Sunday, December 5, 2010

5 December 1956 “Q & A Sunday: 1950’s Diet and Health”

familycooking This weeks question from one of my fine followers is as follows:
  I have a question about a comment you made in your Lard post.  The way you describe how your eating habits have changed since going back to 1955 is impressive.  Not to mention lowering your grocery bill by doing so.  Have you or your husband received any positive test results or positive feedback from your doctor, if you've discussed this with him/her.  I'm not trying to pry, just wondering for my own health needs.  Seems like we Americans need to get back to real life AND real food.
If you think this would make a good Sunday question/answer post I'd love to see you expand on the topic.

I thought this a good question to deal with as we approach the Holidays. We American’s are now officially over-eaters in our normal day to day life, but add the Holiday to this and look out! Therefore this seems a good time to discuss this.
When many people today consider the 1950’s and food, they often think, “Oh, Bacon and Butter; everything is dripping in butter and lard; Steak and Red meat” and so on. There are even modern commercials that play on this stereo-type. Here we are to “Meet the BUTTERTONS”
This commercial is the perfect example of modern propaganda. It is false in many ways. The first being that in 1950 entire sticks of butter were spread all over everything. First and foremost food in 1950’s was MUCH more expensive than today. Today’s food IS cheaper and more plentiful mostly attributed to corporate farming and the high percentage of imports of goods from foreign markets.
Secondly it is false in its dietary claims. To say that “I can’t believe it’s not butter” (Which I bet were I to taste it I COULD believe it was NOT butter) is better than butter is ridiculous. It is a margarine type spread. It is processed from a variety vegetable fat and is actually grey in color. It is often made from the least nutritious oils, such as cotton seed, which is also used as pesticide. The ‘butter color’ has to be added to give it the appearance of actual butter.
It is also whipped in a can which contains much air and you therefore get less than you would in a solid stick of butter. This is also true of whipped butter. Therefore,  anyone who buys whipped butter : you are paying for air. If you like whipped butter, make it yourself with your mixer and even add a little cream or milk, whip to the consistency you like and store in the ice box! You can even add herbs, garlic or make honey or cinnamon whipped for the breakfast table. But start out with a good solid stick of butter. I actually buy butter in a 1 lb block and simply cut it into the quarters you get when you buy the pre-packed pound with four 1/4 pound sticks. IT is less to throw away and cheaper to buy. But I digress…
Rather than describe the production of margarine in my own words, I found this which does a better job. Here is what we ‘smart modern families’ are eating when we eat margarine (and many other products that contain margarine in them any ‘cream based’ soups, packaged cheese/gravy sauces you name it)
How is margarine made: Step 1
Margarine makers start with cheap. poor quality vegetable oils, such as corn, cottonseed, soybeans, safflower seeds and canola.
These oils have already turned rancid from being extracted from oil seeds using high temperature and high pressure. Rancid oils are loaded with free radicals that react easily with other molecules, causing cell damage, premature aging and a host of other problems.
The last bit of oil is removed with hexane, a solvent known to cause cancer. Although this hexane subsequent removed, traces of it are inevitably left behind.
Unfit for consumption
Moreover, some of these oils are not suitable for human consumption to begin with.
Cottonseed oil, one of the most popular margarine ingredients, has natural toxins and unrefined cottonseed oil is used as a pesticide. The toxin, gossypol, is removed during refining.
Cottonseed oil also contains far too much Omega-6 fatty acids in relation to Omega 3. While both Omega 6 and Omega 3 are essential fatty acids, an imbalance between the two is widely believed to cause various health problems, including heart disease.
Most experts on the subject believe that a healthy ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 is between 1:1 and 1:2. Cotton seed oil, however, has over 50 percent omega 6 and only trace amounts of Omega 3, giving a ratio of 1: several hundred or more.
As cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed crops, there are also concerns that cottonseed oil may be highly contaminated with pesticide residues. However, insufficient testing has been done.
Canola oil, which is widely touted as the healthiest oil of all, has problems as well. Consumption of Canola has been linked with vitamin E deficiency as well as growth retardation. For this reason, Canola oil is not allowed to be used in the manufacture of infant formula.
The oils used for making margarine are also among the Big Four genetically modified crops – soy, corn, rapeseed / Canola and cotton.
