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The Strange History of Battle Creek Mich - The World's Cereal Bowl

Michigan's Cereal Bowl

Battle Creek, Michigan is fondly known as the world's cereal bowl, for producing more cereal than any other city/region in the world. That's largely due to the Kellogg company and their burgeoning business ventures that started with cereal and have moved on to encompass such things as Pop-Tarts and the snack company, Keebler. But who started the whole breakfast produce in the first place?

The American Seventh Day Adventists, who had settled around Battle Creek in the mid 1800s, were strict vegetarians. They formed the Western Health Institute in 1860, with a focus on what they were already doing: producing healthy, wholesome foods from grains. They were in an ideal location for it, considering that Michigan with its five "great" lakes, has approximately 20% of the world's freshwater supply, perfect for irrigating their crops.

Eventually, the Institute became the Battle Creek Sanitarium, where William Keith Kellogg was serving a term while working on his medical degree. He was interested in the diet of his medical patients, and experimented with various formulas in the kitchen. One day, he left a pot of boiling wheat on the stove, which he was trying to use as a substitute for bread products. The resulting mush was a much softened wheat, that he rolled out and let dry.

Afterward, it broke apart in flakes that were tasty, and had all the nutrition he sought. Kellogg had invented what would become the Corn Flake. And in 1906, he established the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, parent company of Kellogg's cereals, who did $10 billion dollars worth of business in 2005.
 






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