As you pour milk in your cereal bowl every morning, you might not even be fully awake yet, and you probably haven’t thought much about the origins of corn flakes. After all, it’s a pretty simple, unassuming cereal as far as the modern plethora of sugar-coated options go — some might even call them bland. But the question “Why were cornflakes invented?” actually leads to some shocking (and disturbing) answers.
Corn flakes were developed by John Harvey Kellogg and his brother WH Kellogg in 1894, not to satisfy grumbling morning tummies but to curb your sexual appetite. That’s right: Kellogg was extremely anti-sex and anti-masturbation — allegedly, he never even consummated his own marriage.
See, Kellogg took his cues from another snack inventor: Reverend Sylvester Graham, of graham cracker fame. Yes, these men created foods — still in wide circulation today — specifically designed to curb people’s prurient desires. Kellogg also proposed some pretty violent ways to suppress your sexual appetite. Let’s look, then, at a short-history of your favorite the Puritanical origins of your breakfast foods.