June 1957 | Volume 8, Issue 4
In the midst of all the social change at the end of the last century, the United States underwent a minor revolution to which social historians have paid little attention. Its principal breeding ground was the little town of Battle Creek, Michigan, from which a major assault was delivered on the eating habits of the nation. AMERICAN HERITAGE herewith presents portions of Gerald Carson’s Cornflake Crusade , which will be published in November by Rinehart & Company.
Mr. Carson writes: “The diet revolt projected into our pantheon of American notables an extraordinary collection of saints, backwoods visionists, inventors, dreamers, village cranks, promoters, and cornflake kings. The agitation of the food question has bequeathed to us a persistent popular interest in scientific eating, and more food cultists, soybean evangelists and kelp wizards than any other civilized nation has ever known. It made vegetarianism endemic and revolutionized and standardized the American breakfast. It created the sizzling cereal industry which, with its crinkly goodies, its bright new variety, its ‘built-in’ maid service, and its massive advertising, has influenced profoundly not only what the United States puts in its stomach, but also what goes into its mind.”