John Harvey Kellogg was the Kellogg brother who created Kellogg’s corn flakes, not his brother W.K. Kellogg. The cereal was created in 1898 due to an experiment fail – he was attempting to make granola but instead, it came out in these flat, bland-tasting, dry flakes. This blah-tasting food was perfect to feed his sanitarium patients. Why? Why shouldn’t sanitarium patients be allowed to eat something that tastes good? It was all due to John Harvey Kellogg’s belief in the “clean living movement”. This movement touted the importance of “hygiene, cleanliness, and purity.” Being a devout member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, nutritionist, and physician, Kellogg became a crusader against sex in any form…even between husbands and wives. It’s been said that he and his wife never even consummated their wedding vows and slept in separate bedrooms.

Not only was Kellogg against marital sex, but he was vehemently opposed to ‘self-gratification’ or ‘self-pleasure’. He was so obsessed with anti-sex, that he wrote a book about all types of sex, hookers, wet dreams, kinky fetishes, and self-gratification. In fact, Kellogg wrote two books about sex and self-abuse: Plain Facts for Old and Young (1877) and Treatment for Self-Abuse and Its Effects (1888).,

One of his remedies for self-abuse was a good diet and exercise. What food could they possibly eat to help? Why these new bland flakes of his, that’s what. Nope, no rich foods or spicy foods – just plain blah foods that wouldn’t arouse or entice. So, he made sure his sanitarium patients had corn flakes for breakfast so they wouldn’t be ‘tempted’ later in the day.

99.1 WFMK logo
Get our free mobile app

Kellogg is also believed to be one of the main forces as to why most baby boys are circumcised at birth…he believed circumcision would prevent self-abuse when the boys got older.

That didn’t work, did it?

Eleven years later, John’s brother W.K. Kellogg added sugar to the corn flakes to make them tastier, and they remain a breakfast favorite to this day. They were brotherly enemies from then on…and in 1909 W.K. came up with the idea of free prizes in every package.

Now, where did the idea for a rooster mascot come from? The rooster you see on most boxes of Kellogg’s corn flakes stemmed from the word “ceiliog” which means ‘rooster’ in Welsh. W.K. thought ceiliog, sounded like Kellogg, so it must be a sign.

Kellogg and His Corn Flakes


Inside (& Outside) of the W.K. Kellogg Mansion

LOOK: 40 Discontinued & Special Edition Kellogg's Cereals

Vintage Cereals of The Battle Creek Food Company

More From 99.1 WFMK