thumbnail of BackStory; Health Nuts: A History of Nutritional Advice
Transcript
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
this is back story of brian balogh only hanging down along your day job while going down your way in a nineteen fifties dominance over sugar by putting how good paying job there anderson station strange just consider the way healthy eating was understood a hundred years earlier if people are eating the wrong fees they will become more and more essentially life and seth and they were ultimately began dabbling in the air today on the show two hundred years of nutritional advice will ask why early americans connected diet and sex and why vegetarians a generation later connected diet with slavery what was the cause of a violent and corrupt society well for vegetarians it was meet a history of health food today and back story
major funding for baxter is provided by the shia khan foundation the national endowment for the humanities the joseph and rubber cornell memorial foundation and the author of mining davis foundations fb from the virginia foundation for the humanities business back stories this korean american history guys ms baer welcome to the show i'm brian balogh and i'm here with it is how brian and peter wrote a familiar and today we're here to commiserate with all of you sometimes yearn for well a simpler time it seems to me we're confronted every day with your knowledge that robs us of a lifelong assumption that there are some simple truths that could be taken for granted this week this is bbc commentator allister filing one of his weekly letters from america in the summer of nineteen fifty seven
and two very lately no nation on earth so much milk as the americans had done in the past forty four years couples talking about nil because milk was at yet another turning point in its first turning point become as you said forty four years earlier that's when the federal government and campaign to rig the nation's milk and it was especially when it twenty bill which had only two decades earlier been notorious for spreading tuberculosis and typhoid was now being widely referred to as quote nature's perfect food and now in nineteen fifty seven all that was being turned on its head his waning so fast in the united states that the great their estates fee was unsympathetic to doctors as the tobacco industry some busybody has discovered that she was dick clark human arteries and cause clots
heart attacks is a chemical snag known as cholesterol that milk and mother's milk to cholesterol it's sure enough per capita milk consumption was it peaked after world war two fell steadily in the decades that followed at last count it was a little more than half of what it had been in the nineteen fifties if the cholesterol crusade catches on it's going to be a day in the future for wisconsin and minnesota and many of the region's how come and i suggested by about nineteen eighty four this america will be an agent walking around on stumps of course he will be sound and heart and live hours to cook may be wrong about that stumps for miss america nineteen eighty four was a very average in her vanessa williams but as for the bigger picture cook was more right than he could've imagined because once
again we're being faced with new knowledge that robs us of that which we thought we could take for granted open to think no makeshift fact guess again friend two new studies have a counterintuitive finding people and make a habit of consuming high fat dairy tend to be leaner and years allison aubrey reports this is npr's morning edition reporting on a swedish study in two thousand fourteen concluding that yes consuming dairy fat may make you skinny or around the same time a different story made headlines for suggesting that there was no evidence that saturated fat to an increased risk of heart disease with advice is all over the map is this it can be tempting to throw up your hands and give up on health eating all together what's known backstory we're taking different work embracing healthy eating in all of its manifestations to tell the history of nutritional advice for the rest of the hour the surprising story about the
early days of vegetarianism and one that explores the origins of that nutritional advice on today's action we even gotten in studio serial taste in all ready to go but first we're going to spend a few minutes examining the teachings of the man who was america's first off to do his name was sylvester graham and he was a minister in new england who took his message to many thousands of people on the lecture circuit but as sort of cable television of its time and was hugely popular thousands turned out to hear his lectures and he developed a devoted following some of those followers published journals to further decimate his message others down the boarding houses they could collectively follow graham approved lifestyle which we should say is pretty impressive after all agree my diet was kind of tough a true adherent would sleep on a hard bed and take cold baths here she'd eat lots of vegetables and plenty of hard eat wheat
bread but there were also some pretty strict prohibitions know i'll call no tea or coffee no sugar no spices and absolutely no meat now the first thing you need to understand about graham is that he wasn't doing all of this so people could shave a few pounds off the figures there's a lot more at stake than that there's an epidemic sweeping the nation he said and food was key to stopping it what was this epidemic heart disease no cancer know it was youthful masturbation here's how graham described the victim of this terrible affliction the wretched transgressor sinks into a miserable for two again and eventually becomes a confirmed and degraded idiot who's deeply sunken and vacant glossy ii and leverage shriveled countenance an ulcer a spoof was guns and vetted breath and mac aided and dwarfish and
