Kellogg’s ‘Values’? Corn Flakes Invented to Curb Masturbation (No Joke)
Citing its “values as a company” to justify its decision to withdraw advertising from the Breitbart News site, Kellogg’s failed to mention that its flagship cereal was invented as a cure for masturbation.
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.