As a Seventh Day Adventist, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg adhered to his faith's vegetarian diet as well as the teachings of the cultish, nutritional hardliner Sylvester Graham, the inventor of graham crackers.
In 1894, while employed by the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan, he began experimenting with ways to make that restrictive diet more palatable and an inexpensive way to feed his charges.
Leaving some boiled wheat unattended, it went stale. Attempting to salvage it by rolling it into dough, Kellogg (aided by his brother Will) found that it tore into pieces and refused to hold a shape. Undaunted, they toasted the flakes and were pleasantly surprised by the result.After a bit of trial and error, the brothers decided to use corn, instead of wheat, as the main ingredient. The result was deemed tasty enough by patients that Will founded a company bearing the Kellogg's (K - Get Report) name to sell their corn flakes. Dr. John, however, opted out of the venture, angered that his brother tampered with the healthful nature of the recipe by adding sugar to the mix. It should be noted that the elder Kellogg wasn't so much worried about obesity or bad teeth; as a staunch practitioner of sexual abstinence, he theorized that his corn flakes would suppress physical urges. Sugar, an aphrodisiac in his opinion, would undo that. Further revolutionizing how the world eats breakfast, a patient at Kellogg's sanitarium, C.W. Post, used his own variation of the cereal to create his own company and a competing product, Post Toasties.