We're feeling the enduring effects of a 1920s propaganda campaign created by Sigmund Freud's nephew!

(That's not unlike the 1940s DeBeers campaign that manufactured the importance of the diamond engagement ring.)

Bacon for breakfast? (Dr. Jennifer Rooke, Baltimore Post-Examiner)

... Cured pork/bacon had been a staple of the European diet for centuries but it was not considered a breakfast food. Until the 1920s most Americans had a relatively light breakfast, usually coffee, a roll and orange juice. In 1925 the Beech-Nut Packing Company hired Edward Bernays to increase bacon sales.

Instead of simply telling people to eat more bacon he commissioned a “scientific study” in which 5,000 physicians were asked if a “hearty breakfast was better than a light breakfast to replace the energy lost by the body at night. As expected, most doctors said a “hearty” breakfast was better. These “results” were reported back to doctors throughout the country, and in the print and broadcast media, along with advertising for Beech-Nut’s bacon. Bacon and eggs were presented as the “hearty” breakfast to boost energy and vitality.

... The vast majority of people who feel they must have bacon and eggs for breakfast have no idea that they are actually victims of propaganda....

Edward Bernays also worked for The American Tobacco Company. His marketing campaign in the 1920s and 1930s got women to associate smoking with freedom and liberation... we see the deadly consequences today; lung cancer kills more women than any other type of cancer.

... Edward Bernays was not a “bad” person; he did not know the scientific evidence linking bacon and cigarettes to poor health outcomes.

(Rooke goes on to recommend fresh fruit as the best choice for breakfast, with whole grain cereal another good choice.)

It’s tragic when people tell me that they eat bacon for breakfast because it does not have carbs but they cannot eat fruits. The carbs in fruits are attached to colon-cleansing fiber, cancer-fighting phytonutrients, and blood pressure lowering potassium, in addition to the vitamins and minerals that we need for optimum health.

(read the whole article)

(YouTube: Edward Bernays on the Beech-Nut bacon campaign)

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Replies to This Discussion

I  LOVE bacon for any meal...and used to love rumaki until liver (even chicken livers) began triggering gout attacks.  Crumbled bacon on baked potatoes, on salads, in sandwiches.  The "Fat Police" are WRONG!

When I had back surgery 5 years ago, the therapists in the hospital kept telling me "NO Bending, Lifting, or Twisting.  Remember, NO BLT!"  The first thing I did when I got home was call a deli that delivers, and ordered a BLT on a croissant.  The hospital food was dreadful; they don't have an in-house diet kitchen anymore.  A company that used to make meals for airlines now does hospital meals...cheaper, I guess, and airlines don't serve meals anymore, unless you pay extra for food. Ghastly. Cold/reheated eggs?  Puh-LEEEEZE!  Even reheated oatmeal sux rocks.

I didn't realize that I could have had the deli bring whatever I wanted to my hospital room...they told me they do it all the time.  And so do several other local restaurants.  Obviously, I wasn't the only starving patient.

I eat bacon and eggs for Sunday breakfast for two reasons:

  1. My wife prepares it for us both
  2. We both LIKE IT

Don't like it?  Go fuck yourself.

Thank you GC for the interesting information.

So breakfast is propaganda all around.

People eat cornflakes because John Harvy Kellogg thought doing so would prevent masturbation.  He was a strict 7th day adventist and corn flakes were part of his mission to save the country from an epidemic of onanism.  Kellogg also invented granola.

Graham crackers have almost the same motivation, for the same reasons, as corn flakes.

Kellogg was really weird.  At his sanitarium, he treated patients with electric shocks and enemas.  After the enemas, he administered a pint of yogurt - half orally, and half via enema.  "By pumping yogurt cultures into the rectums of America's well to do, Kellogg claimed that he had managed to cure "cancer of the stomach, ulcers, diabetes, schizophrenia, manic depressives, acne, anemia ... asthenia, migraine and premature old age.

The movie The Road To Wellville was, I thought, a very funny adaptation of the story of Kellogg's sanitarium.

Kellogg was also a big fan of circumcision, for the same reason he was a fan of corn flakes - to stem the epidemic of onanism.  Again from Kellogg:  "A remedy for masturbation which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment. In females, the author has found the application of pure carbolic acid to the clitoris an excellent means of allaying the abnormal excitement."

I did not locate why orange juice for breakfast.  Is that also a marketing ploy?

I suppose we could be like the ancient egyptians and have a breakfast of beer, bread, and onions.

Road to Wellville Trailer

This youtube link looks like it's the whole movie.  Can they do that?

The history of Kellogg includes the rivalry between his "clinic" and the one run by Post...both were in Battle Creek, Michigan, and both men were weird beyond belief.  I read a very good book a long time ago about the whole thing.  T'was so long ago that I've forgotten the title...it may have been "the Battle of Battle Creek," but I'm not sure.  It IS fascinating....

And I've always hated most breakfast cereals.  Except hot oatmeal with brown sugar and butter.  But flakes, Grape Nits, and shredded wheat? Gag me with a spoon!

Waffles with fresh strawberries, or eggs and bacon (or ham), or nuked leftover pizza are just fine.

Oh!  And poached eggs on hash.  YUM!

Oh! my goodness, I had to look up onanism, and discovered another taboo that came out of the minds of those biblical people. I wonder if they ever thought of anything but sex, the denial of sex, or the condemnation of sex?

When I was in Ireland with a group of feminist atheists led by Joan Marler and Padraigin McGillicuddy, we looked for sheela na gigs from north to south, east to west. We found only one that had not been destroyed or defaced by the minions of Patrick, known as a saint. A sheela na gig  is a female representation of feminine energy expressed by ancient peoples of Ireland. It doesn't have anything to do with sexual intercourse or fertility goddesses. It had more to do with the energy of the female who had the power to bleed and not die, to bear children through her body, and to bring forth the next generation. No male figures seem to have been created with the ancient sheela, however, modern art has male and female figures with the connotation of sexuality.

I wonder what poor old Kellogg would have thought of sheela? Probably have an attach of onanism

Didn't your parents read the bible cover-to-cover? Mine did, a chapter a day while dinner was getting cold, so I knew Onan when I was too young to understand what he did. Would have escaped my attention but for my father blushing and fidgeting while reading.

Oh! that's funny. I can imagine your father, squirming and turning red, continuing the struggle to read from the holy book. I wonder if it ever occurred to him how much killing, raping, plundering, and other deplorable things were initiated by god and those who followed him? There is that disconnect again. It seems to be very pervasive, even today. 

" to replace the energy lost by the body at night"

Very funny! We had a similar thing in the sixties: the farmers had a big surplus of milk and butter, so we had to consume all that. The slogan was that you would only be healthy if you drank THREE glasses of milk a day. I still HATE milk!

And I understand that all that milk is not so good for adult humans to consume. Calcium comes in so many different forms. 

Advertising to strengthen a market, and to turn people on to things that are not healthy for us seems the height of absurdity. 

Most breakfast foods have a lot of carbs, which makes sense to wake up in the morning and get you going. 

So that early conventional breakfast of OJ and a roll makes sense.  The breakfast cereals have a lot of carbs.  

Bacon and eggs aren't going to do that.

I'm getting ready  to get breakfast at the last day of the conference I am attending at the Hilton Hotel in Springfield, Illinois. Interesting to note that the subject of onanism was discussed here, as the nickname for this hotel is "The Prick of the Prairie," and for good reason. Anyway, off to get my bacon and eggs.




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