Recently I was eating a salad. It was a good one that we made at the house. In the bowl were crispy bites of butter lettuce and other greens including purple cabbage, baby cucumbers, avocado, apples, nuts, tomatoes, carrots and more. As I looked at the bowl I caught myself telling a few friends that it sure wasn’t like this at my house growing up and it got me thinking…
Growing up in the 60s I am unsure if food was different or if the way our parents prepared food was different or in all reality both! As I sat and looked at that salad of mine memories of salad and growing up at home came dancing to mind and the thought of regrettable foods danced through my head.
For me growing up the most regrettable food had to have been my mother’s salads. It was basically iceberg lettuce cut in a wedge and it was called a salad at our house. Sometime we would have tomatoes on it, sometimes dressing, sometimes just a glob of mayo sat on top of this green wedge. You took a knife and cut into the wedge with the hopes you did not get the big piece of the stem. I was not much of a salad eater back then, and it recently dawned on me why as a kid I did not eat salads. Well at least wedges of green stuff.
Then it dawned on me that I was not a huge vegetable eater ass a kid like I am now as an adult. I realized why. We always had canned vegetables. It’s true. Back in the 50s and 60s canned vegetables was a big deal. Back then people did not read labels so they had no idea how much salt was in these canned goods. So growing up in the 50s and 60s was sure to give you high blood pressure just from the canned goods not to say the toxins that lived inside the metal.
Our parents didn’t know that there were awful toxins in the cans and many of these toxins could create cancer and other diseases. They just wanted a simple way to give us our vegetables. They didn’t mean to cause our generation so much illness and heart ache, or shall I say heart disease?
I never called it vegetables if it came from a can, rather I called it slime. I hated canned carrots and found ways to dispose of them. My least favorite had to be canned peas. They were by far easier to find ways to get rid of because of their size and their rolling ability. I just would need to remember where I rolled them to so I could pick them up before my mother did!
Today we live in a fast paced world; however, it seems like people are trying so hard to repair the damage of the foods we ate growing up. In today’s world we have more fresh salads and not just a lettuce wedge. More people are beginning to understand the damages that can occur due to canned food, mainly peas ya know. I think canned peas created some rare disease I am unsure what.
Well thank God that the 50s and 60s gave us food like M&M’s, Jif peanut butter, Cool Whip, Pop Tarts, Rice a Roni, Pepperidge Farm cookies, Eggo frozen waffles, Tang, Ritz Crackers, Betty Crocker Brownie Mix, Jell-O Instant Pudding Carnation Instant Breakfast and Ramen noodles. Otherwise, we could have died in early adolescence.
Yes we have come a long way with food and we are attempting to eat better by making choices to eat more organic and fresher foods, but still, I have to tell you it sends a shiver up my spine when I see someone grabbing a few cans of peas and carrots. I have to wonder what their childhood was like. Meanwhile, I suppose here’s to the lettuce wedge may it rest in peace!