Diet and Desire: The Erotic History of Graham Crackers -- Dick Miller


Monday, May 16, 2022 10 am - 12 noon

Mt. Carmel Lutheran Church, SLO

$5 for LLCC members, $10 for non-members

Register for "Diet and Desire " on Brown Paper Tickets


This is a repeat of an LLCC course first presented in 2019.

Dr. Sylvester Graham ( 1794-1851) was a Presbyterian minister, an ardent teetotaler, a strident vegetarian, and an intense moral reformer determined to save America from the epidemic malady polite Victorians called The Solitary Sin of Self-Abuse.

Today we remember Graham mostly for his snacky cracker, but the Graham Cracker began as the serious nutritional centerpiece of America’s first fully elaborated prescription for wholesome eating, wholesome living, and national prosperity. Grahamism was more than America’s first food fad; it touched nearly nearly every aspect of Victorian culture, and it still endures today. The American breakfast food industry, vegetarianism and veganism, and many of the products in your local health food store all spring from Grahamite roots.

The lecture/discussion course will explore how Victoria religious zeal, reform idealism, health concerns, and fear of masturbation combined to shape lasting American attitudes toward nutrition and sex – including the decline and fall of the Graham Cracker from a high moral wafer to the campfire S’more, the embodiment of everything Sylvester Graham warned us against.

Dick Miller is a retired historian who has great fun taking and teaching LLCC courses.

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