Wednesday, June 2, 2010

1 June 1956 “June is Bustin Out All Over! The Basic Seven and More Talk on Nutrition and Food”

June IS bustin out all over and this muscial Carousel, was realeased this year, 1956. It stared Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones. An interesting story is that Frank Sinatra was actually cast
to play the male lead and at the time they were shooting it in CinemaScope 55 (which was a larger format version of Cinema Scope introduced in 1955) which meant all the scenes had to be shot twice, one in Cinemascope and once in Cinemascope 55, so he apparently walked off the set saying, “You’re not getting two Sinatras for the price of one”. The irony being shortly after they dicsovered a way to only shoot the scene once. I guess there were even Diva’s ( or Divo as the case may be) back then. It is a great musical with many wonderful songs, such as “If I loved You”
caroselalbum The soundtrack to this film is wonderful. You can get it on the original vinyl (how I prefer it) HERE, or the CD HERE or even download it HERE. And if you don’t have the movie you can get it HERE, if you like. I think they are around 8 U.S. Dollars.
So, Summer is on it’s way. I hope all had a wonderful Memorial DayAW081256 weekend. We had sun and steak tips and Gin and Tonics, so a usual ushering into the official Summer season here on Cape Cod.
I thought we would continue discussing more on nutrition. In the last post I mentioned the Basic Seven Foods in the early 50’s Betty Crocker cookbook. Most of you may have it, but for those of you who don’t I have scanned some relevant information here. You simply click on the image to read it.basic7 I think this a very smart, realistic and healthy grouping. I think it more detailed than the 4 food groups I grew up with. I like, for instance, that is says” 1 serving of meat poultry or fish each day. Occasionally dried beans or peas instead.” So the 50’s diet was not martini’s and fat steaks everyday with piles of potatoes and butter. It was, if the homemaker paid attention in her Home Economics courses and her cookbooks, savvy to good diets.
I think what I am continuing to find is that if one looks at what was known and suggested as good healthy eating at the time, when can actually maintain a simple, healthy diet that could be very cost effective. Today, the diet industry is big. It really took off in the 1950’s and there were some scary ‘pills’ and quick reduction plans starting, but by and large people would be skeptical of that. And that seems to be a main element we modern people have lost. We are skeptical of many things, but when things are simply fed to us through the various media channels or magazines we gobble them up like Gospel. The endless diets and diet plans, all the pills. The adverts for prescription drugs would certainly have been seen as suspicious then, why would a drug company advertise prescription drugs? In a way, we think we are more savvy today, but the people of the 50’s and earlier had a certain dose of healthy skepticism. They seemed less likely to be duped. But, as the decade progressed and we became more consumed with consuming and ease (as I said the first instant cake mixes were often not used because the wives felt guilty for the ease and when they changed the labels to read, Just add an egg, it worked). We have slowly, through the past generations, been conditioned to the expectancy of change. We expect to hear this week that eggs are bad so do this and buy this and eat this way, next week, “Oh, did you hear milk can kill drink soy milk” then “Now we see soy in abundance is bad for you, what do we do next TV, Computer, News? Lead us”
50sgrandma I think we all need a good dose of ole fashioned ‘Grandma’s no-nonsense skepticism. “Well, it sounds suspicious to me, eat your eggs and toast and get to work! Who needs fancy tv dinners, eat your greens and you will be okay”. (I love this picture, if this is any of my readers relative, I hope you don’t mind I used the picture, so darling.)
I mean really, if we just stop and think logically, eating basic foods in lower quantities and exercise is all we need to do. However, today that ease is complicated with a myriad of ruts and potholes in the road that the 1950’s were only beginning to see. Entertainment is forefront in our lives. We NEED no we EXPECT to be entertained ALL the time and so through these vehicles of entertainment, the bits of time we must sit and wait for the next entertaining things, we hear all the nonsense to buy this or be like that. You are fat you must be this thin take this pill drink this drink, buy this idea followed by adverts for processed fatty foods and dial up pizza. We are easily lead because of what we have become to think the normal amount of passive living.
When you look at a basic diet such as the Basic Seven, it couldn’t really be easier, nor cheaper. Just think, you could go to the market and simply just not go down many aisles. All the frozen prepared foods (though frozen veg is an okay option when it is just the veg frozen and not all the additives or cream sauces and French fries/chips are not a replacement for a green or yellow vegetable) the processed kids cereals, the cookies aisles all that. I find now how simple it is to buy key ingredients (flour, milk, egg, butter, cream, sugar, meat, veg, fruit, grain-rice, oatmeal, etc) all the things we need and even which shall taste good and give good variety of plate and palette are at our fingertips. You want some fun exciting cracker with dill and cumin, then whip up a batch of basic cracker dough, add it in and bake, in 10 minutes you will have them and you can store the rest. You want a delicious decadent chocolate dessert, okay, make it from scratch and have a 50’s serving, not the 1/4 of a cake you get in cafe’s and restaurants today. And with all that make sure you are eating your veg and fruit.