crooked body and almost airless head denote a premature old age a blighted body and a ruined soul and he drags out the remnants of his loathsome existence in exclusive devotion to is a horribly abominable sensuality from the twenty first century we think the idea of an epidemic of masturbation is completely nats <unk> he was on tompkins who has written about the reasons graham's idea struck a chord in the young nation but it we could think of it as a kind of early sex panicked in the way that in the cold war there is also kind of homosexual panic right and it's partly the result of major economic changes in the us which is that all of a sudden there's an enormous amount of single young people leaving family farms and moving to the cities and becoming involved in the industrialized life of the nation so all of these young people men and women are
living on their own for the first time out of parental control and so this is sort of a kind of mass of anxiety about what's going to happen to the reproductive energies of all of these young people have enough to reproduce are all those energies not to go towards the well being of the nation so what's striking us is said the fact that people are linking diet so explicitly to these fears they have a population out of control what's going to end up as a population and lathering idiots why did diet emerged as both the metaphor and as the solution to this rampant problem migraines most worried about is over stimulation and for ham there's a deep parallel between sexual over stimulation and oral over stimulation so eating too many spicy is an eating too many foods double over stimulate your body will result in a kind of a weakening of the body so the ways in which we today for
instance talk about drugs like crack right that someone doesn't track for the first time and the feeling is so amazing they spend the rest of their addictive life searching for that first experience is exactly the ways in which graeme is talking about diet and how he's talking about sex which is to say the first time you have that over stimulating experience is so good you just keep trying to find that high again but that over stimulation in fact we can see you and see you keep going out to try to find that exciting experience and the more you do it the more you weaken yourself until you entirely lost your strength all kinds of stimulating and heating substances high seas and food rich dishes the free use of flash and even the excess of alum and all more or less and some to a very great degree increase the computer sent excitability and sensibility of the genital organs and augment their influence on the functions of organic life and on the intellectual and moral faculties so why such a sense of urgency that americans buy become
lazy and debilitated by it in the wrong diet and behavior wrongs actually well this has a lot to do way if i had this period of massive us expansion into the westerns states and i think it's really important to understand that you think of the young country and they're engaged in what they see as this enormous social experiment and part of that experiment is coming up with an idea of what the ideal citizen as the ideals that is innovating thirties is a man is european americana is landholding is clear i'll probably you know not anticipated masturbate her alcoholic but actually married and reproduce saying and directing their sexual energies towards making more american citizens so he's very worried that the citizens of this enormous imperial social experiment are going to consume
themselves into weakness and thereby ruin the social project so gray and it does not really defined what he believes about what he's against right he has a vision of what a healthy american diet should look like he can't describe what his dream would be that the american nation would be feeding upon well he believes it that americans should eat american feared in some ways he's a first look of war in american food history i'm so you know a wheat bread potatoes simple vegetables race and so leno's stimulants and interestingly most of the stimulants that he wants to avoid are stimulants that would've had to be imported from either ease air or south america or the caribbean so huge you know there's one thing i didn't hear you say that i would think of as a quintessential american food and this corner there's corn in the gram died you know graham's word for his ideal fruit is very nice as any kind of food that can be
made into a flower is a fair an isis feared and that includes a worn by really what he's most interested again is we eat and that's really important because this period of american experience than is a period in which you know expansion into the west as being led by weak agriculture and part of the expansion into the west is about pushing out native peoples and displace a native nations and corn of course is the indigenous grains of the americas and in many ways essential food indigenous peoples so headquarters importance of ham but he's much more interested to cover symbolically in wheat semester strangers a local border doesn't want to eat and indigenous food yes isn't it interesting thing about the phrase american as apple pie and then think about a figure like johnny appleseed and you know the apple like wheat is another students brought over by european colonists and is planted eight as part of kind of the story
of manifest destiny of western progress of angle europeans all the way to the pacific so in many ways this this aesthetic diet is a kind of imperial diet it's about transplanting europeans into the americas and making european america ends in some ways indigenous to the americas at a moment where there is widespread you know genocidal violence against indigenous peoples so it's not that he doesn't believe in korean it's just that he's very invested in the story of american progress and the west and wheat is at the heart of that story they who have never eaten bread made of wheat recently produced by a pew are virgins soil have but a very imperfect notion of the deliciousness of good bread such as is often to be met with in the comfortable log houses in our western country rice barley oats rye indian
