“Exercise regularly. Cut back on sugar and salt. Get adequate sleep. Eat more fiber.” Those may all have been instructions from your physician at your last physical. However, the belief that a healthy lifestyle is good for you goes back much farther in history.
John Harvey Kellogg, M.D. (1852-1943) promoted diet and exercise as the ways to good health, and counseled patients at his Battle Creek, Michigan institute. He and his brother, Will, advocated whole grain cereals for breakfast which became the core products of the Kellogg Company. The Road to Wellville (novel of 1993; film of 1994) provided a fictionalized account of Dr. Kellogg and some of his practices – some which were controversial and some well-founded and still advocated today.
Charles William Post (1854-1914) became a follower of Dr. Kellogg after two mental breakdowns led Mr. Post to seek treatment at Battle Creek. The Postum Cereal Company (later, Post Foods) was founded as a result of C.W. Post’s experience with healthful cereals.
Sylvester Graham (1794-1851) preceded both Kellogg and Post in recommending a focus on nutrition for achieving better health. Graham believed that nutrients were being lost by the milling process which produces white flour. Though different from the variety served today by your meemaw with peanut butter and milk, Graham crackers were named for Sylvester Graham. Graham flour was also named for Mr. Graham, and was marketed through flour mills to grocery stores around the country.
Locally, the Mountain City Milling Company produced Graham Whole Wheat Flour. This business was featured in a previous Memories article - http://www.chattanoogan.com/2009/12/17/165151/Milling-Operatons-on-King-Street-Date.aspx. A reader contacted me concerning an advertising card for Mountain City which contained a product announcement on one side and a souvenir postcard of the Georgia Monument on the reverse. Mountain City told its grocery store clients, “You probably have customers who cannot eat white flour.”
So, your physician or wellness nurse or spouse are recommending that you pay attention to nutrition, just as Kellogg, Post, and Graham preached to their followers many years ago. It’s “the old-fashioned way,” as the Mountain City advertising card stated.
If you have additional information on the Mountain City Milling Company and Graham Flour, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll update this article with your comments.