The milk, of course!

Milk has been a part of our nutrition since time immemorial. Rich in nutrients, milk in its various forms has a long, long history.

Around 10 000 BC, the “agricultural revolution” occurred, changing societies from nomadic tribes to those who settled in communities. With this came domesticated animals and the ingenuity for people to use by-products such as milk. By the 14th century, cow’s milk became more popular than sheep’s milk.

European dairy cows were brought to North America in the early 1600s. Louis Pasteur, a French microbiologist, conducted the first pasteurization tests in 1862. Commercial milk pasteurization machines were introduced in 1895. In the 1930s, milk cans were replaced with large on-farm storage tanks, and plastic coated paper milk cartons were invented, which allowed for wider distribution of fresh milk.

Cereal, on the other hand, has a briefer history.

The first ever breakfast cereal was Granola, invented in the USA in 1863 by James Caleb Jackson, operator of the Jackson Sanitorium in the state of New York. However, the cereal never caught on commercially, because the heavy bran nuggets needed soaking overnight before they were tender enough to eat.

But then Doctor John Harvey Kellogg arrived on the scene. He developed a biscuit made from oats, wheat and corn meal, and a number of other cereals in the 1880s to improve the diet of hospital patients. Together with his brother, salesman Will Keith Kellogg, John developed several grain-based cereals. It was, however, largely by accident that they invented the first modern, ready-to-eat cereal, the “Corn Flake,” and established the manufacturing model for modern cereal production. On May 31, 1884, John Harvey Kellogg filed for patent for his cereals.

Cereal and Milk