While today, the American cuisine has developed into several distinct regional and ethnic favorites, accommodating global trends, such as fusion cooking, the American diet hasn't always been so diverse. If you query the man or woman on the street for their take on American food, it's likely 90% of respondents will cite hamburgers, hot dogs, French fries, pizza and Tex-Mex dishes as the earmark of American food. While ethnic food is gaining in popularity, the American palate is still, I part, stuck in a 1950s food mentality.
There are several reasons why this is the case. During World War II, close on the heels of the Great Depression of the 1930s, economy was the name of the game. For a couple of decades, the American homemaker was necessarily obsessed with having enough food to go around the dining table. World War II made rationing a reality and gave birth to the Victory Garden, a national phenomena. Resources and money were tight. Women were served up with more challenges, going into the work force while still facing the problems of raising their kids and making ends meet while their men were away overseas. These were not easy times.
Once the war was over, homemakers were more than ready for a change. Perhaps unfortunately, the Victory garden went by the wayside. At the same time, canned goods became the rage in 1950s food. If you can remember that far back in the day, you know that Mom was more than delighted to open that modern can of peas or spinach. What could be simpler? Soon came the frozen foods, with veggies predominating. There was no question that frozen peas tasted more like fresh peas than the over processed and dismally colored green pea. 1950s food was characterized by the simple can of food. The staple of our wartime heroes, on the front, was Spam(TM), still sold today. Canned goods became the hallmark of the modern housewife's cooking repertoire. After all, she was now busy changing and hand washing diapers, as well as the rest of the family's clothing.
Canned, frozen and necessarily processed foods ushered in a new age of American food. Women were infatuated by the convenience and time savings these food products offered. The famous white sauce, in a can, saved Mom countless hours of time. Who could blame her? Nonetheless, the new trend of 1950s food took hold.
Food manufacturers were quick to oblige the homemaker with more and more convenience products. Soon, America was awash in foods that required less and less in terms of preparation. Mom capitulated and even embraced this time saving mode of eating. Buying habits of the American public changed, with convenience the byword of modern life.
The evolution of 1950s food production has contributed heavily to the unhealthy eating practices of today. Preservatives, along with added salt and sugar, now imbue almost every convenience food found in supermarkets today. The old meat-and-potatoes diet has taken a new turn.
Today, we can buy entire meals, ready to nuke and serve. Our daily lives are now busier than ever. Now, we've got so many modern conveniences that Mom and Grandma did not enjoy. Now, we have disposable diapers and the fifty hour work week!
While 1950s food innovations served their purpose, it's high time we made a return to that Victory Garden. Those preservatives served our society in an earlier age. Now it's time to backtrack, back to the future.
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Charlie Reese educates people how to cook and he also gives psychic readings and free psychic advice to his clients.
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