Tag Archives: processed food

A short history of convenience foods

From Alice Abler on Vision.org:

“Throughout the 20th century, the food industry worked to provide not only convenience but also ostensibly wholesome substitutes for natural foods, including butter. In fact, margarine has been around since the late 19th century, but for many years it was white by law. Eventually, however, it came with added artificial flavor and a capsule of yellow artificial food coloring (to be kneaded in after purchase) so it would taste and look more like the real thing. At first countries including Canada, Australia and France, as well as some American states—notably Wisconsin, the Dairy State—outlawed colored margarine to protect their butter trade. As unappealing as hydrogenated oil with a side of chemical yellow color sounds today, “modern” housewives trekked across state lines to procure the factory-made substitute and bring it back to their kitchens.

Eventually“millions of American palates adjusted to artificial flavors and then welcomed them; and consumers started to let the food industry make a great many decisions on matters of taste that people in the past had always made for themselves,” writes Laura Shapiro in Something From the Oven: Reinventing Dinner in 1950s America.  Continue reading

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Massive snack-food recall on horizon

Thanks to Karen Selick for the heads up on this latest affront to the vast majority of North Americans who wager their personal health on the safety of processed foods. Here’s an excerpt from this National Post/Canwest news story.

“Canadian consumers could be facing an avalanche of food recalls after an ingredient used in thousands of processed foods was found to be contaminated with salmonella, government investigators said yesterday. The popular flavour enhancer hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) is added to a wide range of processed foods, including dips, salad dressings, chips, sauces, hotdogs, soups and frozen dinners. Already, 56 products in the United States and two in Canada — chips and veggie dips — were recalled this week after salmonella was detected in the flavouring ingredient produced by a Nevada company….”

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