corn and many others they're nation's products of the vegetable kingdom may also be manufactured into bread and what makes so would read as you say he was on a campaign says associate professor of english at them in a car and she's the author of racial in the gesture the bodies in the night in the first part of our show we heard about sylvester graham the godfather of american health food ad about how for graham healthy eating was integral to what it was to be a good american we're going to focus in now on one aspect of the grandma diet that for many of his followers was especially tied to their civic identity vegetarianism
by the time the american vegetarian society or the ag's was found in eighteen fifty budgetary in this and have become intimately tied to another reform movement abolitionism to the members of the ag's the connection between the two was a subtle hints at its founder william alcott speaking to the group's members a meeting fifty there is no slavery in this world like a slavery a man to his appetite let man but abstain from the use of the flash and fish and the slavery of one man to another cannot long exist some totally bizarre but they wholeheartedly believed in this notion that slavery was only possible in a violent and corrupt society this is adams streets and who has written about the history of vegetarianism and what was the cause of a violent and corrupt society well for vegetarians it was meat because me cause individuals become violent and crockett in other words if american stopped eating meat slavery would eventually die and eighteen fifty four
the kansas nebraska act gave vegetarians a chance to accelerate that process the decision to make those territories slaper for it would be put to a vote by the settlers there and so members of american vegetarian society flock west eager to make the territories a model for the rest of the country adams wrote and told me that they were led by an atheist member named henry s club clubs ideas security the use principles especially the principal of vegetarianism connected with abolitionism and put into practice so he decides that they're going to form a colony increased a kansas understanding that soon enough there's going to be a vote on the territory status within the union whether it would go a slave or free state so it's part of a larger movement of groups going out from the northeast to try to flee the demographics live in favor of a free state as a way to bring slavery to me and i have to get this is like come a long way around the decision is that it involves
so what they're essentially trying to do is settle this land and build their own small city the first group of settlers arrived here very enthusiastic about because of course but then when the next wave of settlers come from the northeast the settlement itself is rickety there's maybe some old shed with you know barely was moving on it henry s club himself is living in a band in a native american we want you know there's there's a significant disenchantment really quickly and within three to four months especially as mosquito season really starts to hit and people saw fur certainly diseases that are associated with it and the right on the banks of a river a lot of the reformers and a kind of turning around and heading back east but what also happens is that the senate will remain end up taking up arms themselves and joining the union army including henry s club because although such as happens in ten years right mean so they come out there and their weight event is increasing war descends upon them soak for example it would differ says the
civil war america many as you think about something that seems to be the direct opposite a very tight these people believe then the civil war would seem to embody that would capsule is a real stark contradiction in terms for the vegetarian stew whose background is indelibly intertwined within the ideology of pessimism or again the idea is that if you leave me you're going to be violent aggressive i'm curious club whose the oracle founder of the settlement is sort of the living embodiment of this dichotomy between abolitionism and vegetarianism so club joins the union army serves as a quartermaster so he's literally arming soldiers write a strategic and material support but cloned himself refuses to carry a weapon during the war so clearly he's you know really kind of wrestling with these two values that he finds equal importance so on my hand the war artistry bring slavery to an end this seems to be in some of the culmination of the things that they they're competitors aside in their fellow travelers most believed in does this seem like a canal the
way is prepared for it effler essence of vegetarians an indian states doesn't really take off after the war so the vegetarian in the book though that the media post civil war years have lost their serve distinctiveness and their focus on vegetarianism as the center of social reform the american editor in society dissolves part of that is because vegetarians are far more concerned with the ns intertwined with these larger issues facing union abolitionism being at the very top of that was so the determinism which became more prominent and popular precisely because it links to these other ideologies and movements ends up dissolving essentially as an organization by the late eating sixties soul vegetarians or fractured from each other but because there is no organization this allows for a new vegetarianism total crop up that focuses on the diet for its health benefits for the individual and that those health benefits will then also help the individual in advance socially
and economically and this is a real difference from the previous vegetarians the southern diet as a way to help others rather than only themselves so how much of a sense of re forming seal is still in the vegetarian movement say the terms a century there's definite enthusiasm for reform but it's it's the reform of the self and it's the reform of the self as a way to compete in society the end of the nineteenth century vegetarianism is touted as a way for the individual to become socially successful to advance and business to advanced physically even so the vegetarians and comes attached to athletics body builders during this time period so it's literally the physical manifestation of the ways in which vegetarianism helps the individual succeed is by building muscular strong bodies best ready to compete in the world so fifty years vegetarianism reorient itself from a collective purpose to an individual purposes that there's the shortest wait explain what happens absolutely and
