Have you ever wondered how cornflakes were invented? Probably not.
The last thing you probably want to think about is the genesis story of the sweet and crunchy flakes of pleasure you're munching every morning. But it turns out, cereal has quite an interesting beginning.
John Harvey Kellogg, the father of all cereals, invented cornflakes for one purpose: to prevent masturbation.
According to Mental Floss, dear old Mr. Kellogg wanted it to be a "healthy, ready-to-eat anti-masturbation morning meal" because he believed sex was unhealthy for the mind, body and soul. In fact, according to the Daily Mail, Mr. Kellogg, himself, never consummated his marriage, preferring to adopt children rather than getting his wife pregnant.
But, before he invented cereal, he invented granula, a cereal made of baked oats and corn ground into pieces. Threats of a legal action from a rival company who was making a similar product with the same name made Mr. Kellogg rename it into what we now know as granola.
Mr. Kellogg then invented an enema machine that cleans the intestines with water.
According to the Daily Mail, "after flushing the bowels with water, he believed they would be further cleansed by administering a pint of yogurt; half through the mouth and half through the anus."
And then he invented corn flakes and a few other plain cereals. His brother Will, who was his partner, founded the Kellogg Company and later added sugar to the corn flake recipe. This addition caused a feud between the two for a few decades.
Mr. Kellogg, in his effort to find perfect health, really hated the idea of masturbation.
He saw masturbation as “self-pollution … a crime doubly abominable,” according to Mental Floss.
The Father of Cereal also wrote a book called Plain Facts For Old And Young: Embracing The Natural History And Hygiene Of Organic Life, which pointed out 39 different symptoms of masturbation including epilepsy, bad posture and acne (his kids must have gotten an earful when they hit puberty).
And if you didn’t like cereal? Mr. Kellogg recommended that boys thread silver wire through their foreskin to irritate the skin and prevent erections. For girls, he recommended burning the clitoris using carbolic acid.
What a fun fellow! But he probably wouldn't take too kindly at all the new, sugary cereals Kellogg has come up with over the last few years. (Not to mention, the foodgasm a spoonful of Honey Nut Cheerios can do to someone.)
In fact, we think he’d probably be rolling in his grave right now if he knew that some people eat cornflakes in their birthday suit.