Part 2 – The Dawn of Food Processing
I believe that food processing started from a very good place. Food scientists wanted to use what they had learned to help make people healthier. In about the 1950’s a report came out with the hypothesis that it was the fat in our that was causing cholesterol problems and heart disease. To help out with this scientists changed the make-up of margarine. This was supposed to be a butter substitute that was lower in fat, and therefore better for you. When cholesterol was the problem, that was lowered. When vitamin D deficiency was a scare, that was added. Margarine has the ability to adapt to whatever is the current belief on what is required in our diet. While the scientists most likely had very good intentions, the food manufacturers did not. From the late 1800s till today they have been constantly pushing food laws in order to earn more money.
When processed foods entered the market there were strict laws to make sure people knew these foods weren’t real. Imitation butter was coloured pink until 1898. Up until 1973 all processed foods were required to be labelled “imitation food”. This of course made people much more wary of these products and they were not overly popular. The ‘imitation food” law was revoked in 1973 and it was downhill from here. In today’s markets it’s almost impossible to find foods that haven’t been “improved” in one way or another. This would be great, except that we aren’t nearly as clever as we think we are.