Was Food in the 1900s Healthier?

Did you know that the food in the early 1900s was much healthier than the foods that we consume today? Fortunately, this was before the introduction of McDonald’s, processed food companies, and high fructose corn syrup. Food was less processed back then, but people still consumed unhealthy habits. Some were smokers, others drank alcohol, and many consumed excess sugar and salt. And, as a result, many children suffered from painful gouty arthritis.

During World War II, food was comparatively healthier for everyone. There were fewer sugars and fewer additives, which were the culprits of modern-day diseases. As a result, ration books allowed people to buy limited quantities of food. For instance, peasants were allowed one egg every two weeks, and one pound of meat and cheese per week. Cheese rations ranged anywhere from one ounce to eight ounces per person. Even if staple foods were not that healthy, they could supplement them with wild foods to improve their nutritional value.

Today’s food is characterized by greater nutritional governance and intervention. This is the result of a more developed scientific understanding of nutrition. For instance, enriched flour is now added to foods so that they’ll be more nutritious. The broader scientific community has more information on the nutrition value of food than they ever did in the past. And, of course, the public was less informed back then, so they were not eating smarter, which is good news.

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