How much do you really know about those peanut butter puffs or vanilla granola you’re spooning into your mouth? Not much and who cares, right? Well, Mental Floss wants to drop some knowledge into your bowl with a history of the breakfast staple. Here are the tastiest morsels:
1. Cereal was godly
“More than a century ago, Christian fundamentalists invented cereal to promote a healthy lifestyle free of sin,” according to Mental Floss. (What breakfast is sinful? Cinnabon? Probably Cinnabon.)
2. Before cereal, breakfast was BADASS
Back in the day, “most Americans subsisted on a diet of pork, whiskey, and coffee,” Mental Floss says. As a result, religious zealot James Jackson created meatless, bricklike Granula — the first real cereal — as an alternative to bacon and spiked coffee. Rejected name: Spoilsport-Os.
3. Kellogg wasn’t too, uh, creative
Nobody liked Granula (shocker). But John Kellogg (of Kellogg’s fame) stole the idea, made it marginally more edible, and called it Granola so he wouldn’t get sued. Actual cereal flakes? They were an accident.
4. … And you didn’t want him near your bumhole
Before Kellogg went into the cereal biz, he worked at Michigan’s trendy Battle Creek Sanitarium, serving up “shock-therapy sessions and machine-powered enemas.” Shudder.
5. Post wanted to keep your pants up
Charles Post of Post’s Grape-Nut Flakes originally sold suspenders (poorly) before HE ripped off Kellogg’s, adding the secret ingredient: ADS. Dishonest ads. He promised Grape-Nuts would make you smarter — and cure your appendicitis!
6. Is that you, Mickey?
Once the cereal market got super-saturated, companies created mascots to try to differentiate themselves. Walt Disney got the money for his legacy by working as a cereal cartoonist for Post Toasties.
Who knew that much went into a bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats?
How Cereal Transformed American Culture, Mental Floss.