What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?

Hi everyone,

I don’t usually like to use Fitness & Feta as a forum to complain, but today I am using my lunch break to vent about my crappy night/morning.  I’m entitled to do that every once in a while, right?!

Last night I couldn’t fall asleep.  I don’t know why, but I was tossing and turning until about two in the morning.  What the heck?  I ended up taking one of the muscle relaxers I was prescribed for my shoulder strain.  That knocked me out, but sure as hell didn’t help me wake up easily this morning.  I had to drag myself out of bed and was so groggy the entire commute to work.  Which, by the way, was not very peachy.  The highway was completely backed up, and my normally half hour commute was over an hour long.  I was so annoyed that I was already running late and thought, what would an extra ten minutes be?  I tried to stop at Dunks to get a coffee to get me through the morning, and you know what?  Dunks was closed because of the town’s water ban.  I never stop for coffee in the morning.  Ever.  Grrrr.  Now I’m chugging boring company coffee and feeling annoyed at every single person that walks by my desk with a Dunks cup in tow.

Sleep deprivation, misuse of prescription drugs, caffeine.

Pinnacle of health, that I am.

Anyways!

I’d like to share some of the pictures I took this weekend in Washington DC, specifically ones from the exhibit Erin and I went to at the National Archives.

 

The exhibit was called “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?  The Government’s Effect on the American Diet.”

“Food. We love it, fear it, and obsess about it.

We demand that our Government ensure that it is safe, cheap, and abundant. In response, Government has been a factor in the production, regulation, research, innovation, and economics of our food supply. It has also attempted, with varying success, to change the eating habits of Americans.

From the farm to the dinner table, explore the records of the National Archives that trace the Government’s effect on what Americans eat.”

I love this description of the exhibit.  First of all, the love, fear, and obsess quote is so true.  Americans are obsessed with food.  It’s the focus of nearly all social events.  There’s food television.  The Biggest Loser.  Food magazines.  Going out to eat.  And people just love to talk about diets!  Start listening to the conversations that take place around you and I guarantee you will notice people frequently discussing what they ate for dinner last night and how much weight they need to lose.  And don’t forget about all those gosh darn food blogs out there!

The fear part is interesting too.  Seems to me that in recent years society has a peaked overall interest in eating organic, no?  Is our food clean?  Will it cause sickness?  Are food prices getting too high?  And so on.

The exhibit was broken down into four main areas, I pasted the descriptions from the website below:

  1. FARM:  Discover the many ways that Government has affected farming from the days of horse and plow to the combine harvester.
  2. FACTORY:  Explore how Government regulation of food processing and labeling evolved after the industrial revolution.
  3. KITCHEN:  Find out why the Government wanted us to “eat the carp,” “share the meat,” and “know our onions.”
  4. TABLE:  Learn about how the Government has affected our eating habits and its unintentional effects on the American appetite.

Here were some of the highlights, in my opinion.

JFK’s Fish Chowder Recipe from 1961:

Food Administration Poster from 1916:

I loved this, probably because I love cottage cheese, and I don’t think many people do.  This poster was from the Food Administration under Herbert Hoover during World War I.  They used to promote “Wheatless Wednesdays” and “Meatless Mondays,” and this poster encourages eating cottage cheese for protein intake instead!

I think this next one is the Pure Food and Drug Act.  There were lots of pictures up about the horrifying factory conditions, contaminated food, and all the efforts made to ensure Americans were eating cleanly.  I thought the actual size original document was so cool.

Every Child Needs a Good School Lunch.  This poster was one of the promotional materials when the government was trying to expand the school lunch program.

The old food “pyramid.”  I think this was my favorite.  Butter has its own food group!?!  And notice at the bottom, “In addition to the basic 7, eat any other foods you want!”   Cracked me up!

Question(s) of the Day:  Do you think Americans are too obsessed with food and dieting?  Do you think that you personally are obsessed with any one aspect of them?

Hope your Wednesdays are going better than mine!

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2 thoughts on “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?

  1. Yes – a lot are obsessed, depending on what part of the country they are from! I am obsessed with fitness and mad I lost track of time today and missed my workout! Trying a new Zumba later this evening….

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  2. Pingback: The Awk Spot: Always Bring Your Towel | Fitness & Feta

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