Not many people consider the origins of their favorite cereals. For the most part, these brands have been around for so long that they’ve become as common as any other food, so prominent in millions of people’s daily lives that we just accept their existence without questioning how they came to be.
After a recent revelation about Kellogg’s Corn Flakes came to light, though, more cereal eaters might want to consider learning about the history of their go-to brands. According to Daily Mirror, a meme daring users to Google why the flakes were invented has shocked people and sparked an uproar.
The results allege that the cereal’s inventor, J.H. Kellogg, was an anti-sex campaigner who purposely created a bland, healthy cereal to discourage people from pleasuring themselves. He apparently did this because he believed people adopting a healthier diet would help them suppress their naughty urges.
This isn’t the first time this theory has made the headlines, but it has gained fresh significance of late courtesy of Kate Devlin’s Turned On: Science Sex and Robots. In the book, the author claims the flakes were invented as “an anti-masturbatory morning meal.”
While the theory is just plausible enough to have some people believing it’s true, the fact-checking website Snopes.com states that the reports have been greatly exaggerated.
While it is true that Kellogg believed a balanced diet was key to resisting urges of the carnal kind, the product was never advertised as anything more than a breakfast food.
It’s understandable why people were duped into believing that Kellogg promoted the product as an anti-masturbation food, however.
The Snopes report highlights that the theory has been circulating for several years, with multiple sources citing the phrase “healthy, ready-to-eat anti-masturbatory morning meal” in quotation marks.
As a result, some people believe that those words were used as part of the cereal’s actual advertising slogan back in the day, even though the false claim originates from a modern online source.
The phrase can originally be traced back to a Mental Floss article from 2012, which states “Kellogg developed a few different flaked grain breakfast cereals — including corn flakes…” to reportedly discourage self-pleasuring.
While Kellogg never advertised his product as a suppressant, he did discuss its health benefits. The Snopes article reveals that he claimed one of his main reasons for inventing the cereal was to help sick people, as he believed it could be “readily digested without any preliminary cooking or heating operation.”