November 13, 2012
Abstinence and Accidents: The Sexual History of Corn Flakes
For those who may not know me, Michigan is my home state. Despite not being a large state, we still are home to many companies that are based in our pleasant peninsula. In addition to being the automotive capital of the country, we are host to the global headquarters of the Kellogg Company, the producers and inventors of corn flakes. Now as innocuous as this breakfast cereal may seem, its history is one that is filled with ulterior motives and lucky breaks.
According to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which incidentally has its origins in Battle Creek as well, a low fat vegetarian diet is recommended as per their teachings. Church member John Kellogg was a physician and superintendent of The Battle Creek Sanitarium. All of the patients there were required to adopt this diet consisting of mostly bland foods. He believed that consumption of anything spicy or sweet would increase sexual desires, which he was in staunch opposition to. Go abstinence! The thought behind eating bland foods was to curb sexual urges.
He and his brother, Will Keith Kellogg, began a whole grain cereal production company in an effort to help promote their belief in bland meals for health. And as the story goes, one day the two accidentally left some cooked wheat out because they had to deal with some issue at the sanitarium. When they came back, they saw that their cooked wheat had turned stale, but working with a tight budget, they couldn’t afford to throw it away. They processed the stale cooked wheat through the grain rollers and instead of one large sheet of dough like they thought they would get, they got flakes. They then toasted the flakes and began to serve them to their patients. It was an instant hit. John Kellogg later applied for a patent on his “flake process” and corn flakes were born.
So how does this tie into sex? As I mentioned before, Dr. Kellogg was an advocate for sexual abstinence and being a supporter of Sylvester Graham’s agenda, yes the graham cracker man, he believed that eating meals of boring, plain old, unsexy corn flakes would help alleviate suffers from their sexual urges. But in fact, the joke is actually on him.
Today in each serving of corn flakes there is 25% of your daily value of vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. These B vitamins are essential in blood flow regulation to our sex organs, the synthesis of testosterone, and maintaining optimal nerve transmission. Because of these vitamins, we can be assured that our genitals will be receiving the oxygen rich blood they need, we’ve got a healthy level of the sex hormone, and we can feel every little thing on our bodies and transmit those feelings into orgasm!
So many thanks to Dr. Kellogg for his invention of unsexy corn flakes, sheer luck, and his inadvertent promotion of our sexual health! Give a little smile while eating your next bowl and as always, everything is ok here.
About The Author
Dr. Megan Stubbs is a Grand Rapids-based Sexologist. She holds a doctor of education in Human Sexuality from San Francisco’s Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and a degree in Biology from Grand Valley State University. She also Board Certified by the American College of Sexologists (ACS).
About Dr. Jess
Dr. Jess is a sexologist, author, international speaker and television personality. She has a PhD in human sexuality and travels the globe to promote deliciously pleasurable sex. From hosting Playboy TV’s SWING to running workshops for couples’ in the Caribbean, she relishes in every moment! Check out her tour schedule here.