Cereal

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26 Feb 1938 --- John Harvey Kellogg Age 86 --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

26 Feb 1938, John Harvey Kellogg Age 86. Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Dr Kellogg‘s Prescription

If Cereal Won’t Cool the Libido, Try Surgery – Kellogg, and the Crusade for Moral Fibre

For people the world over, a bowl of corn flakes is the go-to breakfast of choice.

But for the majority of those who look forward to their morning bowl, it will come as a surprise that they were invented to stop people masturbating.

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’. Mr Kellogg, a physician, was uncomfortable about sex, believing it was unhealthy for the body, mind and soul.

He was celibate, having never consummated his marriage and keeping a separate bedroom from his wife.

Cornflakes were designed as a bland food that would not “over stimulate” the senses, and thus reduce the risk that the consumer would engage in “self-stimulation,” Corn Flakes were just a small part of the bizarre health regime designed by Kellogg and implemented in his Battle Creek, Michigan Sanitarium.

As a rule, there’s usually more to hapless folk wisdom than bad science, and so it is with myths about masturbation and other aspects of sexuality. In America, a peculiar flowering of such myths took place in the 19th century. Though the predictable culprits — Victorian prudery, evangelical Christianity, entrepreneurialism — are part of the picture, the lesser-known reality is their century-old relationship with whole-grain foodstuffs. That is, thanks to certain influential health advocates back then, sex and diet were inexorably linked and for both, healthy meant bland.

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Thanks to the hippies the poor can no longer afford their staples

The green taliban have foist so-called ‘climate mitigation’ programs upon us all…one of the most dodgy being bio-fuels.

It has achieved nothing other than make the staple crops of the poor unaffordable. Maize and wheat prices have gone through the roof.

Now the flipside of the green taliban coin, vegans and hippies,  are causing problems with another staple in Bolivia and Peru:

Not long ago, quinoa was just an obscure Peruvian grain you could only buy in wholefood shops. We struggled to pronounce it (it’s keen-wa, not qui-no-a), yet it was feted by food lovers as a novel addition to the familiar ranks of couscous and rice. Dieticians clucked over quinoa approvingly because it ticked the low-fat box and fitted in with government healthy eating advice to “base your meals on starchy foods”.

Adventurous eaters liked its slightly bitter taste and the little white curls that formed around the grains. Vegans embraced quinoa as a credibly nutritious substitute for meat. Unusual among grains, quinoa has a high protein content (between 14%-18%), and it contains all those pesky, yet essential, amino acids needed for good health that can prove so elusive to vegetarians who prefer not to pop food supplements.

Sales took off. Quinoa was, in marketing speak, the “miracle grain of the Andes”, a healthy, right-on, ethical addition to the meat avoider’s larder (no dead animals, just a crop that doesn’t feel pain). Consequently, the price shot up – it has tripled since 2006 – with more rarified black, red and “royal” types commanding particularly handsome premiums.

But there is an unpalatable truth to face for those of us with a bag of quinoa in the larder. The appetite of countries such as ours for this grainhas pushed up prices to such an extent that poorer people in Peru and Bolivia, for whom it was once a nourishing staple food, can no longer afford to eat it. Imported junk food is cheaper. In Lima, quinoa now costs more than chicken. Outside the cities, and fuelled by overseas demand, the pressure is on to turn land that once produced a portfolio of diverse crops into quinoa monoculture.