History of Favorite American Food Corn Flakes Part 2

About the history of the favorite American food corn flakes, information about the nutritional value of cereal and more.


Corn Flakes

Corn flake lobbyists also point to a study of the breakfast habits of 254 children, which showed that those who tended to eat ready-to-eat (RTE) cereals skipped breakfast only 6% of the time, while those who did not eat these cereals skipped breakfast 20% of the time. Therefore, they conclude, RTE cereals "encourage children to eat breakfast."

The arguments will undoubtedly continue to rage for some time, with nutritionists pushing for less sugar and adulteration of the kernel and more nutrition. Regardless, flakes from kernels seem to be as permanent a part of the American diet as chicken from the Colonel's. About 25% of all American breakfast now include RTE cereals, and of the 11 most frequent food choices for breakfast, RTE cereal with milk is second only to no breakfast at all, more popular than coffee, toast, juice, eggs, and so on.

Almost all corn flakes available today are fortified, that is, they contain added synthetic nutrients. One ounce (1 1/2 cups) of corn flakes with one-half cup of whole milk constitutes one serving, contains 180 calories, and contains the following percentages of the U.S. recommended daily allowance of nutrients: protein (15%), vitamin A (30%), vitamin C (25%), thiamine (25%), riboflavin (35%), niacin (25%), calcium (15%), iron (10%), vitamin D (25%), vitamin B (25%), folic acid (25%), phosphorus (10%), and magnesium (4%). However, almost 50 different nutrients are recommended for the daily allowance by the U.S. government.

Corn flakes were developed by Dr. John Kellogg, who ran a sanitarium in Battle Creek, Mich., and his brother, Will Keith Kellogg, the sanitarium's bookkeeper. One day, seeking to develop a more digestible bread for the patients, the brothers Kellogg had just placed a sample of boiled wheat on a baking tin when Dr. Kellogg was summoned to the operating room for an emergency operation and W.K. Kellogg had to leave the kitchen to supervise arrangements for the funeral of a deceased patient. Returning later to their experiment, they ran the cooked wheat through improvised rollers and, much to their surprise, found that each wheat berry formed a large, thin flake. They had inadvertently found the principle of "tempering" grains. Thereby were born corn, rice, and wheat flakes.

The first corn flakes appeared in 1898 and were called Sanitas Corn Flakes (presumably after the sanitarium, a nice inspiration for a breakfast food). They were manufactured by Dr. Kellogg's Sanitas Food Company. In 1906, W.K. Kellogg formed his own company for nationwide marketing of corn flakes. C.W. Post, a former patient at the sanitarium, came out with his corn flakes at about the same time. At first he called them Elijah's Manna, but later he changed the name to Post Toasties.

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