How is margarine made: Step 2
The raw oils for making margarine are steam cleaned. This destroys all the vitamins and antioxidants.
However, the residues of pesticides and solvents – that is, hexane – remain.
How is margarine made: Step 3
The oils are mixed with finely ground nickel, a highly toxic substance that serves as a catalyst for the chemical reaction during the hydrogenation process.
Other catalysts may be used, but these, too, are highly toxic.
How is margarine made: Step 4
The oils are then put under high temperature and pressure in a reactor.
Hydrogen gas is introduced. The high temperature and pressure, together with the presence of nickel catalyst, causes hydrogen atoms to be forced into the oil molecules.
If the oil is partially hydrogenated, it turns from liquid into a semi-solid.
Trans fats are formed during partial hydrogenation. These are fat molecules that have been twisted out of shape. In liquid oils, the molecules are bent, with the hydrogen atoms on opposite sides of each other.
During partial hydrogenation, the molecules are somewhat straightened and now all the hydrogen molecules are on the same side.
If the oil is fully hydrogenated, it turns into a hard solid that cannot be eaten. It no longer contains trans fats because the "out of shape” oil molecules have all been broken up to form straight chains. But this does not mean they have become healthy again because of all the unnatural steps above.
How is margarine made: Step 5
What comes out of the partial hydrogenation process is a smelly, lumpy, grey grease.
To remove the lumps, emulsifiers – which are like soaps – are mixed in.
How is margarine made: Step 6
The oil is steam cleaned (again!) to remove the odor of chemicals. This step is called deodorization and it again involves high temperature and high pressure.
How is margarine made: Step 7
The oil is then bleached to get rid of the grey color.
How is margarine made: Step 8
Synthetic vitamins and artificial flavors are mixed in.
A natural yellow color is added to margarine, as synthetic coloring is not allowed!
In fact, early last century, all coloring was not allowed and margarine was white. This was to protect consumers so that they do not get butter and margarine mixed up.
How is margarine made: Step 9
Finally, the margarine is promoted to the public as a health food – with the full endorsement of many scientists, doctors, nutritionists and health authorities.
Another aspect of the 1950’s diet that is interesting and tied to the higher costs, is the amount they ate compared to we modern people. Food cost more, you had to prepare more from these basic foods and needed to stretch it. So, you ate less of it.
I was at our local farm yesterday at a craft/Christmas fair selling my homemade brittle (made with real butter and no high fructose corn syrup I might add!) when I noticed the sign for the home-made ice cream. They have their quarts marked down to $7 from the usual $8 in the summer. Now, one might think, “Eight dollars for a quart of ice cream! I can go to –insert big chain grocery or Wal mart here- and get it for 2 dollars” But, we must remember, this is made locally with local sourced products. This would be the case in many ways even in the 1950’s. Even as production from the war years turned to creating the home-front 1950’s luxuries, milk and cream were from smaller farms and made in this country. The cost was higher to the customer because of those factors. However, this results in a Better product which we WILL eat less of because of the cost.
It is not a coincidence that the obesity in our country coincides with the low cost bounty of cheaply made and overseas imported products we can get for pennies at Wal-mart and other Big Grocery chains.
And the idea that those in 1950’s ate red meat morning, noon, and night is also a myth. The average middle class diet contained smaller amounts of meat (smaller portions) and things such as Steak were considered a ‘special occasion’. Even the Sunday Dinner roasted chicken was a sort of culmination of the week as a special dinner. The leftovers of which would probably be seen in a meat pie or casserole on Monday’s dinner table and a soup later in the week.
Even as packaged soups and meals became available in the 1950’s they were not as prevalent or the norm as they are today and often served to aide the homemaker in meals rather than stand alone as the entire meal. If mother bought a boxed pizza or spaghetti, it might be for a fun special night for the kids when they were off for a bridge night at friends. Or when the gang was over for soda’s and a night of listening to records. Here this 1953 commercial for chef boyarde (an actual person) even mentions it helps to aid dinners and keep the cost of meals down. Hardly meant to be eaten every night.
A steak dinner would be a special occasion eat out meal, or possibly at a neighborhood or party outdoor Barbeque function. Many nightly meals for the American Middle class were stretched amounts of meat purchased by mother. These cuts of meat cost more, as did the veg, but they more than likely were grown closer to home and not shipped as far. Certainly they were not eating apples and lamb from New Zealand.
