On today's date, 212 years ago, Sylvester Graham was born in West Suffield, Connecticut. Throughout his 58 years of life, Graham developed a highly ridiculed lifestyle and diet with a tremendous cult following. Referred to as the Grahamites, they believed that plain and simple foods were the key to a long and developed life. Graham was a nutrition guru who advocated temperance, vegetarianism, and the use/consumption of coarse ground wheat flour and bran. He invented the Graham cracker in 1829 and his 1837 Treatise on Bread & Bread Making condemned those who ate white bread:
There is, in reality, almost a total and universal carelessness about the character of bread. Thousands in civic life will, for years, and perhaps as long as they live, eat the most miserable trash that can be imagined, and never seem to think that they can possibly have anything better, nor even that it is an evil to eat such stuff as they do.
Although his harsh words bring Gordon Ramsay to mind, his importance to the snack world - not to mention the pie baking world - is highly significant. A pioneer of the natural foods movement, Sylvester would most likely fit right in today's super health conscious world.