for such a relatively short time here that is a fairly remarkable shift in in this ideology and within this movement and its embrace it and you know the good old veteran of vegetarianism henry us club enthusiastically embraces the new vegetarianism as a way for individuals to succeed adams streets and is the author of the vegetarian group saying the rise of an american reform movement at seventeen to nineteen twenty one is too they know they're going to jump up and down to call it just made a kid and people are not vegetables coffee has said this jungle as it is
you can have a show about each issue i think about the most important meal of a talk about what i think you're right that's what i get out for every morning if it wants to spur a delicious ziad notes he had cereal is always think you know what we think of reckless you think that was true back at plymouth rock would want to investigate this question so we were invited our producer andrew parsons to join us in the studio to talk about the history of surreal yeah did you invite him to bring that big story but that you know that i'm lactose intolerant andrew here's my see it's all yours so we have an empty seat was talk serial aviator say i did a little research and the history of serial and so that's one that sort of wrapped up and you know some chicanery a lawsuit saying i'm a little bit of quackery and have several cereals here to show you real serial that we're in even
though before we do that we should probably talk about what brought this was like the syrian when there was a pretty surreal iraq oh yes so yes so we have to go all the way back to the mid nineteenth century where we have some greasy greasy rag film in fact i talk to serial the story until for ellison who promised described it this way a pork fried pork they can't stay really heavy meats fish cheese bread jams basically there the whole night was more of a heavyset very gut wrenching pile of fried pork new front against the yen a lot of the things that i have that over list it will be a greasy meets together with your eggs and hosted a prison because most of it is the giant piles of it just as a valid as you're going from you you have the sort of formal breakfast and for the dust real revolution you going to factories and offices and and offices to not
working off you know all of this heavy heavy stuff and we will get heavier and heavier but they're also struggling doing worse and worse rather there's even a term for his clip dyspepsia me i was sort of this vague certain national tummy ache but also massive the gesture and its mass and just as a jurist i don't mind it goes right up to their head does go right ahead because of years of those effects the way we act and so you know the solution for it is that these you know as we're most of the strip remains religious reformers to try to sort of solve this problem ms carol troia is a concern of ours and then the first crack at it isn't meeting sixty three it i added a little research it may not be exactly the way all about a somewhat was called grain your cranial is a crunchy grim you know your dna is a sort of feel out in texture or biggest oxford paula looks so maybe lava
bits of its premier it's all about what going to get well it's meant to get the swelling blazes they didn't raise it as these bricks india his sort of dense week the unbroken up and then big began so that basically you have these large chunks of the middle of i guess can eat it probably means adding to write because it was so hard and so tough to get through that they had to soak it overnight and we'll just to have it be edible i'd say yeah that's a sold out of the side of what were called cemetery <unk> a sanitarium sen kerry i'm sorry is a sort of cleansing as an imbecile divisions asserted that cured of dyspepsia and the water forced another one that you might know was this guy many of you paul and let me see if you can get the last name of the person i'm wondering if it's a
last minute mr kahler yes only one name is a city without guessing battle creek michigan now that machine john harvey tell and he had his own cemetery and so as water then yellow yet to go out as before corn flakes he started giving granular to his patients and his coverage center amman and selling it to forget sued and editing is due to know an awful lot of these you know interesting ideas about how especially sex just like graham and the un first glitzy kenna does look like you know you've used to describe most of the foods that we think are good l as in evil poisoned i mean coffee caffeine poison osher poison even vinegar bra boys in light of the cereal history until for hours and this is how he basically describes his philosophy the player the butter gun shop
article was really into making sure your body was cleansed so whether it was the meal is set through your words of milk or water in a mostly wooded due date palms a day and the idea was to victory over it yeah that that's right no didn't when water animals yesterday on her animals plants please please please well you know as villagers so do the same thing as news of the corn flakes is all about cleansing your body and you know people flocked to a centenarian you know all the bigwigs of the day you know i agree for later i'm rockefeller william howard taft arafat was president as well but there was one other guy he went through there and his name was post cw post yeah that sounds familiar i have cereal too this is not right now which are neither great nor nats know that's the thing you know if he was a genius was more when he came up