Meat consumption is much higher today:
Meat Consumption at Record High
Now more than ever, America is a Nation
of meat eaters. In 2000, total meat consumption (red meat, poultry, and fish)
reached 195 pounds (boneless, trimmedweight equivalent) per person, 57 pounds
above average annual consumption in
the 1950s (table 2-1). Each American
consumed an average of 7 pounds more
red meat than in the 1950s, 46 pounds
more poultry, and 4 pounds more fish
and shellfish. Rising consumer incomes,
especially with the increase in two-income households, and meat prices in the
1990s that were often at 50-year lows,
when adjusted for inflation, explain
much of the increase in meat consumption. In addition, the meat industry has
provided scores of new brand-name, value-added products processed for consumers’ convenience, as well as a host of
products for foodservice operators.
There is also this idea that we had very little nutrition back then. If I refer to my cookbooks and magazines and homemaking books of the time, as I do, I am told fresh fruit to be served with breakfast raw. I also am told raw fruit such as carrot sticks, celery, tomatoes and the like are to be provided at meal time along with the cooked vegetables. We eat more raw fruit and veg now with our 1950’s diet than we ever did with our modern, milk cereal fozen pizza diet of the 21st century. How many raw fruits and veg do you eat today with meals as a modern family? Do you have children who ‘won’t eat this or that’. Because, that almost did not exist either in the 1950’s. You were expected to ‘clean your plate’ because there were others worse off than you (particularly the staving children in the remnants of war torn Europe.)
What does this mean for us today? Well, if we could wrap our heads around not expecting impossibly low cost foods and therefore allow local farms and in-country production, we could learn to stretch what we have and make more at home. This would also mean restaurants would make more good and local and though it would cost more, we would not over-eat. Then McDonalds and other fast food chains who make 99 cent meals could keep their ill conceived food and we would eat healthier and support our own towns and country and lose weight. The higher cost does not mean more money spent on food, but actually can be less. As we learn to make more ourselves and demand less food per meal, we buy less and better. So, I have found for us, that I spend less than filling the cart with cheap on-sale packaged pizzas, fried chickens, dinners, burritos and so on. And the amount of chemicals in the food is staggering.
Now, add to this the waste and garbage. The amount of packaging from a normal modern American’s diet is immense. The 195o’s counterpart had much less garbage. I found, since 1955, that our over three bags of garbage a week has become one small bag. Much gets composted and there is just not that much packaging. When I make many things from key ingredients there aren’t boxes and boxes of cereal, pre-packaged foods, and packaging for desserts and treats.
Therefore, I think it is safe to say that many eating habits of the 1950’s can even effect our general environment with the amount of waste we create. Now, when we buy less of these things, the market for them decreases and then they will need to make different or market differently to us. It is very much a pebble dropped in a vast pond whose ripples reach far and beyond.
With concern to our health, my hubby’s and mine, we are actually better fit than when I started 1955. Particularly when you consider the current cholesterol myth. Our family physician as well as our best friend who is an ER doctor, have told us that they now have found the cholesterol levels are more associated with ones genetics and that cholesterol levels should not be lowered in many cases. Some people who currently take cholesterol lowering medication (including my Father who has now been taken off it) are actually at risk. I will not go into it now, but the drug companies are tied into the food production companies and the Food/Seed creators such as Monsanto and there is much money to be made in medicine for ‘ills’ such as ‘high cholesterol’. And any Tom, Dick or Harry could get cows, and raise them to sell butter, but if we believe butter is bad that stops that. Then add to that the FDA regulations which continually increase the high cost ‘needs’ of farming which small farmers cannot afford to keep up with. (as an example a law recently passes which resulted in our local farm having to change the way they process their greens by adding 15,000 dollar septic system in lieu of the system they had which drained the water used to clean the greens outside to an area specifically planted with a crop that was meant to use the water and grow vegetation and return nutrients to the soil. Now, instead, they have a huge cement receptacle in the ground that takes the water and keeps it there, not replenishing the soil and basically wasting the water as well as making expenses some farms can’t keep up with. These farms would then find themselves performing ‘illegal’ acts in selling greens to their community.
