Today is the birthday of the guy who invented the graham cracker. His invention of the graham cracker wasn’t for the creation of S’mores, or for dunking in milk. In fact, the dude created graham flour, which later turned into graham crackers, with the hope of killing the sex vibe among teens and adults. He thought peeps needed to be sexually tamed because they were ADDICTED to sex, gluttony, and all things material.
The year? 1830…
Sylvestor Graham was a Massachusetts minister, born in 1794. His fellow evangelicals were focused on social issues like suffrage, slavery, and tobacco consumption. Graham’s mission was to eradicate carnal desire. Yes, his evangelical stance was that American’s desires were animalistic, and he had the solution.
Graham was certain that people were sex crazed, and their diet and sex lives were to blame. So, based on his whole grain “graham” flour, he prescribed a particular way of eating. By the way, this is also why he is sometimes known as the “Father” of dieting. Booooooo! (Two thumbs down.)
His diet recommendations called for very little meat and butter; no alcohol; no flavorings or spices; only the most minimal amount of milk and eggs; and cold, hard-to-chew food. He believed this type of diet, along with particular ways of bathing and sleeping, would keep internal organs healthy. The alternative was considered immoral activity (ie eating tasty food and having sex) and would cause poor health.
Graham was certain that sex more than once a month or any masturbation damaged the brain, and that recreational sex caused illnesses such as pulmonary problems, spinal disease, epilepsy, and insanity.
His bottom line: If people’s drive for sex and tasty food could be quelled, they would have better self-control and overall health. Society would be a better place for all.
So there is lots of irony here. One: When Nabisco began to mass produce the graham cracker in the 1930s, it contained both processed flour and sugar. Graham touted these two ingredients as causing sex addiction and insanity. Two: What he thought would cause the demise of society is responsible for the popularity of his cracker: mass production, sugar and ‘impure’ ingredients. Third: In 1878 Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, a Graham disciple, created cereal. Following its success, Kellogg formulated his recipe. The breakfast cereal industry was launched!
Let’s cut to the chase: To celebrate Sylvestor Graham’s birthday today,
- Have sex
- Eat some more s’mores!
- With extra chocolate and marshmallow!
- And maybe with some Trix (from a cereal box or in the bedroom) on top!