with a couple seriously great night's iowa which it doesn't as you said have read the notes but a dozen others the word association tournament you buy at your counsel visceral to be a mass market and when i talk to tell for hours he noted that in the late nineteenth century helped was going from french to pre mainstream everyone's claiming that everything had health products that post was just a brilliant at marketing advertising was trying different things that has really worked for example his post them hot cereal drink he claimed to cure everything from las vegas about to divorce to a house where they actually say could take care of the house was a little exaggeration by visiting force winds are grounds for divorce but he did say could prevent blindness then figure appendicitis and that's when the real the syria war started because when we talk about so we're talking about
eating nineties have pretty quickly that doesn't happen very quickly been eating nineties you know kellogg was just yours because you know he knew the post just peanuts kind of covering the line people and also knew that people were buying this stuff you know you pretty soon he had his version of greatness cold gray and that's what i learned very quickly posted realize that he could have a corn flake to recall that alleges more low because people seem to really like a light is my honor every really big in the religious stuff you know they might buy back the post itself and helen keller with silver posed by nineteen eleven you have you know one hundred and seven different types of course plays being made out about creek mine alone i thought that was interesting about the large market and it sort of really hard to as hard to wade through then as it is now i'm in a sort of a snake oil ring of this is this is going to carry out your unity thousand nine the fda had to send a letter to the general mills cause their heart healthy campaign on cheerios so forcefully said that they would lower your cholesterol that they'd said advertising figures
basically classified it as an unauthorized drug but that's the appeal to that old notion that health this is a healthy breakfast a good way to store or a fast as old fashioned as you say have a very boxes that you brought to the studio and are really tell the story the history that europe have entered his ears are looking at grape nuts and of course was at the bottom the original serial this is as and kellogg's corn flakes it's the goodness of us grain that's what they've been delivering this spiritual <unk> since nineteen oh six was a little bit later than you'd think since i got married earlier but also alien hundreds but even if his brother will tell you that assignment you don't know how to market this i do we'll tell our designs is to buy out his show the company add a little sugar added some of that stuff at me and people are craving that telling everyone to put an end to corn flakes that you're eating is wilcox says he does not and they seem health conscious to this now because they are in distinction against the cereals and reduced more
reasonably write filthy ago a headcount shock to work or cap'n crunch which religious fossilize sugar or i can go back to the original health and of course also cereals will say was from surrey eels in a way under which are shown a shearer is that the repressed returns everything that people would be eating in the olden days a suppressed and you go through this phase of really healthy yucky stuff but then that taste comes back because you're pandering to work or to market it strikes me that they're that great trajectory of breakfast in america has been from greece to sugar hill in this less as things progress ii of my eyes city
and he's been now alliance of had the experience of standing in the world a grocery aisle poring over the microscopic nutritional data on the site a package of food it turns out to this whole idea of quantifying healthiness of measuring the molecular composition or food became standard in the late nineteenth century but then scientists in europe an r rated to nevada khouri is the fundamental measure of amount of energy and food but in the eighty nine he's a researcher named wilbur at water put a politically american spin on that issue it was then that he embarked on what would become famous studies of the chemical composition of two thousand six hundred american fruit and by that you know the amount of carbohydrates fat and protein and the overall total number of calories
provided by a certain amount of ousted this is charlotte built a cough who's right about at water she says atwater not only wanted to know how many calories were american foods he also wanted to find out how many calories americans were burning on a daily basis to do this he stopped by to salute something called a coal or a major i was a sealed chamber aligned with conferencing system for monitors electorate can dancers measure the heat in an ongoing in out of the room inside his research subjects would eat different kinds of food engage in various activities like lifting weights or taking tests so he knew exactly what they were taking in in terms of energy and exactly what they were expanding in terms of both the waist and energy how do you measure how did you measure what they were expended i don't know exactly how you measured it but he he took out all the waste from a sealed chamber as well or have water compiled his findings of the tables were assigned calorie counts to
specific foods and tasks and then in this critical he added data about each of the foods cost city could determine the foods with the greatest caloric bang for the buck built a cough tomita out what a bullied his data could help cool summer the simmering class tensions in gilded age in america what about water's big concerns was how to feed all these people flooding into the city's to do work in factories how to keep them well fed on the wages that they were earning in the factories and he was concerned about giving people the information that they needed to choose the food that would give them the energy they needed for work so was this a way of amelia rating class conflict by simply teaching people how to make better use of food it was certainly a way of addressing concerns about class conflict in about labor unrest how water and the domestic scientists to popularize his ideas believe that if we give people the nutrition of the need and at the least possible cost then right they
