Breakfast – Then and Now
I collect vintage and antique cookbooks. I love to take those recipes and play with them and create updated versions of the classic foods I ate growing up. Most of them have menu sections and those are awesome.
It’s odd to me that, although there was less variety of food available, people had such a huge variety at every meal.
Consider breakfast. A typical 1950s breakfast is listed in my 1948 edition cookbook as:
- Orange slices or juice
- 1 cup cereal with milk, cold or hot
- Scrambled egg
- Blueberry muffin
- Coffee or tea, milk for the children
Now, reading that, my brain immediately sends me an image of a much larger version of me. That seems like a lot of food, doesn’t it?
Here is what we overlook. Those portions were not the portions we serve today. When my kids eat cereal, they put at least two cups in a bowl and drown it with milk. That’s all they eat for that meal.
Have you compared the size of a modern muffin to a normal sized homemade one?
The typical 1950s meal is horrifying to our society of low fat, low carb, low gluten, low flavor dieters, but it had a ton of nutrition going on. Those small portions meant that people at a little of a lot of things – easier to get all of those servings of fruit and veggies in every day.
And people weren’t fat. I suspect the variety and flavor of real food satisfied the body in a way our GMO, HFCS, fat-free, artificial-everything food never will.
Interestingly enough, the percentage of the population that’s obese didn’t become a majority until after HFCS and other “improvements” in food happened in the 1980s. Consider that in the 1970s, less than 15% of the total population was obese but in 2000 the figure was just over 30%.
Some people have cited cost to me as a major influence in their breakfast choices. Again, if portion sizes are kept within the suggested range and a variety of foods are eaten, the cost is actually going to be lower that the two cups of sugary cereal it takes to fill your kid up in the morning – or is that just my kids?
The key is in the variety and portion size.
I don’ know how realistic creating these types of meals on a daily basis is for most people. I did cook large, varied breakfasts when I wasn’t working, and I do sometimes now, but I will admit it is much more difficult due to the time factor.
Still, muffins are easy and can be thrown together in a few minutes. We have things like vacuum sealers, freezers, and refrigerators to allow us to make things ahead of time. It just takes some forethought and organization to create muffins on the weekends, for example.
I am not going to argue about lifestyle changes, technology, and evolving bodies. I am not silly enough to say that there aren’t other issues at work. What I am saying is that, although some of those issues can’t be controlled, controlling the types of food we eat and how we eat it can make all the difference in our health.
source: Insulite Labs