What Americans Eat For Breakfast

Published: Sep 5, 2021

Cereal companies know what Americans eat for breakfast, but that is changing as grocery products evolve into homemade bagels, pancakes, and McCafe coffees.

Seeking to provide sanitarium patients with meatless anti-aphrodisiac breakfasts in 1894, Michigan Seventh-Day Adventist surgeon John Kellogg developed the process of flaking cooked grains.

The product was called Corn Flakes. However, there was a rift between Kellogg and his business partner/brother because he wanted to sweeten Kellogg’s breakfast cereals in hopes of selling more. Kellogg won the battle.

In pre-Corn Flakes America, breakfast wasn’t cold or sweet. It was hot, hearty and lardy, and it had about 4,000 calories.

“Breakfast was the biggest meal of the day. Eaten before you headed out to do a whole day of farm chores, it had to keep you going until dinner,” says food historian Andrew F. Smith, author of Eating History: Thirty Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine (Columbia University Press, 2009).

Pre-industrial Americans were eating up on protein-rich eggs, sausages, ham and bacon for breakfast. The pancakes and bread came later. Farmers started eating oats for lunch because it was quick and easy to make.

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