But, that in and of itself is more than one post. So, back to our health: My hubby, who was never overweight, had actually put some weight on before 1955. Since then he has gone down a pant size and is much leaner. He eats three meals a day prepared by me. A large breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast or pancakes, water, coffee, butter and jam. He then eats about 4 oz of meat with veg and usually cookies or a slice of homemade pie or cake for lunch with water or coffee. (We stopped drinking soda when we saw the cost as well as the soda available in the 1950’s was sweetened with sugar not high fructose corn syrup. Also the soda of 1950’s was often in a 4 or 6 oz bottle. These bottles can sometimes be had made with sugar during one of the Jewish holidays. After waiting to find them we simply found we just didn’t need or want soda. Now when we might have one occasional it might be a treat. Though, I find now, I can’t stomach the stuff. It is too fizzy for my digestion and far too sweet!)
Our portions are 1950’s portions. We eat desserts made with butter and lard, such as pie’s and cakes and biscuits and cookies, but in moderation. I have not lost as much weight as I would like I (as I have the ability to nibble being home all day while hubby cannot as he is at work) But I weigh less than when I started my 1955 project.
I also suffered from a digestive issue which my doctor could not pin down. I had been tested for IBS but was found to not have it. After the first 8 months or so of 1955, I suddenly found I was no longer suffering from my odd digestive feelings. I also used to have odd ‘attacks’ where I would feel almost an anxious panic attack and then feel rather ‘shaky’. These were similar to someone with hypoglycemia or a diabetic who is crashing from too much sugar. These have not made an appearance in over a year now. The only think I have changed is my diet.
I also now find the taste of processed foods, if I am at someone’s home say, is odd. There is a chemical taste I find when I eat a store bought cookie or chip. I also find, if I eat modern potato chips, I cannot stop eating the. The same with Cheese Crackers. Yet, when I make my own cheese crackers (which are SO good) I could never eat more than say 10 or so, as my stomach feels quite full. Mine are made with butter, un-bleached white flour, grated cheese and seasoning. The store bought has so many chemicals I wonder if some of these are set to ‘trigger’ your eating response and therefore one could eat an entire box of cheese crackers without much hesitation.
I am not a physician nor a dietician. I can only share with you what I have found for myself and my family in the past two years of a radical diet change. It seems the more one gets to the source of their food and can create or control what goes into that food, the healthier one feels and the cheaper it becomes. I now can look at eggs, flour, milk, butter, lard, sugar and various baking things as salt, baking soda, baking powder and know I can make a vast variety of things from pies, to breads, to snack foods, and a variety of meat dishes. I even make my own Tortilla’s and find them an easy to make last minute bread to have at any meal.
I really feel if we can manage to embrace modern technology in a healthy way in which it serves us and we remain its master and not the other way round and combine this with a more ‘back to nature’ approach to our food. Now, there may certainly be many 1950’s food that might not be considered healthy but we do not have to live a black or white life. We can take the meal portions, the purer diet of the time and infuse it with modern realizations about food and vitamins.
I think a real look at ‘how we used to eat’ can only benefit our modern approach to diet. If we blindly believe cheaper is better, listen to ‘what is better for us’ by the commercials made to sell corporate made products, we will only continue down our path of obesity and increased diabetes. Just the amount of ill-health we now have due to the calories we drink is staggering to what a 1950 diet would have contained. Children literally drink a day’s worth of calories in just soda alone, now add to that packaged foods such as breakfast cereals, the poor diets in public schools and the fish finger/pizza/batter fried no veg diets of their dinners and you can see we DO eat more poorly than they did in the 1950’s.
Again, looking back to look forward proves to be a good idea. I think this conversation could continue and there is much to learn in the realm of our diets with regards to the past. I don’t think ‘it was all perfect and rosy back then’. But, I also know that there is much wrong with today’s food and diet and the more passive we become, the more we become ‘plugged in’ the easier we are to be sold to. And those who sell to us simply want our money and care little for our health.
Have a wonderful Sunday and Happy Homemaking.