basic7twoOkay, so if you refer to this chart (which if you have the old version of Betty Crockers picture cookbook-which they have also reprinted and is available anywhere, really, then you can turn to the Meal-Planning’ section to find this.    bettycrockerbook4 You can buy it in the store HERE as little as 6 dollars, or go to your local book store and support them. This is a good basic 50’s book, though and easily laid out in a binder form. I feel like a teacher, “Refer to your chart on page 33 of your Betty Crocker text”. Anyway, simply click here to enlarge it. You can see they say, “The basic Seven is Easy if you follow this pattern”. It even gives the suggestion for ‘adequate’ meals, so even you haven’t enough of one thing one day, you can think at least you are doing the basics. It is also very interesting to point on that for Dinner on the Complete List, it includes green or yellow vegetables AND salad with raw vegetables. Even at this point they were aware of the import of vegetables in the raw as part of a balanced diet. And one might think, “Oh, that looks like a lot with the bread and butter and piece of pie or cake for dessert”. Well, if you eat half a pizza you are eating as much if not more than a 1950’s version of this dinner. You would have a 1950’s bowl of soup, not the giant mixing bowl sizes we have today. Your meat would be between 2-3 oz serving. And a slice of good whole grain bread with some butter is much more healthy for you than the processed and chemical-ized action in a store bought or take away pizza or Chinese food. It also points out that the dinner is good after a ‘full day’ which means you have been active.
When I think how someone might get upset by the idea of the carb (bread and butter) with dinner, it is silly when you think of merely drinking a starbucks drink at your break is probably like five slices of bread and butter. And, butter, if you buy properly, is a very natural product. IT is simply the by-product of milk production, so if you could find a source where they use milk that is not from hormone injected cows and if you make or buy a good whole grain bread that is not full of preservatives, you are not that far removed from your foods beginnings. That is what I have been coming to realize: The closer you get to your foods source, the healthier it seems and easier to prepare. Butter is just made from the separation of the milk and cream, very pure. Bread is simply grains and liquid baked into nutrition. Now think about any packaged food, all the chemicals, the way it has to be made, any meat in it was probably made form a slurry of various animal parts (all the animal, whole chickens head, feet) you just don’t know what you are eating. Yet, in the 50’s, if you were not eating a Swanson Tv dinner every night, you were just naturally eating food closer to its pure source. A cut of meat for protein, veg cooked and raw, even desserts were homemade from butter, flour, eggs, pure ingredients meeting and combining to make a good tasty form of calories and vitamins.
I think the more we take control over the aspects of our lives that we can control, the better we can live and enjoy our time. Then, when we are enjoying our Entertainment, it will feel well earned and we may even find ourselves entertained with our own actions in the kitchen and home. I know I have and I laugh when I think of how much passive tv/computer time I used to use and wonder at all the time I lost that could have been spent simply DOING. I mean we can really do almost anything to entertain ourselves that can also enrich our minds and increase our skill sets. Why just watch tv when you could build that dollhouse, sew those dresses, make a garden, go to the library and study African tribal pottery. The world is out there with so much information and fun and yet we let so much of our lives simply pass by in front of our eyes as we passively sit there. Our food, in a way, is an example of this. Why bother to learn to cook or control your food by choosing your food yourself, just buy some stuff in boxes with pictures of the meal on it, nuke it and shove it down your gullet while you watch your ‘stories’ for the 15th time. Hey, it is your life, but really, I know, it’s so much MORE fun and rewarding to just be more active in it.
So, be more ACTIVE in your life and your food. Think about what you are putting in your mouth and your mind. Use your hands and your brains to make and do and NOT just click the TIVO button or press enter on the computer. You will find yourself so much more fulfilled and less dissatisfied. When you remove that element of covetousness often found through the media, “Oh, I wish I looked like her, or had that beautiful house, or lovely yard, or that yacht, car, hot movie star boyfriend, lifestyle etc etc” Who cares! There is so much YOU already have around you that is wonderful and can be improved upon and increased with your own access to knowledge, information, and skill. So our ACTION still exists here on the blog. It is becoming more and more important to me than ever.
Until next time, happy homemaking, cooking and just take 20 minutes of your tv/computer time and try something new: learn one easy pure dish to make, read up on that subject you like, paint a picture, plant some seeds, do anything that YOU control.
I will leave you with two cute 50’s ideas/kitchens for a simple eat-in bar for those early morning meals before school/work.
kitchenbar1 kitchenbar2

