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Early Mormons Lived on Jello

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - New historical evidence has surfaced indicating that jello played a larger role in early Mormon history than was previously thought. The discovery shatters the commonly held belief that Jello is a relatively recent Mormon tradition.

The research was conducted following an exclusive news article published by the Mormon Zone over a month ago documenting ties between Mormon longevity and the consumption of jello. (see Scientists Discover New Wonder Food.)

"At first we thought Mormons ate jello just because it was cheap and easy to make," explained Mary Shroeder, one of the researchers who helped uncover the new evidence, "but then we started coming across documents that indicated the habit may have historical origins."

The first patent for a gelatinous dessert was obtained in 1845.  A document written two years later counseled each Mormon family who would cross the plains to carry, among other things, "...50 lbs. of [jello] powder..." for every man and woman and more where families had the financial means.

The Mormon wagon trains would stop by a stream whenever they could. The Sisters would quickly mix up a batch of the dessert, using the cold waters of the stream to help the mixture set up.

A treasure trove for researchers have been references made in pioneer journals.  One pioneer journal records, "...we ran out of [jello] powder today.  Tempers among the men have started to rise.  We dispatched three men and a wagon to head to Fort Sumner in the hopes they will be able to obtain more [jello]."

Jello was also important after the Saints arrived in the Salt Lake Valley.  The journal of Martha Higgins records, "Brother Wells preached to the Saints today and exhorted them to be more diligent in procuring lime [jello] for the construction of the temple."

Researchers claim the early Mormon fascination with jello may explain the confusion that has existed in the Mormon community about the amount of food storage they should store. Many members have long thought they needed to store two year's worth of basic essentials.  This was mistakenly based on the shelf life of the main staple of their storage, jello, which has an expected storage life of approximately 24 months."

In reality, church officials have only recommended members store a single year's supply of food storage.  This confusion has recently cleared up as jello has been slowly supplemented with other storage items such as wheat and powdered milk.

Editor's Note: "Jell-o" is a registered trademark, apparently of Kraft Foods, Inc.  The toll-free number listed on my box of lime Jell-o is:  1-800-431-1001.  I'm sure they know nothing about this study.

This article first appeared in the Mormon Zone on August 1, 1999.

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This is a parody article intended for entertainment only and does not document real events or persons.  In other words, this is fiction.  Copyright 1999, 2009 by The Mormon Zone.  All rights reserved.