  1. You know, I agree with all that you have said. Though we don't "live" in the 50's, my hubby & I have started going to a local old-fashioned butcher shop in our neighborhood. Some think it is more than going to the local chain grocers for meat, but in all honesty, it really isn't. Much of the game & meats come from local natural farms. We've even dipped into the realm of rabbits, duck, quail, pheasant and such and are very pleasantly surprised.

    About a year ago, we stopped buying margarines and spreads and only buy real butter. I have been making our breads every week and completely stopped buying those packaged deli meats for my husband's lunch. Now, when he has gone and eaten a sandwich on commercial bread with commercial meats, he comments on how chemically it tastes.

    We grow as many vegetables as we can as well. I think it has made us healthier. All of my tests have come back better than in the past too!

    I'm delving more and more into reading more cooking, cleaning, living manuals from the past and am enjoying learning (to me) better alternative methods. Oh, and of course, this blog also keeps me inspired. =)


  2. Donna, when our family followed a 1950s diet ( from a 1950s nutrition book) for a week my children ( 13 and 18) loved it. They felt comfortably satisfied after each meal and found they weren't hungry in between meals at all. They really looked forward to each meal. My husband enjoyed it but felt a bit anxious that it was in some way bad for him even though it is not that much different from how we normally eat but with dessert every night. We have never eaten low fat interfered with dairy products, and I can't bear margarine which funnily enough is called butter by many people in their homes. Perhaps it is easier to say.

  3. LPM-I adore game-rabbit,pheasant, partridge, goose and so on. I am going to be installing a dovecote this summer to possibly keep pigeons. They are easy in that they come and go with minimal interference and then you get squab, which I love. The squab (young pigeon)is harvested before it can fly, so it is almost full-feathered but not quite. Then you keep your great breeding pairs and they make well fed meat for your table and some of the best guano for you compost. I am still toying with keeping rabbits for meat, but have not as yet decided. It still seems hard with their darling little faces. But, as it is hard to find any locally sourced meat without hours drive away from my home, I am looking for more and more ways. Come spring my hens will be hatching out some of their eggs and the young roosters will be butchered and processed for my by our local farm in exchange for some of the meat. I give them 12 young roosters and get back 6 dressed birds. I am considering raising my Thanksgiving turkey and goose next year as well.
    As it is hard to find many good sources locally, I continually look to our small plot of land.
    Jenny-what a fun project. Why did you not stick with it? Did you find it too much work? I can't abide margarine/fake butter. It tastes so odd.

