Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

February 7, 2009


The use of highly seasoned food, of rich sauces, spices and condiments, sweetmeats, and in fact all kinds of stimulating foods, has an undoubted influence upon the sexual nature of boys, stimulating those organs into too early activity, and occasioning temptations to sin which otherwise would not occur. The use of mustard, pepper, pepper-sauce, spices, rich gravies, and all similar kinds of food, should be carefully avoided by young persons. They are not wholesome for either old or young; but for the young they are absolutely dangerous.


Anonymous m said...

Glad you liked that one, and thanks for expanding on it. Its nice to see embarrassment floating up hill.

February 7, 2009 3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, come on. I think the Kellogg company's reaction to this is ridiculous--but let's be real, the company was originally founded in the early 20th century by a doctor whose crank was nutrition/sexual purity/regular bowel movements=health, sanity and longevity. The thing is, he wasn't alone; that line was pretty much standard issue back in the days when docs regularly advised young patients that masturbation was the surest road to the nuthouse. Every era has its quacks, cranks, and bogus health advice and taboos, that are taken as carved-in-stone fact by the many; and our anti-drug hysteria is just part of a long line of belief.

February 7, 2009 5:00 PM  
Anonymous m said...


That is the point. The damage done by Dr Kellogg is mirrored in with pot today. Almost 900,000 arrests last year. Its not a trivial matter. Kelloggs doesn't seem to have learned anything.

Corporations may have a right to decide what their "image" should be, but the rest of us have a right to an accurate portrayal of what those images have been in the past, and how they stack up against reality. Kellogg's moralizations have been somewhat less than utile in the past, and we can apply that measurement to judging their present contributions.

They have earned being made fun of, and they should be.

February 7, 2009 9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My point is that the Kellogg philosophy was merely a reflection of the prevailing neuroses of its age; it didn't create them. The anti-drug hysteria is a neurosis of our current age, and although--as I said above--I certainly don't support Kellogg Co.'s stance, I'm neither much surprised that it adopted it; and again, it's not the company that created it, but the parent society.

February 9, 2009 7:12 AM  
Anonymous m said...

Kellogg's espousals went far beyond the beliefs of his time. He "praised with faint damning" the castration of a boy for masturbating. He refused sexual intercourse with his wife of 40 years. Some of his claims were within the common neurotic displays of his age, others were profoundly pathological. But in either case my argument still holds.

The issue here is that a corporation, having a history of ill advised moralizing, has once again taken to more of the same. They deserve to be mocked for what they are. To have the accuracy of their previous stances paraded in front of the world, so that the world can make judgment on the validity of what Kelloggs has to say in regard to similar issues.

I don't disagree that they have a right to not continue Phelps contract. I do disagree that they have a right to have their past pontificating secreted. That Kelloggs can not rise above the "old spouses tales" of their age is valid information in determining the truth and wisdom of what they have to say and how they choose to act.

February 9, 2009 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're still missing the point that it isn't corporations that create neurotic morality, m. They do no more than reflect the zeitgeist, which is how they stay in business. Better to look to the surrounding society for the reasons behind Kellogg Co.'s continued stance than to try and lay the blame solely on them for the creation of the beast. If a massive public boycott (actually it wouldn't even have to be that massive, just carry the threat of being so) of Kellogg's were staged by the consumer public, it is very likely the company would do an about-face quickly. But I'm not seeing that level of public indignation, which goes to suggest to me that my contention is correct--corporations reflect, in a profound manner, a society's mores and morals--they don't create them.

It's clear to me you don't know much about the history of advertising or of corporate America if you honestly believe that the early 20th century Kellogg Corp. was somehow unique in it's stated views on social morality. It was (and remains) a profoundly pathologically neurotic society.

February 10, 2009 8:49 AM  

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