17 comments:

  1. Thanks for the uploads. I am a visual learner, so the charts are awesome for me.

    It is funny, but the older I get (and I don't think I am 'that' old, haha) the more I want to disassociate myself with the general world. The NOISE of today's world is scary. I LOVE sitting out in the evening listening to the crickets and frogs. Now, people have to have their ipods on all the time, watching movies, listening to music. Horrid movies with little or no plot and noise, not real music with a tune and a lovely singer you can join as you work or something.

    What I find most interesting is that since I have been wearing my hair and makeup retro, dressing up more to go out of the house, raising my kids to say yes sir or no ma'am...I get commented on ALL the time. "Your makeup is so pretty," "Your hair is like an old timemovie star", "Your kids behave so nicely and have such manners," (they don't all the time, but I am trying to teach them...). People want the old days. At least alot of them do. And I encourage them to take the stand. If we all do, one family at a time...we can change things to the good.

    Sorry for the mini rant...Love your blog so much....

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  2. lori-one nice thing I seem to realize now is that for all the millions of those simply 'plugged' into the modern world, ipods in ears, passively watching and being entertained, I find more longing for the quiet and simplicity of the 'old'. I get letters often from followers or new people who have found us here and are relieved to know there are 'others like them out there'. Here we see a case of the technology allowing our small and quiet voice to reach one another through the constant clang of the modern world. I am glad for that. There is much personal joy in one's own skills and pride in our own fashion and homes and family. I get sad sometimes when I think of how many young people will be bound to be dissatisfied with their lot in life BECAUSE of being so plugged in. The stars and singers show this 'dream life' of expensive fashion, luxury and just 'being cool' as the be all end all of life, when there is so much to living in our own backyards. There is so much joy in simply doing and learning for yourself and yet so many will never even be shown or given that chance. The level to which children are advertised to is also amazing. I remember when I watched the lady Gaga telephone video for a post a while ago I think I counted over 12 product placements from the ipod earbuds that have the jewels in them, virgin cell even to Wonder Bread and a new squeeze miracle whip. So subtle and yet so easily swaying to every aspect of our life saying:buy and you will be this cool, this happy. Though such a life of fame is happiness for a few (though not all who are actually famous it would seem) the vast majority of people and young could have so much more of their life to be happy and content if they could just hear the silence and know the power and joy in their own hands and mind. Setting one's hair and 'dressing' up simply to go to the market, it might seem simple or silly yet it feels so good and teaches us so much and allows us to see the happiness in our own back yard, our own town. I hope our small beacon will reach a few young people who can find a joy in the silence and the home.

