More Than Cornflakes

20:52 minutes

Champions for whole grains and probiotics have a progenitor in John Harvey Kellogg, a missionary and surgeon who preached the virtues of healthy eating to his patients at the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan more than century ago. Kellogg pioneered the “exercise tape,” and, with the help of his brother, cereal king W.K. Kellogg, invented corn flakes and artificial coffee, as well as helped develop his own versions of peanut butter and soy milk for the American dining table.

This page was updated on October 20, 2014 to reflect the following change: A previous version stated that John Harvey Kellogg invented peanut butter and soy milk. More precisely, he helped adapt earlier recipes for the American diet—soy milk had been used in Asia for centuries, for instance, and the Incas crushed peanuts and made them into a paste (but Kellogg boiled the nuts to reduce the fat content and also made it “creamier.”)


Segment Guests

Howard Markel

Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D. is a professor of the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan. An elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, he is editor-in-chief of the Milbank Quarterly and a Guggenheim fellow.

Meet the Producer

About Christopher Intagliata

Christopher Intagliata was Science Friday’s senior producer. He once served as a prop in an optical illusion and speaks passable Ira Flatowese.