Granola and Masturbation

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Bug_girl has a PhD in Entomology, and is a pointy-headed former academic living in Ohio. She is obsessed with insects, but otherwise perfectly normal. Really! If you want a daily stream of cool info about bugs, follow her Facebook page or find her on Twitter.

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  1. I saw The Road to Wellville before I knew much about Kellogg. I don’t think I’ve looked at breakfast in quite the same way since.

    What is it about kookery and sex hang-ups?

  2. @JayK: No idea, but they do seem to be linked somehow.

    @Bug_Girl: Maybe it’s good that Dr. Kellogg didn’t have sex his entire life. We don’t need any more people like that around. He sounds like a natural for the “Just say ‘No'” crowd.

  3. I wonder if any patients ever got a sexual thrill out of their rather aggressive enemas…? wow there’s something I never thought I’d ever type in public…

  4. The part about long abuse of sexual organs makes me wonder if he hadn’t tried and just done things wrong. Or perhaps found a partner who was just into that sort of thing.

    And to be completely tasteless, having half a yogurt in your mouth and half “delivered below” really opens up a good joke for fruit on the bottom.

  5. Um, just want to point out that the movie Road to Wellville was based on the book by T.C. Boyle (I think he was still T. Coraghessan Boyle at that point).

    The book was multiple exponential levels better than the horrible, horrible movie.

    He seems to be more extreme/dogmatic than an actual nut-job in the book. And it’s a great book that is well-worth reading.

    Actually, now that I think about it, it’s a good read for all Skepchick-ers out there. Aside from being one of the better examples of T.C. Boyle’s black humor, it’s also an interesting historical snapshot (most characters are fictional – but the historical research behind it is excellent) of what “modern medicine” and health-crazes looked like at the turn of the 20th century. (As Boyle puts it, “…breakfast foods, as they were then called, were a source of entrepreneurial frenzy in the way of the Internet stocks of today.”)

  6. BugGirl – just want to comment on how well written your entry is. I learned more than I wanted and still enjoyed the trip. Good work!

  7. This rang a very faint bell (among other reactions). Dr. Kellogg was mentioned briefly by Martin Gardner in Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, Chapter 16, “Medical Cults” (p. 191 in my Dover Edition, with a Note on p. 336)

    Gardner did not include any of the details you provided. It might have been too much for a book first published in 1952.

    I enjoyed your panels at Convergence last weekend.

  8. Yeah, I’ve always found it interesting that a man who never touched his own genitals had so much to say about other peoples. Sort of prototype of Doctor Dobson, I guess.

    The other guys in that Quack book sound great.

    Being in a clinical trial for orgone sounds like a coolest thing ever. I would totally orgasm in a Faraday cage for science.

  9. Ah Bug_Girl, still the Queen of porn woo! :)

    “Dr. Kellogg reputedly never had sex his entire life”

    Yeah well, you know what they say. 95% of men masturbate, the other 5% lie.

  10. It seems that today we sadly have many people who with their extreme moralizing veganism / vegetarianism, and raw foodism along with pathological obsessions about food additives and preservatives are not much better than Kellogg. Why is it that so many people find the Puritan impulse so compelling.

  11. @James Fox: I think it has something to do with the fact that our lives our so easy. People don’t starve to death in America. No one goes to war unless they voluntarily join the military, taxes are cut and loans are taken out to pay for our wars. Even with a terrible recession 90% of the country has a job. Even if you don’t have medical insurance you can go to an ER and get treatment. You might wait 15 hours but you will get treatment. We want to think of ourselves as engaging in great and meaningful struggles. But that shit is hard. Easier to obsess over food, or spike trees in a forest, or set fire to a sceintists home or shoot at the animal control officers.

  12. I just blew Diet Coke out of my nose.

    The very well written story, the incredibly funny comments…I knew I liked it here from the beginning, now I know I love it here.

  13. “digestion is impaired, the muscles are weakened, the circulation is unbalanced, the nerves are irritable, the brain—especially the back and lower portion of it—is congested, the skin is torpid, the bowels are inactive, the general health is deranged in almost every particular.”

    I suppose to some extent I’ve felt all of that at one time or another while masturbating, though I can’t help but notice he left out, “all these symptoms are only a minor nuisance compared to how totally awesome masturbation feels, totally worth it dudes, totally” This assumes they used words like awesome, totally, and dude back in the day. Which I can only assume that they did.

  14. No worries, the particular state gov that I worked for laid off all it’s temps (including me) to re-negotiate new contracts. Before I left I had my supervisor say that once the contracts are back in order she’ll request me specifically, and two other supervisors who said they would poach me if they got the chance. So either they like me or there really going out of their way to set me up for disappointment. Until then it’s nothing but unemployment checks, granola, and masturbation for me.

  15. This is so strange.. I was just commenting on Friendly Atheist about growing up as an Adventist and not believing in hell and now, further down in my reader queue, is a huge article about an early Adventist.

    My mom and father’s families were fairly ‘normal’, but my step-dad belonged to the wacky side of the church. Believe me, a lot of people still practice Ellen White’s health reforms.

    I sometimes struggle with trying to separate real health knowledge from the garbage I was flooded with as a kid. (Are enemas good for a fever or not? Am I going to ruin my health by eating fruits and vegetables together? Is this dab of mustard going to make me go out and rape someone? Don’t get me started on wigs and bicycles…)

  16. Bug,
    Great post. It’s too bad you guys weren’t in town longer, the Science Museum has one of those “shaker chairs” from Bob McCoy’s old museum of medical quackery. They also have an orgone box and a “prostate gland warmer”. Eww.


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