We all know that rumors and jokes could go unchecked and unchallenged on the Internet, spreading misinformation.
Similarly, there are a few internet speculations about the famous breakfast cereal Corn Flakes, spreading a viral myth about its origins.
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, an American physician, nutritionist, and health activist, invented Corn Flakes. He was also the director of the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan, a renowned health resort founded by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
He treated both wealthy and poor people who could not afford other hospitals. Dr. Kellogg dedicated his life to promoting eugenics, which aimed at improving the genetic makeup of the human race. He was against the mixing of races and was in favor of sterilizing people with mental handicaps.
The internet myth says that Corn Flakes were invested in an attempt to encourage people to stop masturbating.
According to rumors, Dr. Kellogg thought that sex was harmful to your physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. He personally abstained from sex and all of his children were adopted. He said masturbation could lead to acne, mood swings, stiff joints, and epilepsy. And he believed the solution to this problem was to follow a healthy diet.
Therefore, people thought Dr. Kellogg developed Corn Flakes as an anti-masturbatory breakfast cereal.
However, Snopes, an online fact-checking service, rated this viral rumor as “mostly false.”
“While Corn Flakes were a part of Kellogg’s broader advocacy for a plain, bland diet, they were never advertised as an anti-masturbatory morning meal,” according to Snopes.
Dr. Kellogg did advise living clean and practicing sexual abstinence. He even recommended eating a bland diet to discourage masturbation, but he never specifically referred to Corn Flakes.
Snopes said, “According to the available evidence, corn flakes were primarily created as an easy-to-digest, pre-prepared and healthy breakfast food, in particular for patients at the Kellogg Sanitarium in Michigan.”
Prof. Howard Markel of the University of Michigan explained that the initial idea for inventing Corn Flakes came from the need to create a breakfast that could prevent or overcome indigestion. “It’s no wonder Dr. Kellogg saw a need for a palatable, grain-based ‘health food’ that was ‘easy on the digestion’ and also easy to prepare,” Prof. Markel said.