Cereal is one of those childhood favorites most of us don’t outgrow. And we all are sucker for cereals whether it’s served with milk or ice cream. It’s cheap, it’s versatile, and, if you opt for a less sugary variety, it can even be nutritious. But how much do you really know about your favorite cereal?
1. Corn Flakes were invented to discourage masturbation.
In 1894, Michigan-based physician Dr. John Harvey Kellogg invented the cereal. He created it when the doctor was developing a dietary plan for his patients at the Black Creek Sanitarium. Kellogg believed spicy foods increased sexual desire and prescribed his patients a diet of bland foods to curb it.
2. A bowl of Honey Smacks contains as much sugar as a Dunkin Donut.
Though a classic cereal-bowl favorite, Smacks consistently ranks first on the list of bad-for-you cereals. It actually has more sugar than in an entire Twinkie!
3. There was a fourth brother in the ‘Snap, Crackle, Pop’ trio.
We all know that Rice Krispies has three “pitch elves,” but did you know at one point there was a fourth? It was in the 1950s when Pow! was introduced. He was a “spaceman,” meant to exude the power of whole grain rice, a Kellogg’s spokesman told Smithsonian.com. Unfortunately, it was soon dropped.
4. Frankenberry cereal used to turn your poop red.
According to a 1972 paper in the journal Pediatrics, everyone’s favorite strawberry-flavored cereal had one small problem. The cereal’s synthetic dye couldn’t “be broken down or absorbed by the body,” said Smithsonian.
While it didn’t do any harm apart but a new nickname became popular: Frankenberry stool. A sister cereal, Booberry, turned stool green, while Smurfberry Crunch Cereal turned your stool – blue. Luckily, all three dyes were later switched out.
5. The first manufactured breakfast cereal had to be soaked overnight before serving.
In 1863, dietary reformer Dr. James Caleb Jackson invented “granula,” nuggets of rich graham flour. The cereal was made from dough baked into long sheets and broken up into small pieces.
Granula was made into nugget shapes and that’s why it had to be soaked overnight before it could be eaten.
6. Astronauts ate Kellogg’s Corn Flakes aboard Apollo 11, the first moon landing.
The Kellogg Co.
The cereal was mixed up with fruit and formed into cubes since eating it with milk was impossible without gravity.
7. Tony the Tiger competed against three other mascots for the spot as the Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes mascot.
Though Elmo the Elephant and Newt the Gnu never graced the front of a cereal box, Katy the Kangaroo appeared on Frosted Flakes boxes for a short time in the 1950s. Tony the Tiger quickly outsold Katy, becoming the official mascot.
8. ‘Honey Bunches Of Oats’ were created in 1986 when Vernon Herzing and his daughter were mixing cereals.
Honey Bunches of Oats
They mixed granola bunches, corn flakes, and honey, a combination that led to the cereal you know today.
9. Those Froot Loop flavors are a total lie.
Although the loops in your bowl all look different, the idea that the red, green, orange and yellow circles have individual flavors is a big hoax. Blind taste testing revealed that each loop bears a vague ‘fruit’ flavor, regardless of color.
10. Count Chocula was accused of antisemitism.
In 1987, General Mills came under fire from Jewish groups after using an enhanced image of Bela Lugosi as Dracula on the box. The problem? Many thought it looked like he was wearing a Star of David, making the mascot appear to be some sort of blood-sucking Jewish monster. General Mills apologized and changed the boxes, blaming the error on a computerized design process.
What are your thoughts?