Did you know that morning cereal was invented to slay the American libido? Really! Indeed, back in the 1800’s Mr. Kellogg, at his health spa, invented the corn flake cereal in an attempt to create a healthy, sex desire-less, body. Under the mistaken thought process that desire, not only was evil, but unhealthy. Mind blowing if you sit and ponder that, in light of what modern cereal has become.
Mass marketing of morning cereal products began, in earnest, in the late 1800’s in news print and magazine ads. Some time in the 1930’s marketers began to advertise toward the women at home, saying all kinds of things about health and convenience. Reminding them that slaving over a stove for breakfast cut into their time to plan lunches and dinners. “See how morning breakfast cereal could also reduce her work load?” They said. With Ford’s motor line and the invention of the assembly line, many people had moved into the city to get manufacturing jobs. Morning cereal was a way to fast fuel the body for a grueling, pre workers rights era, 12 hour long day, working on those assembly lines.
With the invention of TV, marketers began advertising to children the joy of eating cereals for breakfast. Tony the tiger, jack the rabbit, and count chocula are just a few of the ad campaign ambassadors designed to entice children to beg mom and dad for a specific brand of cereal. Many children’s cereals have come and gone, as has many cartoon franchises, such as the Smurfs cartoon. These shows cooperated with P&G, Kelloggs, or Post, to make a product that worked to advertise both the cereal and the tv show. Directly advertised to children during the Saturday morning cartoon show. It was actually quite genius. I ate Smurfs cereal for as long as I watched the show. Do you remember Mikey? I however, did not like LIFE cereal.
I have to admit: I love cereal. 2 specific cereals: Golden Grams and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I am non dairy so I eat them with Almond milk. Generally, I find myself pulling out my cereal bowl around 1:00 pm for a late brunch. Eating first thing in the morning does not mix well with my morning thyroid medication. Oh I know, I can eat thirty minutes to an hour later but just the thought does not sit well for me. I also enjoy in the winters, hot shredded wheat biscuit cereal. My Father’s mother used to make me this delicious, warm breakfast cereal, when I was a child visiting them in Pennsylvania. I did not see them often, as they were busy running the Air Products Guest house. So, when I saw them, and ate this hot cereal breakfast, it was a special thing for me.
Hot shredded wheat biscuit cereal, “what’s that?” You know the box of large biscuit Shredded Wheat cereal in the breakfast isle? The one you never, ever buy? Place a biscuit into a bowl that just fits it, whole. Pour boiling water over it and let it sit a minute. Drain water. Smother in butter or in my case Benecol. Sprinkle sugar over it and dig in with a spoon. Joy, pure unadulterated, joy! My Grandmother could make the most healthy thing taste delicious. She made a desert custard with grape nuts and wonderful muffins with ALL Bran.
My saddest day ever was the day I discovered my absolute, most favorite cereal had been discontinued. I was so distraught. CW Post. Rest its soul. Was the most wonderful breakfast cereal and I could eat it dry. It was an especially expensive cereal and came in a very small box. Maybe that is why? I was the only person buying it. It had all the buzz word foods you wanted in a cereal: honey, oats, almonds, bite size clusters. It was a granola type cereal that did not need added sugar. I still mourn its demise to this very day.