Canadian Inventions — Pablum

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K-OS: Canadian

“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.

This was all then ground, mixed, dried, and pre-cooked.” Pablum is credited for greatly reducing the incidence of — among others — “rickets“, a crippling childhood disease.

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.”


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About Gabriel

I’ve lived in more than fifty places. I've been paid to pick stones out of fields, take backstage photos of Britney Spears, and report on Internet privacy issues. My photos have been published in several newspapers, and a couple of magazines.
This entry was posted in Canada, Canadian Inventions, Canadian News, CSN:AFU Short Cuts, Humor, Humour, Punk, Reporting and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Canadian Inventions — Pablum

  1. Queen Minx says:

    I like Sloan. And if it was a choice of having them or pablum all over me, I know which one I am going to choose!
    The post I wrote today was pablum, but now I have called it pablum, the post sounds a helluva lot more interesting then when it was pre-pablummed.
    Hmm!! Should pablum once it becomes pablummed, be two emms or one? pablumed? or … pablummed?
    Or is the fact that I just asked that question, pablum?
    I might start using pablum on a regular basis and attribute it to Canadians.
    Sloan aren’t pablum btw. Quite the opposite!

  2. Gabriel says:

    A good friend of mine, Jamie, was roommates with some of the Sloan boys back in 2000. But then there were some disagreements over whose girlfriend was dating whom and there was a dispersal.

    I liked your post today. I thought it was much more Pablum (nutritious and fun to stuff up my nose) than pablum (bland and the opposite of Canadian).

  3. Queen Minx says:

    Girlfriends can be like that at causing disagreeing dispersals, especially if they eat a lot of spicey food and suffer from a bad digestion.
    What am I saying!!
    No, no, no … it’s boyfriends who suffer that kind of disagreeing dispersal, and it’s the girlfriends who cause disagreeing dispersals amongst male friends coz the girlfriend gets confused over which man is the boyfriend.
    Phew! Glad I got that right, that could’ve caused some right old disagreeing gender dispersal!
    The weather today in Manchester is pablum!

  4. Pingback: Greatest Hits: Canadian Inventions — 'Lithium & Alkaline Batteries' « …cultural snafu.

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