Food | Vintage

In 1930s America, Good Food Was Hard To Find

A lot has changed since the 1930s. Technology, human rights, transportation, and even food. After the stock market crash in 1929 people were forced to change the way they lived and ate to try to keep their expenses to a minimum. Have you ever wonder how those families managed to survive on such a tight budget? Here are a few things we learned about living during the Great Depression from the new book "A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression" that will make you grateful to live in this decade.

Aunt Sammy would teach you affordable recipes

The U.S Department of Agriculture created a radio show hosted by "Aunt Sammy" to answer questions and give out recipes. There were several stations that had the same scripts who would cast their own person to play the title character.

The government would offer lunches for children

One of the authors of the book said that these school lunches actually provided the government a way to "Americanize" the children who immigrated from other countries and teach the children "what was then considered and appropriate and healthful diet." - Jane Ziegelman

Seasonings and spices were discouraged

Ziegelman explains that spices and strong flavors were thought of as stimulants. "Strong seasonings, like chili powder, garlic, vinegar or even mustard, or certainly pickles, would have acted on the body as stimulants in the same way caffeine acted as a stimulant," she explains. Also, the "home extension agents" sent around by the government would discourage the foods that were usually found in the homes of immigrants by claiming it would cause overeating.

The importance of vitamins and milk

Milk was an easy way to obtain the necessary vitamins because it was filled with fat, sugar and protein that became increasingly important after the discovery of vitamins. People knew they needed to get vitamins to be healthy to milk became a staple in every diet.

Farm fresh food was not as ideal as you would think

Unlike now, foods that were mass-produced were preferred - especially in urban areas because there was more control over the cleanliness of the production.-

"All of these things, vitamin-enriched foods, mass-produced, sanitary, and technologically-advanced foods, this was all part of the modern food vision for America,"

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