(born Feb. 26, 1852, Tyrone, Mich., U.S.—died Dec. 14, 1943, Battle Creek, Mich.) U.S. breakfast-cereal manufacturer. Kellogg was a physician and vegetarian who in 1876 helped found a Seventh-Day Adventist sanitarium in Battle Creek, Mich. There he developed various nut and vegetable products, including a flaked-wheat cereal to serve to patients, one of whom was C.W. Post. Kellogg's pioneering work was largely responsible for the creation of the flaked-cereal industry. His younger brother, W.K., founded the W.K. Kellogg Co. in 1906.
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Kellogg attended the Battle Creek public schools, then attended the Michigan State Normal School (since 1959, Eastern Michigan University), and finally, New York University Medical College at Bellevue Hospital. He graduated in 1875 with a medical degree. He married Ella Ervilla Eaton (1853–1920) of Alfred Center, New York, on February 22, 1879. They did not have any children of their own, but raised over forty children, legally adopting seven of them, before Ella died in 1920. The adopted children include: Agnes Grace Kellogg, Elizabeth Kellogg, John William Kellogg, Ivaline Maud Kellogg, Paul Alfred Kellogg, Robert Moffatt Kellogg, and Newell Carey Kellogg. Kellogg died in 1943 and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Battle Creek.
Kellogg was an especially strong proponent of nuts, which he believed would save mankind in the face of decreasing food supply. Though mainly renowned nowadays for his development of corn flakes, Kellogg also patented a process for making peanut butter and invented healthful "granose biscuits."
At the Battle Creek Sanitarium, Kellogg held classes on food preparation for homemakers. Sanitarium visitors engaged in breathing exercises and mealtime marches to promote proper digestion of food throughout the day. Because Kellogg was a staunch supporter of phototherapy, the sanitarium also made use of artificial sunbaths.
Kellogg made sure that the bowel of each and every patient was plied with water, from above and below. His favorite device was an enema machine that could rapidly instill several gallons of water in a series of enemas. Every water enema was followed by a pint of yogurt — half was eaten, the other half was administered by enema “thus planting the protective germs where they are most needed and may render most effective service." The yogurt served to replace the intestinal flora of the bowel, creating what Kellogg claimed was a squeaky-clean intestine.
Kellogg believed that most disease is alleviated by a change in intestinal flora; that bacteria in the intestines can either help or hinder the body; that pathogenic bacteria produce toxins during the digestion of protein that poison the blood; that poor diet favors harmful bacteria that can then infect other tissues in the body; that the intestinal flora is changed by diet, and is generally changed for the better by a well-balanced vegetarian diet favoring low-protein, laxative and high-fiber foods; and that this natural change in flora could be sped by enemas seeded with favorable bacteria, or by various regimens of specific foods designed to heal specific ailments.
Kellogg was a skilled surgeon, who often donated his services to indigent patients at his clinic. Although against any unnecessary use of surgery to cure diseases, he did advocate circumcision.
In the early 1900s, Kellogg published The Living Temple, a book whose sale was intended to raise funds for the sanitarium. Several Adventist leaders, including A.G. Daniells and Ellen G. White, concluded that the book was pantheistic in its portrayal of the nature and work of the Holy Spirit. The theological disagreement led to a break, and in 1907, Kellogg took himself and the sanitarium out of the denomination.
(John did not invent the concept of the dry breakfast cereal. That honor belongs to Dr. James Caleb Jackson who created the first dry breakfast cereal in 1863, which he called Granula. A patient of John's, Charles William Post, would eventually start his own dry cereal company selling a rival brand of corn flakes.) Dr. Kellogg later would claim that Charles Post stole the formula for corn flakes from his safe in the Sanitarium office. Also, a large portion of the common stock of the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company was given to the Race Betterment Foundation by Dr. Kellogg. Whether any of that stock has been converted into Kellogg Company stock is unknown. [See Investigation of Race Betterment Foundation by the Attorney General of Michigan; also see, Ruth C. Engs, Progressive Era's Health Reform, 2003, Greenwood Pub. Co., Race Betterment National Conferences, p. 276].
He was an especially zealous campaigner against masturbation; this was an orthodox view during his lifetime, especially the earlier part. Kellogg was able to draw upon many medical sources who made claims such as that "neither the plague, nor war, nor small-pox, nor similar diseases, have produced results so disastrous to humanity as the pernicious habit of onanism," credited to one Dr. Alan Clarke. Kellogg strongly warned against the habit in his own words, claiming of masturbation-related deaths "such a victim literally dies by his own hand," among other condemnations. He felt that masturbation destroyed not only physical and mental health, but the moral health of individuals as well. Kellogg also believed the practice of "solitary-vice" caused cancer of the womb, urinary diseases, nocturnal emissions, impotence, epilepsy, insanity, and mental and physical debility. Kellogg was the first to mention the psychological role in producing insanity. Most of the degeneration supposedly induced was mental, and blindness was seldom if ever mentioned.
A remedy for masturbation which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases.
In females, the author has found the application of pure carbolic acid [phenol] to the clitoris an excellent means of allaying the abnormal excitement.
He also recommended, to prevent children from this "solitary vice", bandaging or tying their hands, covering their genitals with patented cages, sewing the foreskin shut, and electrical shock.