  4. Donna, it was something we did during school holidays and yes we did enjoy it and the children have asked to do it all the time. I think it was perhaps. I think perhaps I stumbled with writing a menu plan. It was interesting though when we visited a nursing home recently looking for a place for my Dad. They had their 4 week menu written out and I desperately wanted to ask for a copy. The food of course is aimed at my parents generation. All the meals are two or three courses with the main meal in the middle of the day and a lighter meal in the evening. It looked wonderful.Does that sound mad, a nursing home menu looks wonderful to me!

  5. Hello,
    While reading your posts, I keep finding correlations between our present lifestyle (which is traditional or retro or whatever they call it nowadays) and yours. We never buy margarine, we eat real food, I cook from scratch. I, too, can taste the vile chemicals and preservatives in prepared foods. I try to buy free-range or responsibly farmend meats if possible. So many meals can be made quickly, but with real ingredients- ones that have a semblance of it's original state and easily recongnisable. Too many people rely on the 'experts' who have products to sell.

  6. The issue is not nearly as black and white as you make it out to be. For one thing you're ignoring the billions of people with dairy allergies and intolerances. Nobody in my family could eat dairy even if we wanted to ignore the fact that dairy production is horrible for the environment and horrific for the cows.

    You say that you eat only natural foods but there's nothing natural about a mammal consuming milk from another mammal or milk from their own species past babyhood. You are buying in to the propaganda of others just as much as the people who buy margarine. I don't wish to sound judgmental or holier than thou here but I do want you to realize that you are committing the same sins that you are judging others for, you're just listening to a different source.

  7. Another lovely post. After having my two sons, I became very aware of what our family was eating, and then after the massive economic downturn and near poverty, I needed to be able to feed my family good food, but cheaply. So I followed my mother's example, she is an incredible cook and as a child we only ate home-grown vegetables, home-killed meat (we lived on a farm) and full-fat dairy products. So I have done the same, we have a vegetable patch in our suburban garden which I stock up with compost we make ourselves with food scraps and grass-clippings. I only buy full-fat dairy products, I make my own bread everyday (I cheat though and use my bread maker). I can literary only afford cheap cuts of meat so I use 1940's and 50's cookbooks for ideas on how to make mutton and hand of pork tasty. So we normally end up eating like we are living in 1940's or 50's New Zealand. I fed my family of 4 for under $2 the other night, homemade and homegrown leek and potato soup with bread and butter. I'm sure eating this way is much healthier and I am a fraction of the size I once was.... All the work in the garden keeps me fit as well. Thanks for the posts, you inspire me to go all the way and fully embrace the 50's lifestyle.

  8. Rhonda-again, I am not sure if it is my writing style, but I don't really want to be seen to be 'preaching' I am only realizing things and then sharing.
    I understand some may have dairy intolerance, but that hardly makes little difference to those of us who don't. You may say it is 'unnatural' to drink another animal's milk, but we, as a species, have done it long enough that it is part of the evolution of our species. We have been farmers for quite some time.
    I also don't really find myself 'buying into' anything other than I am trying to look into a particular period, experience it as they might have and come to my own conclusions. There are none of us who can live in a vacuum, how on earth could I NOT be influenced by something.
    I also think anyone who is lactose intolerant can find many natural ways to still use flour and veg and fruit. If one uses coconut milk, say, in lieu of milk that would hardly affect rather or not one can have raw fruit and veg, does it?
    Again, I don't wish to 'preach' to anyone. What do I know? Only what I learn from sources I try to access that our not simply in my face, such as TV or current government standards or FDA regulations.
    And were I lactose intolerant and concerned for my health, I believe I would look closely at 'butter substiutes' before relying too heavily on them. And for all we know, the current use of margarines since the turn of the last century could have actually LEAD to lactose intolerance in indivuals, I don't know the science behind how that is developed at the fetal stage.
    So, anyone PLEASE PLEASE again, I am not PREACHING to anyone how to live. I am saying how I LIVE and what I REALIZE. I have never claimed to be a doctor or nutritionist. I am simply a little homemaker in a little town on the East Coast of MA trying an experiment.
    I don't think I have ever said, "You better do this and that or you are in trouble" and had I, I would hope others would know to make up their own minds.
    I have a friend who is lactose intolerant and he eats very healthy and wouldn't touch margarine with a 10 foot pole.