won't be agitating for increased wages they will be angry and upset they won't be in the brothels and in the saloons that a good nutritious economical meal try and keep people out of trouble shout who were these domestic scientists the massive scientists were turn of the century female reforest they really believed that bringing science into the domestic around and especially into cooking would solve the social problems the day and they did all kinds of things to spread a no outliers gospel so to speak including i'm putting together social reform projects like the new england kitchen which was a publication that was meant to be a teacher of good math isn't of eating right essentially and they brought our waters work to the public i would ask you about this new england kitchen or who's a director bad and what are they actually surfer
well i'm doing ok and began in one of boston's poor neighborhoods and the idea was that the working poor in this neighborhood of immigrants in our factory workers etc would bring their lunch pails into the new england kitchen in there they would be exposed to the assignment teacher of cleanliness and hygienic methods where these patrons were illiterate so rather than teaching by handing out pamphlets the domestic side has sought to teach by example both by how they conducted their own work in the kitchen which was through very scientific process they considered the kitchen a laboratory and they also want to teach through the food that they gave service food was not frivolous it was a i was an important distinction to them the food was not there to be enjoyed and it was their second day i'd two things one is a very specific amount and downs of nutrients into was a message about the importance of thinking about food and relationship to the nutrition that it
provided and to the cost of the food and it might be things like i'm brown bread and beef stew pc you porridge is and porches was tasted payout consideration here i mean did they care about whether the workers actually like this and uses all beginning to sound a little like school lunch programs that aim to be more nutritious but yellen to measure what's being thrown away you know like eighty seven percent of the stuff is being thrown away well ironically or maybe not on the new england kitchen was actually the source of the first launch program they started selling viruses there maybe again that sending lunches out to schools and hospitals in part because that people who they were trying to reach we're not interested let me ask you if no working class pretty much rejected this not so great tasting food
did it put the domestic scientists out of business who do they turn their attention toward athlete and put them out of business and they discovered that you know the irish and scandinavian and german and russian italian immigrants use it or trying to teach to eat like them really prefer the dishes that they were accustomed to and furthermore you know that for anything mean three times a day was exactly what they came to america for a minute and wanna be told otherwise but they turned their attention at that point it to the middle class and that transition point i think is a very important one this is an inmate at nineties as the new england kitchen and all of their publications that had grown up to replicate it were failing and the domestic scientist turn their attention to what they call the intelligent middle classes and they started to draw this important distinction between the stubborn and cordial indifferent i'm interested poorer populations and deemed more intelligent cosmopolitan thinking
classes to were more amenable to this kind of education and so this kind of let me stop you there and ask if one of the reasons that domestic scientists were interested in nutrition was to solve social problems did they just give up on solving social problems you know they they shifted their i'm focus of the middle class and to a different kind of thinking about what the social problems were so what the social problems of the time was the sense that they knew a middle class was deteriorating in this gives rise to a eugenics which i'm sure you're familiar with but it also gives rise to a way of thinking about changing the environment in order to improve the race and to improve heredity and how did that work with food well be the approach to diet remained very focused on our waters principles of nutrition it was about really thinking about the kitchen as a scientific laboratory
and breeding american kitchens sensuality intuition tradition and all of those are approaches to cooking they could end up in unpredictable masses so science was to take over and to provide aid wrap workable predictable and reliable results that would promise efficient diets charlotte clark is the author of eating right in america the cultural politics of food and health she's a professor at the university california davis is that as we get a call all from washington dc and that's elizabeth elizabeth welcome a backstory for having me so forth trying to write whither the justice systems were wondering i mean i feel like every kid my character jay
pharoah be rewritten really free or dairy free and wonder oh what a night the huge for a lack of a better word and i'm waiting by the internet and the pop culture or pop culture dramatic change what happened there says this when and why did we get free with fruit begins before we think of is the concepts of medicine or pop culture as we know the nose with its actually imported from england and eighteen seventeen and of course the first thing versus be free of his meat so meat free diets really good beginning of things to avoid as a foundation of a diet that it doesn't begin quite so much for our concern for our digestive health but because of the larger perspective that led to pacifism abolitionism and feminism up being sensitive to the suffering of either sentient beings are well elizabeth i
