“The Seekwell”; ‘Atlantis‘ (2006)
Your first act of youthful anarchic aggression was taking a bowl of this stuff and dumping it on your head, in your mom’s lap, throwing it across the room, spitting it into your fathers face, covering yourself in it like it was peanut butter and you were chocolate, jamming it aboot two inches straight up your nose for no other reason than it made you feel good.
“Pablum” was the world’s first commercially available pre-cooked dried food created specifically for infants (just add water to create the mush).
In 1930 three Canadian doctors — Frederick Tisdall, Theodore Drake and Alan Brown — working at Toronto’s Hospital For Sick Children created the pre-cooked, vitamin-enriched, easily digestible cereal that has since saved millions of babies around the world from starvation and vitamin deficiencies. The ingredients included vitamins A, B1 and B2, D and E, and was “produced from a mixture of wheat, oats, corn, and bone meal plus wheat germ, dried brewer’s yeast, and alfalfa.
The ease of preparing Pablum, and the longevity of the product in its packaged form, made the cereal a critical part of easing childhood malnutrition in the early part of the 20th century in America, Europe and Canada, and has also been used for the same reasons in developing nations.
The royalties from early sales of Pablum went to the Hospital For Sick Children and funded paediatric research at the hospital for 25 years. The mushy, bland, easily thrown cereal is still sold around the world today.
Spelled with a lowercase “p”, ‘pablum’ is defined as: “indicating something bland or oversimplified, especially a work of literature or speech. This usage predates the invention of the cereal.”