Culturally, it was a period of social conformity and the nuclear family; there was one bread winner, a homemaker and 3.5 children. Technological innovations and broad industrialization resulted in changes in the food processing and distribution systems within North America.
Food sold in large scale supermarkets was highly processed. Vegetables were available primarily in cans or frozen packages. Meat was butchered in large food factories and then shipped to supermarkets. The food processing company Swanson pioneered the frozen, pre-cooked, TV dinner which went from the freezer to the oven.
Breads, cereals and rice were highly processed on a large scale and then “enriched” to ensure that consumers had the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of nutrients. Complex food distribution systems delivered pre-packaged food to large supermarket chains.
When eating out, North Americans primarily dined in French restaurants. If people wanted to eat quickly, they went to informal fast food restaurants that served hamburgers and French fries, such as McDonald’s which had outlets across the U.S. and Canada.
(Sources: Linda Civitello (2011) Cuisine & Culture: A History of Food & People, Wiley, New Jersey; Wikipedia)
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