The Dirt on Dirty Little Secrets
© Copyright 2009
Fast Forward to the 50’s
What happened in these so called times of prosperity in the United States?
The Interstate Highway System, Microwave ovens, Fast Food, …
The Interstate Highway System was authorized by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 – popularly known as the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956 – on June 29. It had been lobbied for by major U.S. automobile manufacturers and championed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. It’s primary use was for emergency landing of military planes and troop deployments in defense of the country. As a means of interstate travel it was secondary. Before roads, there was river and rail transport, but an Interstate Highway system has forever changed the way goods and services are moved in the United States.
Although construction on the Interstate Highway System actually continues, I-70 through Glenwood Canyon (completed in 1992) is often cited as the completion of the originally-planned system.
The new intestate system with it’s on and off ramps, exits and entrances to the highway opened the door to new businesses as gas stations and fast food restaurants began to expand. To construct this system, massive amounts of topsoil were moved.
Clarence Birdseye’s invention was marketed as quick-frozen vegetables, fruits, sea foods, and meat and sold to the public for the first time in 1930 in Springfield, Massachusetts, under the trade name Birds Eye Frosted Foods®.
As the country began to experiment with being more mobile, we also experienced more leisure time. As television grew to the new media and news center, more people were glued to their TV sets. TV trays became the new ‘must have’ furniture and Morton and Banquet Frozen food entrées (TV Dinners), were staple ‘TV time,’ family meals.
Banquet frozen dinners first hit store shelves in 1955. Following WWW II, Morton Foods hit the fledgling frozen food market with chicken pot pie and later frozen dinners. By 1955 almost everyone in the country was familiar with these products.
It should be noted that with the expansion to the west, the Midwest and particularly St. Louis, Missouri was a ‘hub’ and will continue to be an important location as this series continue.
Foods, meats, dairy and especially grains were predominately being farmed in the Midwest. Missouri bordered by two principle rivers was early on, important for the transportation of goods and services by river. Rivers and their flooding were rich in mineral deposits. Land around rivers used to contain some of the most fertile soil. America’s Heartland was feeding the world. Even Banquet Foods once had its main operating facilities in Moberly, Missouri. At one time, not to very long ago, most millionaires geographically lived in Missouri and their fortunes were made in agriculture products.
Frozen dinners were fast and convenient for the fast becoming mobile and leisure-rich USA, but heating a frozen food dinner in the oven for about 30 minutes was not fast enough.
By accident after a candy bar melted in a pocket and an egg exploded in a man’s face in 1947, Raytheon demonstrated the world’s first microwave oven and called it a “Radarange,” the winning name in an employee contest. Housed in refrigerator-sized cabinets, the first microwave ovens cost between $2,000 and $3,000. Somewhere during the years of 1952-55, Tappan introduced the first home model priced at $1295. In 1965 Raytheon acquired Amana Refrigeration. By 1975, sales of microwave ovens exceeded that of gas ranges.
If you do not know this, find out for yourself, but outside of heating water, NEVER COOK ANYTHING IN A MICROWAVE!!! The only official warnings have come from the government to not heat milk for our babies in a microwave. First it was thought that it might be too hot. Now they know that these devices alter the milk. We also now understand that microwaves can interfere with other electronic equipment. Many hospitals have now banned them or warnings appear in sensitive areas. One thing is common to microwaves and our cell phones – RF (radio frequency) which is radiated energy. Most airlines require all such devices (including portable computers), to be turned off during takeoff and landing.
We would not think of putting our head into a microwave oven, but we spend hours on our cell phones. This radiated energy even though small, still comes through the ear piece of our phones, into the ear and into the brain. The FCC and all cell phone carriers and manufacturers concede that THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE LONG TERM EFFECTS RF HAS UPON OUR HEALTH!!
One thing is for sure, all food cooked in a microwave oven is molecularly altered. The vitamin and mineral content of the food has changed. To understand this, here is a simple explanation. Look at minerals like salt as giving flavor to the food. Color comes from vitamins (or food coloring because the natural color would be lost from overcooking and then ‘nukeing’ it in the microwave). Food cooked in a microwave loses much of it fresh color, but still has a degree of taste. The food has lost much of its original nutritive value and is imbalanced.
Ray Kroc mortgaged his home and invested his entire life savings to become the exclusive distributor of a five-spindled milk shake maker called the ‘Multimixer‘. Hearing about the McDonald’s hamburger stand in California running eight Multimixers at a time, he packed up his car and headed West. It was 1954. He was 52 years old. Ray Kroc had never seen so many people served so quickly when he pulled up to take a look at Dick and Mac McDonald’s restaurant in San Bernardino, California. Seizing the day, he pitched the idea of opening up several restaurants to the brothers Dick and Mac McDonald, convinced that he could sell eight of his Multimixers to each and every one. “Who could we get to open them for us?” Dick McDonald said. “Well,” Kroc answered, “what about me?” Ray Kroc opened the first restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois in 1955.
Ray Kroc was never in the hamburger business. His business was in astonishment. His idea of selling an original $10,000 franchise to sell 15 cent hamburgers astonished many. If you can buy one today for less than a million dollars that would be astonishing. Even Ray astonished others when he said he was not in the hamburger business, but in real estate. Almost every exit off the Interstate Highway System in the United States, has a McDonalds and that is prime real estate.
Not only had fast food begun, franchising was born and the demand for more and more fried hamburgers, French fries and milkshakes would change the face and the belly of America. So would frozen food and microwave ovens. The demand for more food placed a greater demand on the farmers. Farmland was changing hands. More and more farmland was disappearing or the smaller farms were being absorbed by Big Corporate farms.
The ‘Dirty Little Secret ‘ in all of this is land; dirt. There was one more ‘Dirty Little Secret‘ of the 50’s.
WOW, this stuff is really getting dirty! We are not done. There is much more to come and more ‘Dirty Little Secrets‘ to share next time.