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Why Were Corn Flakes Invented?

Why Were Corn Flakes Invented? With all of the internet rumors and speculation swirling, the real reason might surprise you! 

The Origins of Corn Flakes Cereal

A recent trend sees TikTok users encouraging viewers to Google everything from “where does vanilla flavoring come from?” to “why were graham crackers invented?” The answers are often wild enough to send the internet into a collective tizzy.

The latest viral “why was X invented” trend? Corn Flakes. Let’s just say, social media has A LOT to say on the origins of our favorite high-fiber breakfast cereal.

Speculation as to why cornflakes were invented may have scandalized the internet, but it turns out that they weren’t created for the reasons you might think. Let’s get into separating fact from fiction. Plus, check out a round-up of our favorite cornflakes recipes when all’s said and done!

Who Invented Corn Flakes?

The original Corn Flakes breakfast cereal was invented by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, an American doctor and nutritionist, in 1824.

Dr. Kellogg was the director of a sanitarium in Michigan, where he treated both wealthy and poor patients who could not afford hospitals. For all his good doings, Dr. Kellogg also dedicated a large part of his later life to eugenics. 

He also practiced abstinence, believing that sex was harmful to one’s physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. For this reason, he was an advocate of a pure, unstimulating diet of bland food for himself and for his patients. This led him to invent the famous flaked cereal, produced by his family’s Kellogg’s Cereal Company.

The Internet Rumor, Debunked

When it comes to the origins of Corn Flakes cereal, the online rumor mill has gone into meltdown lately. One Twitter user lamented, “I can never look at cornflakes the same after finding out why it was invented.” 

The viral claim making the rounds on social media: Dr. Kellogg invented Corn Flakes to stop the American people from masturbating. 

Countless TikToks and Tweets will tell you that Dr. Kellogg, in his sexual abstinence, believed that certain seasonings and flavors could increase sex drive. And for this reason, he invented Corn Flakes cereal as a bland, anti-masturbatory breakfast food.

They say that you can’t believe everything you read on the internet. Online fact-checkers Snopes is here to set the record straight: This online myth on the origins of the breakfast favorite is “mostly false”.

Everyone can take a deep breath. Dr. Kellogg did advocate for a bland diet and sexual abstinence as part of healthy living, but he never specifically referred to Corn Flakes as a way to discourage masturbation. 

So Why Were Kellogg’s Cornflakes Really Invented?

In a turn about as boring as the cereal itself, Corn Flakes were invented simply as an easy-to-digest morning meal. Indigestion was a common health problem at the time, and Dr. Kellogg created the cereal as a palatable healthy food for his patients at the Sanitarium. According to historians, Kellogg’s never actually advertised cornflakes as “anti-masturbatory” at all. 

Who knew cereal could be so scandalous?!

Sorry to burst your bubble, internet. But if you want to inflate it again, just have a look at Why Graham Crackers Were Invented instead. 

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