Having been born in the 1950s, I can tell you that back then food was mostly food, not chemicals.
I've often wondered where it started to go wrong. Was it the 'TV Dinner' craze? The advent of television? Perhaps the beginnings of geoengineering projects (seems like this really started to accelerate during the 60's; at least from what I've read.)
Milk was delivered every morning by a local dairy.
Yeah, I remember my mother and grandmother having talked about this. I've been in many antique stores over the years, and you still see lots of old memorabilia dedicated to this bygone age; metal signs showing the local milkman delivering fresh milk to excited little children. When she was a kid, my mother used to get a kick out of Betty Boop
, who had a 'thing' for the ice man, i.e. the muscular fellow who delivered large blocks of ice up to her third story apartment.
most veggies were grown by farmers nearby
This still does happen, quite frequently; but the end products have been relegated to COOP and farmers markets, as well as higher end restaurants. The big chain markets and restaurants won't touch it. Still, it is encouraging to see that there are still numbers of small farmers growing 'organic' fruits and veggies (before the term 'organic' ever became a thing).
BTW, pizza is actually categorized as a "veggie" in schools because it has tomato sauce.
Yeah, I remember reading that story a few year's ago. For about 5 minutes, it became the talk of the town. Then people got distracted by something else.
I've worked in the food industry and their drive is "long shelf life," not health. Longer shelf life = more profit you can make on it. The chemicals in food are used for three things: shelf life (preservatives), visual appeal (coloring) and sweet taste.
Yeah, it's the visual appeals part of it that I've most often dealt with in terms of sharing food with others. When you walk into a mega grocery store, (any chain store, really), you'll see bins filled with veggies that all 'look' the same. Perfectly shiny, perfectly shaped. Doesn't look quite natural. I'm a big fan of 'pulp' in juices, particularly fresh-pressed apple cider. Last year, I was here at the farm sitting in on a 'pickling' class. One gentleman brought by some of this fresh-pressed cider. All of the delicious pulp had settled to the bottom. I noticed that he did not shake the bottle. Just before serving, I stopped him and said, "Hope you don't mind, but can I ask that you please shake up the bottle first to mix through the pulp?"
I got odd looks from the rest of the folks seated at the table, but proceeded to say to them, "There is a ton of flavor in the pulp."
Just a few days ago, we were picking delicious crab apples off the tree out front. I offered one to a visitor, who proceeded to say, "I don't want a knobby apple"
(the apple was oddly shaped, but still delicious.) Many people (apart from those who actually do engage the local farmers, and who do shop at the COOPs and the farmers markets), don't even know what real food tastes like anymore, and that's frightening. Aesthetics have become more important than taste.
Also, most food is dowsed with a peptide known as ghrelin (the hunger hormone), which is responsible for that hunger feeling from an empty stomach. Normally, the stomach stops ghrelin production when it starts to stretch with food, giving that "I'm full" feeling. But when added artificially, there is no off switch--so you overeat. Now what they won't tell you on Wikipedia is that they harvest ghrelin from the stomachs of cattle being shipped for slaughter--and starving on the ride. And YES, it is on your "vegan" processed foods, because it is considered a neutral hormone, not "meat."
Oh my. Do you happen to know how exactly they harvest it? Seems like some fine amount of work would need to be done to extract it from the gastrointestinal tract. I think that most of us have seen those nightmarish videos of animals in slaughterhouses, but what you don't see is what happens to the animals after they are killed.
So much for labeling, eh? A few week's ago, I heard on the radio that McDonald's has now developed a new menu, one that includes 'freshly cracked eggs' and 'Artisan Chicken', "completing a major commitment to only serve chicken not treated with antibiotics important to human medicine* nearly a year ahead of schedule."
People really will fall for anything, won't they?