / Getty Images
Daily Kos shared the deep, dark history of the crispy breakfast cereal. Dr John Harvey Kellogg and Will Keith “WK” Kellogg were brothers who ran a sanitarium and health spa in Michigan (because other than peanut butter and jelly, few things pair as well as “health spa” and “sanitarium”). Seventh-Day Adventists, the brothers kept their bodies, AKA temples, clean by forgoing caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. They were also vegetarians.
Dr. Kellogg was so committed to keeping his temple worship-worthy that he never marred it by getting down and dirty. “He was firmly convinced that sex itself was impure and harmful — and most especially the ‘solitary vice,’ the ‘self-pollution’ of masturbation,” according to Daily Kos, and therefore he didn’t have sex himself. Despite being married, he never consummated the relationship, opting to adopt kids and sleep in a different bedroom than his wife.
Sound crazy? Of course it does, but that’s not all. Dr. Kellogg believed that certain foods, such as meat or anything spicy, made people horny. As such, only plain vegetarian foods were served to patients at the sanitarium. An inventive man, Dr. Kellogg decided to create a variety of food to discourage sex, like granola.
This anti-sex pioneering spirit led Dr. Kellogg to keep working on the perfect repressive food:
“The Kellogg brothers also experimented with different types of bread, and with using whole-grain dough to make thin rolled sheets of toasted crackers. One day, after just having cooked some wheat for rolling, they were unexpectedly called away. When they got back, they ran the cooled wheat through the rollers, and each grain was flattened into an individual flake. It was, they thought, a wonderful health food. In 1898 they tried the same process using corn instead of wheat, and ‘corn flakes’ were born.”
Dr. Kellogg was serving corn flakes to the sanitarium patients while simultaneously battling his brother, WK Kellogg, who wanted to sweeten ‘em up and sell them to the public. Adding sugar was dangerous, of course, because Dr. Kellogg believed that anything other than bland foods incited lustful feelings.
In 1907, WK finally got his way by purchasing the rights to “corn flakes” from Dr. Kellogg. Following an extended legal fight over the use of the Kellogg name, WK’s company was named the Kellogg Cereal Company and it added Bran Flakes and Rice Krispies to its product lineup.
In an odd twist, today’s Corn Flakes don’t do much for the abstinence movement, but they could cause problems with procreation. While Kellogg cereals sold in Europe are GMO free, non-organic options in the U.S. are full of the stuff. And according to a lot of research, GMOs aren’t good for reproduction.
Natural News explains the way GMOs are not so great:
Studies have shown that a diet of GMOs affects animals’ hormonal and reproductive systems. For example, male rats that were fed a GMO soy diet experienced a change in testicle color from pink to blue and suffered damage to the DNA of their sperm and the DNA of the embryos that they produced. Female rats have shown higher infant death rates and smaller and less fertile infants. Farm animals fed GMO corn and cottonseed have experienced a wide variety of fertility problems, including abortion, infant death, delivery of bags of water instead of infants, infertility, premature delivery and prolapsed uteri.
And so while you’re unlikely to skip your jerk off session in the shower after a bowl of Corn Flakes, as Dr. Kellogg might have liked, thanks to the company’s GMO-filled ingredients, your sperm might be defective.