I came across a magazine that was published in 1937 and distributed to new mothers. Here is how the article started: “The American housewife today is offered an opportunity such as never before been known in the history of our country. This opportunity is one of cooperating with her government in a national crisis, by intelligent planning, buying and preparation of daily food for her family. To make a strong nation, we must have strong individuals; and to have strong individuals, we must have proper nutrition.” 1937 was a time when finances were scarce, some food was rationed, and many had to live on little. Is some of that sounding familiar to many today?
4 types of food were listed to serve as a guide for mothers when making meals and snacks. Moms were asked to serve food from each group every day until “new discoveries produced a guide that was better”. The 4 types of food were:
- Body building and repairing: protein and minerals. This included the food groups “meats/beans”, including legumes, “dairy” and whole “grains”.
- Body regulating: vitamins and minerals: Included “milk” and soy beans
- Energy foods: starches, sugars and fats
- Roughage or bulk materials: included “fruits”, “vegetables” and “whole grains”
It certainly looks identical to what we are asked to follow today. I guess in 75 years a healthy well balanced diet hasn’t changed despite the enormous efforts of scientists and nutritionists to fine tune it. That is not to say that we haven’t learned things along the way but I think the single most irrefutable fact is that a healthy diet is made up of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, meats and legumes. Taking these whole foods and processing the life out of them has cost many years off of their life. Stick to eating as close to nature as possible and you will never go wrong.