  9. Sarah-thank you, it sounds as if you eat very healthy indeed. I too like to garden and next year my veg beds will be the happy recipient of my Chickens droppings, which will be lovely.
    I think even for those in the city (and in fact it is often easier in the city) it is possible to source food closer to home. I know in Boston there was a lovely old butcher shop on Charles that had great cuts of meat from MA and NE farmers. And many city people are now keeping chickens.
    I have to say that I shan't ever be of the school ( I am sorry here Rhonda, as this is my opinon) to believe that it is better to not eat animals or drink milk or eat eggs. These animals have evolved through our hands to be what they are. When they are treated humanely and as they once were, are a very important source of food. For we, as a species, to eat the meat of herbivores, is very important. And in many developing and poorer countries, to have the ability to grow and eat their own animal's and get milk and diary from them is of utmost important. I know, in India for example, the cow is sacred and they have many vegetarian diets, but for the majority of the poorer countries, this staple is important.
    We, as an evolving animal, have been tied with the consumption of other animals since we developed to think that any 'man made' product will quickly and easily replace that seems almost naive'. Our body chemistry is what it is. Obviously if we are intolerant of a food, than we had better not eat it, but that does not make it then not good for the vast majority of others who CAN tolerate it.
    I think we DO need to look to the source of our diets. But, again, I am not telling anyone what to do and if I am, and you don't like it, please tell me to be quiet. Though, I most likely won't but then again others do not have to listen to me. I am just a blogger after all, not an authority or the head of the FDA.

  10. Someone might have already said this, I have "scanned" the comments and might have missed it...

    Not that I want to encourage soda drinking, but if you want to stick with "pure sugar" when you are treating yourself, look for sodas made in Mexico. I am in Dallas, Texas....we have that option in some of our Hispanic markets. Also, Dr Pepper (can not touch the stuff without an addictive have not touched a reg DP since 2007) made in Dublin, Texas is made with pure real sugar, from what I understand. You can DEFIANTLY taste the difference. I buy the Kosher Coca Cola for my hubbie when we see it, usually only around passover. Soft Drinks are just not good for you in so many ways, but if you are going to treat yourself and can stop with one (I can not), go for the good stuff.

    Also, since I have started eating a Low Carb diet, I defiantly agree that there are "triggers" in things that make you want more. For example, I can not eat something like Doritoes or other yummy carby / snackie foods (POPCORN!!!) without wanting to keep eating them. If I am sticking to meats and veggies, I can control myself better. There are defiantly foods that we each might find trigger us to want more. I just do not keep those things in the house.


  11. Sodas made in Mexico *are* made with real sugar, I have a missionary friend who has 12 children that live there, and when they come home on 'furlough' their kids think the soda here in the US is disgusting! LOL

    We have six children, and they all have eaten many vegetables with no complaint, because they didn't realize it was an option. I'm not 'mean' about it, I don't force them to eat it if they don't like it, but we do say 'take one bite and try it' and then if they don't like it, that's fine, but don't ask for snacks later b/c you didn't eat dinner and are hungry still. (occasionally we will have something that I know a child hates, such as one child hating chili. I will offer that child the option of having a turkey/cheese/tomato sandwich, etc. )

    We had friends over on Friday night. I served up shredded pork bbq sandwiches, potato salad, corn on the cob and raw broccoli and carrots with ranch dip. My friend was *shocked* to see my 3 and 5 year olds eating this, and said 'HOW do you get your kids to eat that stuff? Mine like it now, they are teens now, but when they were little, they wouldn't touch it.' I didn't really know what to say. I just said that they had always had it, even as little guys (over 1 year old, though, with teeth LOL), and they liked it. My 18 month old was actually begging for broccoli and dip from his high chair! She was just floored that the littler children would eat that, and said she wouldn't have even put it on their plates, because she would have assumed they wouldn't touch it.