think did good guys will agree this is a bit of a twentieth century phenomenon for talking about extra free foods in order to deal with either allergies or intolerance is a lawyer in the sensitivities that i think overall it's probably a reaction to the manufacturer kumar says the techniques that really take off in the early twentieth century for lots of icy head at his screen going up his eyebrows i can't advise you well the way you phrased that you are necessarily write is that assumes we start thinking about an hour he's an intolerance isn't and sensitivities those are two a century concept the idea of avoiding food of various kinds of groups for various kinds of reasons that members of bridget would talk about the largest religions in the world and we want to point out that
that but the idea brian bilbray vocabulary are using is one that aligns with the seeing at the grocery store right it is the merger of pop culture and medicine so what's interesting is not so much the idea that certain kinds of foods are bad for us or bad for society or bad for the world and should be avoided what's new is the grid of explanation that were laid down over there and where we come from before all of this before eating seventeen years ago should the balance not selecting right things and eliminating things like bridges said about their reform in the nineteenth century because of the way the free is associated with self control and restraint or not friday unless you're exercising that you're not a free autonomous individual the more things we did our souls though the more free we are and the interesting thing is that though we're making illustrations we feel like we're controlling of our bodies and our lives on our health well responding to cues that we're getting from the outside including from industry about what's good for
us so you might feel that this is the the moment which you've really achieve control but believe me are also being controlled the marketers so my theory elizabeth is that the explosion of gluten free for instance in the last ten or fifteen years is just part of a very long process of customers a shot of taking a mass produced product and really tailoring it for individuals well let's take the history of the tv dinner right which starts in the nineteen fifties and you've got your tv dinner menu had to meet you had your potato and a head or desert and they were very few choices if you go into the supermarket today it is just staggering the number of choices that you have and i think this whole taking things out of food is part of a movement to say that
you know i'm still there by my food at awakenings oh let's say which sells a lot of gluten free products but when i shop awakens i want them to tailor that food to me even though it's a narrative we're making atrocious though no more things we choose not to do the more we have affirmed our unique identity this is not to say that he's intolerant is are not real i'm lactose intolerant and if i have any kind of milk product i exploited it is to say that i can now by mass produced goods that cater to my particular genetic a biological makeup and you know to give europe an amusing sense of the usage of a word freak i was that are and have at one time and that the waiter brought up addition i say what we have to resist that this is a deity freak talk talk since then chief for a massive snow alleges that actually see asparagus in it but some of my
guests and i looked at all whether we realize that what you heard as he left the kitchen was it's a veggie frittata for his ideas so is accustomed to for a lot of even the veggie for if so julie any marker out there in the world i share with the city use vegetarianism let freedom ring an hour now remember us a few journalists who over the course of her career has written for the washington post and the new york times early on she focused mostly on recipes highlight their recipe story is a recipe that goes back to when i was first married many many many years ago for something called blueberry tours i love our when i got to the new york times it was
published nine years in a row at the end of the editor finally said to me when an imprint in very large letters large enough for anybody to cut out laminated and put on their refrigerator we're not printing it anymore but in the late nineteen seventies burroughs also started reporting on politics food politics one of her first stories was about the senate's select committee on nutrition and human needs it was called the mcgovern committee after the chair senator george mcgovern who she said had been interested in nutrition for a long time i remember years before interviewing mcgovern at his house and there are talking than about how even their dog was fed low fat kinds of food mcevers committee formed in nineteen sixty eight after cbs tv documentary raise concerns about hunger in america but in addition the drafting legislation that would radically expand the food stamp program the committee also started
worrying about what americans were eating by the mid sixties coronary heart disease it reached record levels and a number of scientific studies were starting to like heart disease with a high fat diet for nine years the mcgovern committee methodically interviewed the authors of these studies in addition to a wide range nutritional experts finally in nineteen seventy seven the committee was ready to release its recommendations about what americans should eat up to that point and the government had anything to say about food it was eat more drink more eat more eggs drink more milk eat more corn but in nineteen seventy seven the mcgovern committee said something completely radical yeah americans should eat more grains but they also needed to eat a lot less specifically less fat less sugar was so which meant of course that
