If you’ve eaten breakfast cereal, you know the name Kellogg. It has long been associated with the first meal of the day, and the popularization of breakfast cereals can largely be credited to the Kellogg family.
While there are entire aisles of the grocery store solely dedicated to breakfast cereals today, there was a time when none of these products existed. That was, until an eccentric man by the name of John Harvey Kellogg became dedicated to inventing his own “pure” food products. Due to his religious beliefs that flavorful foods were sinful and unclean, Kellogg was forced to think creatively and innovate when preparing meals.
While J.H. Kellogg was peculiar by many standards, he was a well-educated man for his time. Not only was he a medically trained doctor, but also a scholar, author, and inventor. Like many historical figures, to understand Kellogg’s success and discoveries, we must first uncover what influenced him as a young man.
The early years of J.H. Kellogg
Kellogg was born into a humble family in Tyrone, Michigan, in 1852. He was just one of the 16 children in the Kellogg clan, which soon moved to Battle Creek, Michigan. If Battle Creek rings a bell, it’s probably because it’s known as the “Cereal City — both C.W. Post and Kellogg had roots in the region.
The Kellogg family was heavily involved in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This Christian offshoot stressed the importance of healthful living and maintaining your body. Seventh-day Adventists also believed that the holy spirit was housed in the human body, so defiling the body was akin to sullying the holy spirit.
During Kellogg’s youth, two leaders in the church, James and Ellen White, started promoting even stricter health reforms. Said to have visions from God, the Whites began propagating a list of banned foods like tobacco, coffee, tea, and medicines. Soon, unhealthy lifestyles were considered immoral. It was preached that if you didn’t maintain your personal health and tarnished your body with banned foods, your chance of…