    Mrs P

  12. Donna,
    once again you have done a wonderful job. Reading this you would thing you were attending my college course. Good Job. I still hve issues with the lard thing but then I'll talk about that another day. The reason people eat too much junk food is because most have a chemical the turns off the brain to tell you your full. It works the opposit of an appetite surpressent. My husbands cardiologist told him never eat margerine just eat butter and less of it portion wise. We have not eaten anything but butter for 20 years and he has not had to go back to see the cardiologist. Butter is not heated and does not pose the dangers of lard that is heated and refined.

  13. 50'sGal, thank you for responding to my question! Very interesting post.

    Sarah H.

  14. I enjoyed this post(well--your whole site too!) and had to comment on the bacon/butter reference. It's funny how "bad" everyone thinks this is....but people were far far healthier back in the days when butter and lard were used. Moderation is the key to ALL things. That bunch that was born in the 20's and 30's rarely went to the doctor and have enjoyed life well into their 80's and 90's. They had few of the ailments that are soooo common amongst the younger set nowadays--the many digestive disorders associated with diet.
    Growing up, we ate restaurant food once a year-our birthday-and though we had lots of treats (cakes, cookies,etc.) we were never overweight.
    Portions have gotten ridiculously out of whack-and one need only to look at the folks roaming the mall food courts to see the result.
    I never realized just how bad it's gotten until you look, really LOOK, at old films and news reels, etc. and notice that it is rare to see someone overweight. It was the occasional wealthy person....but still rare. Now? Ugh. We literally are shocked to see someone "thin" (what would have passed as normal 30 years ago).
    Anyway, great post. Great site. Thank you!!

  15. Donna-would you be willing to share a weeks worth of your menus? I'm curious!

  16. A great post. I would add, with respect to the considerations already raised here about butter vs marjarine that organic dairy products are superior in flavor and much closer to what people ate in the mid- century. Organic dairy products are usually produced with an ethical treatment policy towards the animals, as well. Eggs, meats and dairy products all have an organic source.

  17. Jenn-perhaps next Sunday I will do the meal plan as part of the question.
    Blackberry-very true. I am lucky now in that I get my eggs from my own hens that eat chicken feed, partly, but they also free range on many days and forage for bugs and they get fresh grash and cuttings daily as well as my vegetable scraps from the kitchen. One the Jamaican fellow who works at the local farm ate one of my young roosters (he is going to do a trade of his labor for a bird, I give six live birds get back three killed and dressed) said it was the best chicken he has had since leaving Jamaica where the chickens just run about eating only natural things they can find. I just need to get my nerve up and get some rabbit and other game so I can really know the source of my meat. I do wish we had a local diary/meat farm, the closest is about an hour away from where I live.

  18. It really sounds disgusting. I think you have made all of us turn away from margarine. Thank you for all your thorough investigation, quite a job.

  19. I have of late been changing my diet to be more "natural" foods. I have noticed similar side effects to that change as yours.

    1. Processed foods taste like poison to me (I can't eat those Debbie cakes anymore *shudder*).

    2. I get physically ill if I eat fast food (oddly, with the exception of Taco Bell). I now order the salads if I *have* to eat at the fast foods - and sometimes the salad is so preservative heavy I have difficulty eating those.

    3. I am satisified with smaller portions.

    4. I feel a lot better LOL.

    5. I am beginning to prefer having veggies and fruits in my meals.

    6. I cannot eat packaged white bread and pasta - makes me feel sick.

    Now, if I can just quit that pesky soda addiction I have - I'll be perfectly happy.


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