The Bottom Line: Delicious facts about cereal!
The Full Story:
- Colonial families ate popcorn like breakfast cereal. They served the grain with cream and sugar.
- CheeriOats was introduced in May 1941. Its name changed to Cheerios in 1945 after a trade name dispute with Quaker Oats.
- You can actually thank a cannon from the Spanish-American War for your puffed cereal. Unlike corn, wheat and rice lack a protective shell to trap steam. So, to create puffed cereals, makers use a pressure-cooking method called "gun-puffing." That process was developed at the turn of the 20th century by Quaker Oats and perfected by using an army cannon converted into a pressure cooker.
- Corn Flakes were invented to discourage masturbation. In 1894, Michigan-based physician Dr. John Harvey Kellogg invented the classic cereal while 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 “settle things down.”
- Rice Krispies mascots Snap, Crackle and Pop briefly had a fourth brother named Pow in early 1950. The spaceman character was meant to represent the power of whole grain rice, but his career was short-lived. Kellogg's retired the character after two commercials.
- In 1971, General Mills debuted two monster-themed cereals: the sickeningly sweet Count Chocula and its strawberry equivalent, Franken Berry. Later cereals in this vein would include Boo Berry, Fruit Brute, and the unfortunately named Fruity Yummy Mummy. The line would prove extremely profitable, but in 1972, General Mills faced a public relations disaster. The dye they used to make Franken Berry pink often was not absorbed by the digestive system. Terrified parents found their children’s poop stained a garish pink and rushed them to the emergency room, fearing internal bleeding. The condition, called “Franken Berry Stool” was thankfully quite benign. The offending dye has long since been discontinued. Today, Franken Berry, Count Chocula, and Boo Berry are only available for a few months around Halloween time.