The Corn Flake — Another Weird Bit of History

Good Morning!

I loved Winnie”s blog yesterday!  I love little bits of history that make the past come alive , and I read her blog with great interest.  Interesting to me is that Kellogg knew that the grain he was using was stale, but he went ahead and used it anyway — feeding it to others — not eating it himself.  Hmmm…

Anyway, I hope you”ll allow me to break away from my usual Native American blog to add to Winnie”s blog from yesterday.  And I will be giving away a free ebook today, so come on in and leave a message.

Now this is really, really an odd bit of history that I don”t think any of us know.  I only know it because I have my nose in a history book — or something relating to history — much of the time.

I”m going to post this quote from a book called the LIBERATION DIET by Kevin Brown and Annette Presley.  He opens up the beginning of a chapter called, Carbohydrate Craze with this paragraph:

Weird is not too strong a word to describe the evolution of the high carbohydrate diet, as it has more to do with sex than science. Believe it or not, carbohydrate foods were foisted on the American public to prevent sexual sins and excesses, and this is the origin of the term “moral fiber.””

This is a picture of J. Harvy Kellogg off to the left here.  Now the tale really begins with the Reverend Sylvester Graham who went around the country advocating a vegetarian diet because he believed that eating meat caused one to become sexually stimulated (I”m not making this up).  He lectured so  hard against sex and kept telling people over and over how evil sex was that he eventually gave up lecturing because he created such an uproar in his audience.

He was the inventor of the Graham cracker, which he fed to people in his sanitarium — he disallowed sex of any kind except to married couples and then only once a month, and his cracker was supposed to take away the sexual urge.  (Truly I”m not making this up.)  Off to the left here is a picture of Reverend Graham.

Ellen G. White, who was the founder of the Seventh Day Adventists, visited Graham”s sanitarium on the advice of an angel and set up her own sanitarium in Battle Creek Michigan, but her sanitarium didn”t do well until J. Harvy Kellogg took over the running of it.

Now here”s a bit that most don”t know.  Kellogg was so against sex that he never consumated his marriage and he and his wife had separate bedrooms for their entire marriage and adopted all of their children.  He was also an ardent


Now, Kellogg was a disciple of Graham”s and he was always experimenting with grains.  And Post was a patient at the sanitarium.  Interestingly most of the people at the sanitarium were not sick of any disease.  They were mostly there for rest and relaxation.  Now, John Harvy Kellogg lived long enough to see his ideas on sex as the basis of all disease disputed by the medical profession.  But it made no difference to him, because apparently he was one of those men who must never be wrong.

So now there you have “the rest of the story,” which I think is an extremely weird and rather extreme story — that I am not making up.  For any of you who are interesting in learning more, I would highly recommend the book, THE LIBERATION DIET by Kevin Brown and Annette Presley.  There”s another story in that book, another odd story about an extremely obese man, named William Banting.  In a short letter called LETTER ON CORPULENCE ADDRESSED TO THE PUBLIC, he tells about this man who was so obese, he could not walk up and down stairs and goes on to tell about the diet that got him back to a normal weight and one that kept his weight down for the rest of his life.  Interesting stuff…

Well, I hope you will forgive me for getting off topic for this blog, but Winnie”s post yesterday so inspired me to tell you the rest of the story.  I”d love to hear your opinions on diet, also.



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KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the multi-published author of American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.
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26 thoughts on “The Corn Flake — Another Weird Bit of History”

  1. Fascinating.

    On a related note, I once read that beer and other alcohol reduce the sex drive, which is one reason monastries brewed beer. Have you heard that one, or is it an old wives tale?

  2. Wow, Kay…you and Winnie had reallllly interesting blogs. Sometimes things with think of as All American, have the weirdest and most extreme beginnings. Who would’ve thunk…

  3. Hi Kay, terrific info here! Wow, I wonder what prompted such extreme views on sex. I like graham crackers, I must admit, but not all brands of them. I think we eat ’em about even ten years when we’re at some sort of campfire event and make smores.

  4. That made me laugh OUT LOUD! Don’t guess Mr. K realized someone else had sex for him to have kids to adopt! Thanks for the info.

    Fingers crossed for your book!

  5. Hi Lola!

    I honestly don’t know. I do know that in the olden days that a village would be known for its brew — they were all different — I also know that these beers and things used to be good for a person, being fermented and all (which makes all the nutrients really come alive).

    Another thing I know is that those communities (still to this day) that live well over 100 years have some fermented drink with each meal. Interesting stuff…

    It would be interesting to find out about that. Wow!

  6. Hi Melody!

    Truly! Where did he think kids came from — and I wonder sometimes about these people who seem to hate sex — because sex and children rather go together… Can’t have children without the other (although science does keep trying).

  7. Oh my, oh me Karen. What an article. Does it mean this weird man, Kellogg, is the start of our Kellogg brand cereals? Yuck! And another weird guy is the start of our Graham crackers? (I love Graham Crackers) Wait until I tell my kids what will happen when they eat them! LOL And another weird person, this woman, Ellen White. WOW again. Now, I’m confused about the pictures. You said left for both men but one is on the right. Which one? Very interesting item for sure.

  8. Forgot one comment. This Ellen White, wonder what the story is behind her being the Founder of the Seventh Dat Adventist. I elect you to check this out for us! 🙂 Maxie

  9. Hi Maxie!

    Oh, dear, you know I get my left and right mixed up continuously. Yes, this Kellogg is the founder of the cereal company. Makes one stop and think a bit.

    Okay the pictures in sequence are from top to bottom: Kellogg, Graham, and Post. And yes, this was the start of the Graham cracker. Makes one want to research other “starts” of our food source, huh?

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