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Random Facts #3 - Breakfast Cereal


1. The first ready-to-eat breakfast cereal was invented in 1863 by James C. Jackson. It consisted of whole grain flour dough baked into dry leaves, broken into chunks and baked again, and then ground into even smaller chunks.... we know it by another name today - granola.

2. One bushel of wheat will make 53 boxes of cereal... somewhere around $150-200 MSRP. That's about what we go through at our house in one year - a box each week or so.

3. Mud & Bugs is the name of a cereal tied in to the popular Lion King merchandising machine. Not sure why they thought that mud and bugs sounded like an appetizing way to start the day, unless you’re a weasel.

4. Since the Quaker Oats man became the first registered breakfast cereal trademark in 1877, they've been synonymous with characters like Tony the Tiger, the Trix Rabbit, and Post's Sugar Bear. In 1952, a graphic artist submitted Tony the Tiger to a Kellogg’s Cereal Mascot contest where he had to compete against 3 other potential finalists: Katy the Kangaroo, Elmo the Elephant, and Newt the Gnu. (A gnu, really Kelloggs?) Tony was the clear winner and later given the prestigious title of official mascot of Kellogg’s Sugar Frosted Flakes.

5. The most popular cereal in the US is Cheerios. Duh.

6. Will Keith Kellogg was the founder of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, founded in 1906. In 1894, he was trying to improve the diet of hospital patients, searching for a digestible bread substitute using the process of boiling wheat. He accidentally left a pot of boiled wheat to stand and the wheat became tempered and soft. When Kellogg rolled the softened wheat and let it dry, each grain of wheat emerged as a large thin flake. The flakes turned out to be a tasty breakfast treat. Viola! Mr. Kellogg had invented corn flakes.

7. Rice Krispies Treats were invented sometime in the 1920s or 30s by Mildred Day and the staff at the Kellogg Company home economics department as a fund raiser for Camp Fire Girls. My mom has a bowl she keeps exclusively to make them in the microwave. She can whip up a batch in under 5 minutes… no joke!

8. The average preschooler sees 642 cereal ads per year just on television, almost all for cereals with the worst nutrition ratings. Hey kiddie, kiddie, wanna try some fruity, chocolate sprinkled sugar bomb-ios? 

9. Lastly, I’d like to share my favorite recipe using cereal as an ingredient, Corn Flake Green Bean Casserole. Okay, stop rolling your eyes. This is not your grandma’s dump-in-a-can-of-cream-of-mushroom-soup-casserole recipe… it’s rich, creamy and srumdillyicious. It’s the only food I even remotely care about at holiday feeding time!

  • 2 10 oz. Pkgs cut green beans (frozen)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 pint sour cream
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 1/2 lb. Swiss cheese, grated
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 Individual serving pkgs cornflakes, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted (for topping)

INSTRUCTIONS: Cook beans as directed on package. Drain. Combine butter, flour, salt, pepper, sugar and sour cream in sauce pan. Cook and stir (add onion) until it thickens. Combine beans with sauce and our into a buttered 1 1/2 qt. Casserole dish. Cover with the grated cheeses and top with crushed cornflakes. Drizzle melted butter over entire dish. Bake 20 minutes at 400. Serves 6-8.