26 May 2007

Convenience Shopping

Canned food came into its own in the 1920's. People shunned fresh fruits and vegetables in favor of this new improved, modern method of eating. Only poor people ate fresh food. This was also the time when baby formula became an attractive option over breastfeeding for new mothers.

Everyone was excited about the great new scientific innovations that made food preparation so much easier and gave them the chance to eat foods previously unavailable to the average person, like canned pineapple and vegetables in the dead of winter. Convenience foods like Campbells soup also made their way to the shelves of the newly developed supermarkets. Shopping became quicker and easier when a housewife took a shopping cart down the aisles of Piggly Wiggly or the A&P, could take her purchases off the shelves without needing the assistance of a store clerk and buy prepackaged, brand-name foods of consistanct quality rather than running the risk of buying substandard items from unscrupulous store owners.

These exciting new inventions gave the housewife more free time. It was the beginning of a brand new middle class culture. Rather than slaving away for 18 hours a day just to keep her family fed and clothed, the woman of the '20's had the time and ability to join her friends for a game of majong or to go golfing or play a game of tennis. It was the beginning of a whole new way of life for the average woman.

This has nothing to do with the rest of my post, but I found this little gem tonight and just had to share: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJC21zzkwoE


Morag McKendrick Pippin said...

Wow! That was a great show, Delia! I'm ready to go out and perform the Charleston! After a bottle of champers or two I'll be on the roof of the taxies, too!
We really ought to throw a '20s party sometime.

All these new mon-cons gave the housewives time to out dancing!
It really must have been an exciting time to eat just what you wished to anytime of year.

Jacquie said...

When I was researching Faery Foxy Flappers, I learned that the 1920s is responsible for all the horrid Jell-O salads I was subjected to in my childhood. While Jell-O was available before the 20s, the proliferation of electric refrigerators made it wildly popular for the next 80 years.

We don't see green Jell-O salads at potluck dinners so often anymore (thank heavens), but the gelatin aisle is still dominated by Jell-O and all its pretty colors.

Morag McKendrick Pippin said...

It's delicious and filling when drinking it hot - but no more jello salads for me - yuck!

Jacquie said...

LOL. That's the only way I like it, too, Morag. Hot. Strawberry has always been my favorite.