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  3. My girls and I have been reading a children's health textbook from the 1940's. I had to go check and see if the 7 food groups chart on your blog was the same as the one in our book and it is! When we read over the chart in our health book a couple of months ago, I was impressed with the concept of 7 food groups. To me it seems to make sense than our current pyramid or the 4 food groups I was raised with. We have enjoyed reading through this textbook and the approach to health.
    When I was about 16 years old having been brainwashed by society that butter was bad and margarine was better, I picked up a package of butter and read the ingredients..(cream,salt). Then I read a package of margarine's ingredients and read the looong list of ingredients. My logical mind could no longer believe that margarine was better for you. From then on I used butter.
    Amy F.

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  4. Here in Belgium and even more in France we’re used to eat bread with every meal (My family – 2 adults, 3 children (8years, 5years, 18 months) eat a whole bread (600gr flour) every day), and none of us has overweight (don’t mean to boast, just want to prove bread is not making people fat ).

    And you’re so right when you are saying we have the power to change our life’s, we are privileged to live in a part of the world where we can make our own choices and where we can change our own life in an important way, and yet so many people are sitting desperately waiting for something that will never happen.
    Don’t get me wrong I agree that it is not possible to change your whole life in a blink of the eye, but step by step one must be able to change his own life. 50’sgal you are the most relevant example of that.

    Just one more thing I don't now if it's an usual saying or just one you invented while writing but I felt in love with the expression : "see the happiness in our own back yard".

    Greetings!

    Eef

    PS : Once doesn't make it a habit, but I'm proud of my fellow-countrymen today... 97% of the population sorts his waste correctely! See, we can change our habits, and change the world!

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  5. 50sgal, you are a teacher and we're very happy to learn. Thanks for the 'lessons', ideas, thoughts and encouragement. Linda

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  6. Linda-Thank you, what an honor to be called a teacher. I do know that I love to learn and discover and then to share with all of you, if you learn with me along the way, great boon, I say.
    Eef-That is something to be proud of and no that is not specifically a saying, just what I said.

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  7. Eef- I like 50's gal's saying too. (Even if it's not an official "saying", it's a keeper!)

    Sarah

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  8. 50sgal,

    I love the gramma picture; those hard-working souls are a byegone (except for us here of this board of course). It reminds me of my gramma, who is passed.

    I hope this finds you well. I've been busy out in the beds whenever I can outside of work, as I know you are too.

    P.S. I can't believe how many followers you have picked up in the last two or three months!

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  9. I just saw the conversation between you and Lori about the noise of the world and everyone having to be plugged in to some technology like the ipod or TV.

    Yesterday, I went in to take care of a patient, talked to her for about 30 seconds or so, and then she said, “I’m sorry, but it’s the last five minutes of this show, and (I want to see the end of it). In other words, you can go do something else until my show is over, and then I’ll talk to you. Can you believe it!

    It’s not like there aren’t other patients that have needs or that I need to check on. And, NO, I WON’T wait until your show is over! That crap about blows my mind.

    It’s all about me, me, me, it seems. Many times, we have to maneuver around visitors while trying to care for patients, and the visitors don’t have the decency to get the heck out of the way or—heaven forbid—step out in the hall for a minute! This please-the-public, make-me-happy, give-me-what-I-want-or-I’ll-sue-you world is enough to make ya wanna throw up!