they'd need to decrease their consumption of meat eggs and whole milk and what happened was that especially in the people got wind of this and they went i think the term is ballistic and all of a sudden they were telling the committee that you can say that money to do the people raised me and that they were americans died everything was wrong aaron was the beef industry asleep at the switch i mean how did they let such a high profile committee gets so far down the eat less beef path first of all lobbying wasn't what it is today secondly it wasn't that powerful committee and so that they weren't aware of that there was many many up there in the hill the signal them a hazy what's going out earlier they were asleep at the switch who else took umbrage at this report there were some scientists who took umbrage i can give you their names but they were people think they're going out on a limb way too far without the proof that they need to have mary we've got a clip here i want to listen to it from nbc news and it's dr robert olsen
he's a nutritionist and paid consultant of the american egg board and he's arguing with senator george mcgovern i pleaded in my report and will plead again or we hear from more research on the problem before we make enough just to the american public well i would only idea that sanders don't have the luxury to research scientist at the way he wrote every last row of the evidence is that so this committee i've made up a big names they hung tough right they didn't cave moon wrong wrong of dog bun the meat industry and the egg industry demanded that they be heard so they had some more hearings in committee and they got across their point so how did those hearings go the the hearings went so well for the un new lobbyists or you might call them that they got just about everything they want and for instance the president of the national cattlemen's association i was looking for some kind of compromise
on the wording and senator dole said to him i wonder if you could and then number two making a reference to what the recommendation was that was to decrease the intake of red meat and say quote increase consumption of lean meat with that taste better to you to do all you know he got a sense of humor yes yes mr finney said decrease is a bad word senate so what had been the eat less meat became eat lean meat and that made them relatively happy but i remember when i read it i was horrified that was how naive i was in terms of other lobbying its outer that somebody could come along a bunch of guys who raised cows and ethnicity are fun and tell you do and change it to eat lean meats and eat less meat and they capitulate and the committee did it including george mcgovern right yeah well he came from a cattle stay yeah i think that's right is from south dakota and obenshain
some other things as well what else did they change and they added in this and i quote here some consideration should be given to easing the cholesterol goal in order to obtain the nutritional benefits of eggs in the dark ah so eggs were not as bad as the original reports are not according to this report so you you've covered food for almost half a century oh my god while i know that shocking isn't it what would you like our listeners to know about food well first of all i think people need to know that food is very political and that's a lot of things that happen or don't have and have to do with the lobbying efforts of whatever and it has an impact and i've just about everybody i guess who gets that kind of money about what they're going to say about food so take it all with a grain of salt but not as much salt as you might've taken it with no gray only agree
with larry burrows is a retired food writer most recently with the new kinds of fame has been very tart recipe and that's derivative that war that's been the conversation continues online the finest actor who were also on facebook twitter tumblr or soundcloud or whatever you do don't be a stranger was that part of his research the back story to medical director jamal no special thanks this week to our rachel moran voice of sylvester graham mr james scale strictly cali greens and the occasional steak
Series
BackStory
Episode
Health Nuts: A History of Nutritional Advice
Producing Organization
BackStory
Contributing Organization
BackStory (Charlottesville, Virginia)
AAPB ID
cpb-aacip-532-gq6qz23r7n
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip-532-gq6qz23r7n).
Description
Episode Description
Until recently, the link between a high fat diet and heart disease was one of the touchstones of modern medicine. But new research has thrown that connection into question, just as numerous studies over the years have brought new advice about health and diet to the fore. So in this episode, the Guys take the long view on nutritional advice and explore some of the more surprising ways that past generations have defined "health food."
Broadcast Date
2014
Asset type
Episode
Rights
Copyright Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy. With the exception of third party-owned material that may be contained within this program, this content islicensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 InternationalLicense (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Media type
Sound
Duration
00:57:41.250
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Credits
Producing Organization: BackStory
AAPB Contributor Holdings
BackStory
Identifier: cpb-aacip-e0de20994ef (Filename)
Format: Hard Drive
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Citations
Chicago: “BackStory; Health Nuts: A History of Nutritional Advice,” 2014, BackStory, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 21, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-532-gq6qz23r7n.
MLA: “BackStory; Health Nuts: A History of Nutritional Advice.” 2014. BackStory, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 21, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-532-gq6qz23r7n>.
APA: BackStory; Health Nuts: A History of Nutritional Advice. Boston, MA: BackStory, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-532-gq6qz23r7n