In news which may make you look at your breakfast a bit differently, reports suggest that corn flakes were first invented to stop people masturbating.
According to Mental Floss, John Harvey Kellogg, who first created the cereal in the late 19th century, originally intended it to be a “healthy, ready-to-eat anti-masturbatory morning meal”. Because of course he did.
Mr Kellogg, a physician, was uncomfortable about sex, believing it was unhealthy for the body, mind and soul. He was celibate too – he never consummated his marriage, kept a separate bedroom from his wife, and they adopted all their children.
But, although he was anti-sex, he considered masturbation even worse, explaining, “Self-pollution is a crime doubly abominable”.
And, it’s probably fair to say that Mr. Kellogg was a bit of a weird dude.
In his book ‘Plain Facts for Old and Young: Embracing the Natural History and Hygiene of Organic Life’, he described 39 different symptoms which he said were caused by masturbation. He also developed an enema machine in which the bowels were cleaned out with yoghurt and another in which the intestines were cleaned out with water.
Meanwhile, he believed plainer foods could help purify the body and mind, and while working as a physician at Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan, he developed a range of breakfasts he believed would prevent a person from pleasuring themselves.
Mr Kellogg first created granola, before he developed a range of decidedly plain cereals, including corn flakes, which he believed would dampen the desire for masturbation.
To be fair, these weren’t even the worst of John’s ideas to stop self pleasuring. For girls, he recommended applying carbolic acid to the clitoris to burn it. And for boys, he suggested threading silver wire through the foreskin to prevent erections and cause irritation. Oh God…
So feel free to think of that the next time you’re tucking into a tasty bowl of cereal!