    Okay, now that I got that off my chest…;)

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  10. Zebu-that sounds bad, yet it seems so 'normal' for the modern world. I find it funny and sad, as well, when the general public have no consideration for anyone. You would like to get by, you say excuse me (even though they are standing in the ailse looking at you-braindead). People won't get to help others but they go out of their way to be rude and if I hear, "I will sue them for..." again, I think I will scream. Anytime I am out in the 'modern world' ( I am becoming like the amish only without an entire town to back me up)I hear this phrase peppered through every conversation. I know I sound like a broken record, but we really have been 'trained' to want and expect it all for ME. I demand lower prices, I deserve this and that, and yet no one demands or expects common courtesy, a world where in we can focus on education and healthcare (another example of selfishness-I mean why worry about the next generations health and education? Not our problem, right?) It is all so frustrated some time, but then I need to sit down and have a Pollyanna moment and start counting the silver linings and hope that we small group of gals (and guys) here will make changes in our own life and who knows might inspire someone else!

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  11. Very well put--I, too, try to hope that I may inspire someone. And, yes, there are many silver linings to count.

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  12. I *hate* "the customer is always right" mentality that's overtaking health care. My dad is a doctor and my sister and I worked for him for years. His office manager had us go to a phone conversation lecture that was entirely focused on "the customer is always right" mentality. We were both so mad about it that we told both our parents about it and Papa nearly blew a gasket. We never went to one of those things again and ignored every single thing the lady had said receptionists needed to do.

    In health care, the "customer" is NOT always right!!! The "customer" is hardly ever right. The doctor is the one who gave up a dozen years of his life to be a doctor and missed half the milestone moments of his kids' lives. Not the "customer".

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  13. Rachel,

    Great point in your last sentence! It's good that you let your dad know what was going on.

    We even have a poster in each room, as of last year, that gives the patient and family a number to call if they feel they aren't getting the care they think they shoud by their nurse. While this could come in handy from time to time, it has gone WAY to far. The hospital is essentially saying, even though our nurses are running their butts off, if they aren't getting to YOU in the time frame that you think they should, go ahead and go over their heads and the charge nurse's head and call us!

    We can barely enforce visiting hours because some relatives feel that they just HAVE to be there as their loved one goes to sleep, even though the patient doesn't want them there!

    I think that it will only continue to go downhill this way with the patient having more and more rights and the providers having less, and the patients suing more and the doctors afraid to practice for fear of not being able to perform like God.

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  14. Somewhere along the line people forgot that the practice of medicine is both an art and a science...and not wholly just a mechanized "fix-it" industry. Chalk it up to the media exploiting cases, attorneys going overboard in their zeal for not only justice but also money, or whatever it is that has made every doctor feel as if he must protect himself, all I know is that people must get a new mindset or there will be fewer and fewer people wanting to practice as doctors.

    Also, your point about the women of the 40's and 50's being skeptical of the newfangled processed and frozen foods is right on, according to what I have recently read. The food industry needed a way to make money after the war ended and decided to tackle the average home cook. Except they found that the home cook was very suspicious of convenience foods for almost the whole decade of the 50's. The industry, the media and advertisers worked together for a long time before making any inroads in the psyche of the average homemaker. It seems that packaged foods (Betty Crocker cake mixes, etc.) were successful by the end of the 50's, but the TV dinner (which is often associated with the decade) was only used as a backup for when mom was away or unable to provide a homecooked meal. Finally in the mid-sixties, the advertisers wore the homemakers down and frozen and processed foods began to be utilized as time-saving devices on a regular basis.
    The power of advertising is subtle, and very interesting to study. That's why we really need to think for ourselves and draw the line between what we really want/need vs. what is being promoted by advertising.

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  15. I am loving your series on health and nutrition! I have come to a place in the last few years where I have decided on the common sense approach. While I falter a lot I am learning a lot. Food the way God made it is best.
    I am a diabetic but I noticed if I have my bread whole grain with a meal of protein and veggies and butter on the bread it does not affect my blood sugar.
    I love the common sense approach!

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  16. The Grandma picture looks like my grandma, who passed away many years ago.

    Enjoyed the post and referenced my 50's Betty Crocker cookbooks - sure enough, all the information is there.

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