breakfast cereal: an anti-masturbation invention!?

I write about breakfast a lot. My breakfast choices stray left of the cereal box. I eat meat muffins. And pumpkin with sardines. And stirfried sprouts with egg. And so I’m often met with the reaction: but that’s not what breakfast is meant to be, that’s not how breakfast goes?!

Isn’t it?

82472 5 6001 breakfast cereal: an anti-masturbation invention!?
photo by Sarah Illenberger

I personally think that fat and protein are best at breakfast and that sugar should be avoided at all costs because it sets the day up for a rollercoaster ride of cravings. A protein-less breakfast leaves you unsatiated. And yet that’s the kind of start to the day we’ve been sold. Reader Dani alerted me to this article by Anneli Rufus. It’s a good succinct overview of a lot of material I read about how:

breakfast = dry cereal dripping in sugar in LARGE part because big corporations have sold us into believing such an equation.

But know this:

Breakfast foods are dictated by corporate interests + masturbation paranoia.


Breakfast is a much politicised meal. Rufus writes “Cold cereal, donuts and orange juice are now breakfast staples because somebody somewhere wanted money.”

  • cereal as we know it was born out of a desire to produce something that would stop us masturbating!  Not. Kidding. Seeking to provide sanitarium patients with meatless anti-aphrodisiac breakfasts in 1894, surgeon and anti-masturbation activist John Kellogg developed the process of flaking cooked grains. Hence Corn Flakes. And Rice Crispies.
  • in pre-Corn Flakes time, breakfast wasn’t cold or sweet. It was hot and hearty.
  • pre-industry, we loaded up on protein-rich eggs, sausages, ham and belly-fat bacon along with ancient carb classics: mush, pancakes, bread.
  • “Cold cereals are an invention of vegetarians and the health-food industry. These companies (like Kelloggs) realized early on that people like sugar, and kids really like sugar – so they shifted their sales target from adults concerned about health to kids who love sugar. It’s a thoroughly American invention.”
  • yogurt was considered freakish in the US when General Mills began promoting it heavily as a “health food” in the early 1970s. The US yogurt industry is now worth over $4 billion a year. A single one-serving container of Yoplait fruit yogurt contains 28 grams, or seven teaspoons, of sugar.
  • one hundred and fifty years ago, Americans consumed two to three times more calories per day than they do now, “mostly at breakfast. Yet obesity and diabetes weren’t at epidemic proportions, because half of Americans still lived on farms or did manual labor in cities.” I’ll add this: you’ll note SUGAR was missing from the equation!
  • these days,

“We wake up, eat dessert, then sit.”

  • breakfast these days is disconnected from class, career, ethnicity, and the functionality of bodies burning fuel. Its history is hewn of cravings, insecurities, subliminalities and false confidence conjured by strangers who tell us how to start our days, because they can…

Also know this:

The food pyramid? That says grains are best? Bogus!

The Australian food pyramid is derived from the US one which in turn is a creation of…wait for it… the US Dept of Agriculture in 1992. Not a food or health department. The department that takes care of farmers. Huh????

The argument is made MANY times over that the food and agricultural associations exert MUCH political power on the USDA. Food industries, such as milk companies, have been accused of influencing the United States Department of Agriculture into making the coloured spots on the food pyramid larger for their particular product. Grain-based industries have done the same. The pyramid is not an independent guide.

The good news, this year, following a stack of lobbying, the USDA rolled out its new “MyPlate” program. Veggies and protein are given more focus.

Picture 11 breakfast cereal: an anti-masturbation invention!?

Anyway. Thought you’d be interested….


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