Graham crackers were invented by a Christian pastor to stop you from masturbating


SHARES

BY: DANIEL KORN

Ah, graham crackers – perfect for s’mores, cheesecakes, and the systematic repression of everyday sexual desires.

At least, that was the intention. The namesake of the graham cracker—Sylvester Graham—was a Presbyterian reverend active in the early 1800s who also invented “graham bread”. Apparently the man was unable to invent anything without putting his own personal copyright on it. Anyways, graham bread, which was really more of a cracker, was made with unsifted whole-wheat flour and contained no additional chemicals, which Graham argued made it more wholesome than the white bread marketed to consumers. At that time, darker wheat breads were perceived as being for country bumpkins only.

More importantly, Graham believed that bland foods were the best way to quell the desire for impure “self-abuse”—or masturbation, as we know it now—the impurity of which he believed caused blindness and early death.

2_Graham Crackers Masturbation

Of course, modern graham crackers are made of refined white flour with higher amounts of honey and sugar, which goes completely against the farfetched beliefs that Graham stood for.

Interestingly, Graham was actually quite popular at the time, and his ideas caused a whole cadre of followers who identified as “Grahamites”. Two of these were the Kellogg brothers, who invented Corn Flakes for the same anti-masturbation reasons as Graham made his crackers.

3_Graham Crackers Masturbation

To Graham’s credit, he also believed in an unmaterialistic lifestyle and was one of the first modern vegetarians, co-founding the American Vegetarian Society in 1850, just three years after the first vegetarian society was formed in Ramsgate, England. He was pretty spot-on about his belief that white bread had no nutritional value too.

If nothing else, campfires would have been much less delicious without Sylvester Graham’s invention—plus their origin makes a pretty great campfire story.

Sources: todayifoundout.com,  coldsplinters.com,  11points.com