Ah, the 70s…

Not to detract from Fillyjonk’s post, but this rant of Meowser’s on the 70s is spot-on. I didn’t know any vegetarians in the 70s.  Yes, “whole wheat” bread was weird, and veggies were limp.  A “diet plate” was a hamburger patty, cottage cheese, and a tomato slice.  Yes, the diagnosis criteria for diabetes and heart disease and obesity were a lot higher then.  Yes, people smoked everywhere – the grocery store, the restaurants, houses, malls, and a kid testing positive for “tobacco smoke” and “woodsmoke” on allergy tests certainly weren’t a reason to consider stopping!   

Props for Kathy A too, with her note on seat belts & bike helmets.   

Something tells me that going back to the 70s would not lead to the idyllic garden of thin, happy environmentalists skipping aerobically through the trees that some would have us believe….

18 thoughts on “Ah, the 70s…

  1. Awww, thanks!

    My grandfather was a vegetarian. Apparently he grew up that way in Poland. (I’m going to guess it’s because meat was kinda hard to come by there a century ago.) His brothers took up eating meat when they came to America, but he never did. So I knew way more about vegetarian diets than most kids did. And yes, you were a WEIRDO then if you didn’t eat meat, unless you hung out exclusively with hippies.

    The first vegetarian restaurant I ever went to was when I was about 15 or so, and my dad took me to this place in New York called Greener Pastures, which used lots of then-unheard-of meat substitutes. I loved that place. Lots of Orthodox Jews ate there, because it was kosher food. (Don’t have to worry about mixing meat and dairy if you don’t serve either one!)

    • Awww, thanks!

      You’re welcome :)

      Lots of Orthodox Jews ate there, because it was kosher food. (Don’t have to worry about mixing meat and dairy if you don’t serve either one!)

      Yup – Teapot, an Asian Vegan place in Seattle, decided to get certified kosher because they were pretty much kosher already. They have a place in Redmond now too.

    • A rabbi friend of mine went vegetarian so that she can share meals with everyone in her diverse synagogue without worrying about whether they keep kosher.

  2. Ha! How ironic. I’m actually in the middle of reading the chapter on the 1970s in “Vegetarian America.”

    As for food being healthier… I just saw an ad tonight from the late 70s for Burger King’s Whopper in which it proclaimed it a “healthy, balanced meal” of a meat, vegetable and salad (I’m guessing the “vegetable” is the ketchup and pickle?). Who among us now would believe that kind of drivel today?

  3. As someone who does occasionally eat fast foods (though not often a Whopper, as they are too big & messy & get all over me, especially when I try to eat in a car), I would like to point out that a Whopper, particularly a Whopper with cheese, DOES actually contain all the basic food groups & there IS an actual salad on a Whopper…they are topped with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, & onions, no catsup, but a special dressing, & of course the meat, the bread, & possibly cheese. So, yes, technically speaking, a balanced meal. We are becoming food snobs in the 21st century, I think, & too many of us are too brainwashed by all the yapping about ‘health’ & are convinced that if we ever eat meat or cheese or a milkshake or do not manage to cram in 47 vegetables in a day, we are being well-nourished.

    • Okay, balanced, perhaps, even though the “salad” consists of one small piece of wilted lettuce. Healthy? Not so much. And while I do think food snobs exist, I don’t think that to be health-conscious is to be one, necessarily.

  4. A “diet plate” was a hamburger patty, cottage cheese, and a tomato slice.

    Yes, and speaking as someone who was briefly a waitress in that era, it was generally full fat cottage cheese! Sometimes with a (sweetened) canned peach half on it.

    The only entirely-whole-grain bread we could get was Roman Meal. There were “whole wheat breads”, but they were made with mostly white flour. Wonder Bread was hugely popular and few restaurants even offered the option of wheat bread for sandwiches or toast. Fruit canned in its own juice was unknown and I’m not sure they’d even developed the technology for self-sweetened jams or jellies (they take a different kind of pectin or something else entirely, I forget).

    Lots more healthy selection now. I could never talk my mom into green grapes (which I adored) as a kid, because they were “too expensive.” Same with just about any fresh fruit except apples and most fresh vegetables – we mostly had frozen or canned, because they were considerably cheaper. Visiting the grandparents was a treat in part because they grew their own vegetables!

  5. But…but…but…In the 70s my parents were thinner than they are now! And all their friends were thinner in the 70s than they are now. So that must mean that the 70s were healthier, right?

    (On an O/T note, as a 70s baby, I realized the other day that most of my students this semester were born in the 1990s. And they are adults! There are adults walking around who didn’t even have to live through any of the 1980s. It’s like the world is constantly conspiring to make me feel old. If only there were a way to blame fat people for that.)

      • Haha! So many people nowadays don’t even know what “C:\” is! 10101010101010101010101010101010010111010010010010010100101010010101010101111001001110101010010101

        Did you get all that?
        lol

  6. I was born in 1976 and weighed 7 1/2 lbs. That was my contribution to the “healthier 70s.”

    As I said on Kate’s blog, the other aspect of the 70s, snorting tons of cocaine while sleeping around with strangers in nightclub bathrooms sure wasn’t clean living.

    Who are they trying to kid?

    • I was born in 1977 and weighed 8 lbs. And, I’m much, much fatter now than I was then. Even at my heaviest in the 1970s, I think I only weighed 30 pounds or so.

      Obviously the 70s were a healthier time for me, too!

  7. Wow, since the 70s my weight has increased by 1175%, so obviously the 70s were much healthier.

    (um, did I do the math right? I turned 3 in 1980, so I guessed that when the 70s ended I weighed about 20lbs, and now I weigh 235 lbs)

    My parents actually were hippies in the 70s, so probably they were a bit healthier – we lived on a farm and had our own cow and grew vegetables. My dad was even a vegetarian, though he was the only vegetarian I knew until I became a teenager and some of my friends started going veg.

  8. My mom was skinny as a rail in the 1970s. But she was also a ballet dancer, and she knew all too well how to starve herself. :P

    Me? I was 7 lbs in 1976, and i’m like, 33 times heavier than that now, so uh. Yeah. I totally weighed less in the 70s. Because i was a baby.

    I remember early meals being canned beans and hot dogs. Mac’n’cheese and hot dogs. Spaghetti and hot dogs. Hot dogs and hot dogs. Totally healthy, that.

  9. Pingback: Top Posts « WordPress.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s