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Old 01-13-2009, 12:38 PM   #1
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The history of packaged cereal

I have always been interested in how food relates to history and vice versa ever since I saw a museum display called The Seeds of Change.

Here is something that might interest other history buffs here:

History of cereal ( from wikipedia)

Breakfast cereals have their beginnings in the vegetarian movement in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, which influenced members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the United States.[4] The main Western breakfast at that time was a cooked breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, and beef. The first breakfast cereal, Granula (named after granules) was invented in the United States in 1863 by James Caleb Jackson, operator of the Jackson Sanitorium in Dansville, New York and a staunch vegetarian. The cereal never became popular; it was far too inconvenient, as the heavy bran nuggets needed soaking overnight before they were tender enough to eat.
The next generation of breakfast cereals was considerably more convenient, and, combined with clever marketing, they finally managed to catch on. In 1877, John Harvey Kellogg, operator of the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan, invented a biscuit made of ground-up wheat, oat, and cornmeal for his patients suffering from bowel problems. The product was initially also named "Granula", but changed to "Granola" after a lawsuit. His most famous contribution, however, was an accident. After leaving a batch of boiled wheat soaking overnight and rolling it out, Kellogg had created wheat flakes. His brother Will Keith Kellogg later invented corn flakes from a similar method, bought out his brother's share in their business, and went on to found the Kellogg Company in 1906. With his shrewd marketing and advertising, Kellogg's sold their one millionth case after three years.
[edit]Post
Charles William Post, a patient at the Battle Creek Sanitarium, also made significant contributions to breakfast cereals. After his 1893 visit, he started his own sanitarium, the La Vita Inn, and developed his own coffee substitute, Postum. In 1897, Post invented Grape-Nuts and, coupled with a nation-wide advertising campaign, became a leader in the cereal business.

The 20th century
In the 1930s, the first puffed cereal, Kix, went on the market. Beginning after World War II, the big breakfast cereal companies – now including General Mills, who entered the market in 1924 with Wheaties – increasingly started to target children. Sugar was added, and the once-healthy breakfasts began to look starkly different from their fiber-rich ancestors; Kellogg's Sugar Smacks, created in 1953, had 56% sugar by weight. Different mascots were introduced, first with the Rice Krispies elves and later pop icons like Tony the Tiger and the Trix Rabbit.
Because of Kellogg, the city of Battle Creek, Michigan is nicknamed the "cereal city".
History

Breakfast cereals have their beginnings in the vegetarian movement in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, which influenced members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the United States.[4] The main Western breakfast at that time was a cooked breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, and beef. The first breakfast cereal, Granula (named after granules) was invented in the United States in 1863 by James Caleb Jackson, operator of the Jackson Sanitorium in Dansville, New York and a staunch vegetarian. The cereal never became popular; it was far too inconvenient, as the heavy bran nuggets needed soaking overnight before they were tender enough to eat.
The next generation of breakfast cereals was considerably more convenient, and, combined with clever marketing, they finally managed to catch on. In 1877, John Harvey Kellogg, operator of the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan, invented a biscuit made of ground-up wheat, oat, and cornmeal for his patients suffering from bowel problems. The product was initially also named "Granula", but changed to "Granola" after a lawsuit. His most famous contribution, however, was an accident. After leaving a batch of boiled wheat soaking overnight and rolling it out, Kellogg had created wheat flakes. His brother Will Keith Kellogg later invented corn flakes from a similar method, bought out his brother's share in their business, and went on to found the Kellogg Company in 1906. With his shrewd marketing and advertising, Kellogg's sold their one millionth case after three years.
[edit]Post
Charles William Post, a patient at the Battle Creek Sanitarium, also made significant contributions to breakfast cereals. After his 1893 visit, he started his own sanitarium, the La Vita Inn, and developed his own coffee substitute, Postum. In 1897, Post invented Grape-Nuts and, coupled with a nation-wide advertising campaign, became a leader in the cereal business.
[edit]The 20th century
In the 1930s, the first puffed cereal, Kix, went on the market. Beginning after World War II, the big breakfast cereal companies – now including General Mills, who entered the market in 1924 with Wheaties – increasingly started to target children. Sugar was added, and the once-healthy breakfasts began to look starkly different from their fiber-rich ancestors; Kellogg's Sugar Smacks, created in 1953, had 56% sugar by weight.[5] Different mascots were introduced, first with the Rice Krispies elves and later pop icons like Tony the Tiger and the Trix Rabbit.
Because of Kellogg, the city of Battle Creek, Michigan is nicknamed the "cereal city".[6]

Breakfast cereal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

and the man who started it all:

John Harvey Kellogg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

So you can see that most breakfast cereals (except for corn meal mush and oatmeal) were recent inventions. They were actually invented during a time in American history when a lot of food-faddism was going on and w their invention was also tied to the vegetarian movement of the 19th century and early 20th century.

Last edited by fluffybear2; 01-13-2009 at 12:41 PM.. Reason: Added another link
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Old 01-15-2009, 06:23 PM   #2
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I've read this before. Very interesting. Hmmm...do I REALLY want to be eating something developed by someone running a sanitorium?
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:09 AM   #3
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I remember several years ago (before this WOE) being in a store in Madrid, Spain and looking for cereal and finding none. At the time, I thought they were sure behind the times! I think what they eat for breakfast is mostly fat and protein (at least that was what we were served at breakfast buffets...bacon, eggs, even fish). Now I realize how healthy their way of eating is!
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Old 09-05-2009, 12:01 AM   #4
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Have you seen The Road to Wellville? It was... odd.
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:13 PM   #5
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On a related note, I read a part of the book Cereal Killer and was intrigued enough to want to read more, but other interesting books have intervened.
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