|1911 Grape Nuts|
The World Wants Brainy Men, so states the headline of this 1911 ad for Grape Nuts Cereal. What exactly Grape Nuts has to do with brains I can't quite figure out but it probably comes down to fiber. Back then, every ailment that plagued mankind could be cured with a good dose of fiber and a healthy bowel movement. It really leads me to believe that people were quite constipated in the old days. Advertisers spent an inordinate amount of time on various foods that would cure constipation. I would chalk it up to a higher protein/fat diet coupled with a much higher daily sodium intake than we are used to today. Since everything was preserved with salt it's conceivable that people used to ingest somewhere around 10g (10,000mg) a day, more than double the US RDA of Sodium today.
This ad also begs the question "What the heck happened in 100 years?" We certainly don't value brainy men today. Quite to the contrary, jobs love a good drone who with just be a yes man/woman and never question the corporate rulebook. I suppose all corporations need workers but without brains where's the innovation? The world lost a true innovator the other day with the death of Steve Jobs. Say what you will about the man's temperament, there is no denying his keen sense of innovation. Who will step up now to take his place as the premier innovator or inventor of our time? Few people exist who could do it because of the dumbing down of America. "No Child Left Behind" simply meant that all children's learning would be reduced to the slowest member of the class. This mindset of teaching does nothing to encourage thought, instead it instills in children an early sense of hopelessness since their achievements are no longer recognized for fear of offending the "Slow" children.
I was Home Schooled, and I honor and respect anyone who is undertaking to educate their children at home. The future of our country lies in our children and we do them an enormous disservice to simply leave them to the whims and vagaries of the school system. The world NEEDS brainy people for it is brains and independent thought that will get us out of this mess and guide us into the future.