If you grew up during the ’70s (the 1970s–not the 1870s) then you’re lucky to be alive. The ’70s ushered in the heyday of processed foods, experimental products and sugar, sugar, sugar! The things our parents fed us have now been banned in most countries and labeled with the warning: “DO NOT CONSUME. Side effects include DEATH.”
I’m not blaming my parents, they didn’t know they were feeding their children toxic chemicals that would eventually ruin their lives and cause worldwide destruction. These are just examples of the “food” products that have left a lifelong residue of regret and triglycerides flowing through my veins:
- Bologna. Yes, it had a catchy tune–and it taught us how to spell–but what exactly is bologna? Here’s the definition. Not joking. “Bologna is a finely ground pork sausage containing cubes of lard.” Lard!?!?! Yeah, my bologna has a first name–F-A-T-A-S-S.
- Hamburger Helper. Exactly what is this product supposed to help hamburger do? Taste like salty cardboard? Mission accomplished. (Besides, unless a hamburger is ready to ask for help, there’s nothing you can do.)
(This hand should have covered our mouths.)
Chicken Kiev. This was my mom’s go-to meal to impress dinner guests. And it worked. It was fabulously delicious–and had 750 grams of saturated fat, and 4,355 calories per serving. This ’70s staple of elegance had the following steps: 1. Take a chicken breast. 2. Wrap it around a 1/2 cube of butter. 3. Roll it in bread crumbs. 4. Deep fry in oil until your arteries explode.
- Space Dust/Pop Rocks. I can hear food scientists discussing this product. “I know let’s give our kids exploding candy!! Hahahahahaha!!”
- Jiffy Pop Popcorn. It was innovative and clever. You watched it pop right on the burning hot stove. If opening the tinfoil didn’t melt your fingers, the face-vaporizing steam streaming off the popcorn would have you in the burn unit for days.
Cream-chipped beef on toast. I hated this meal. Mom would open a jar of dried beef (with more salt than the Pacific), stir it into a mixture of paste and sadness, then pour it on toast.
(For the love of all things holy!!! Why is this okay to feed to a child?)
- Candy cigarettes. Just in case the sugar, chemicals and mystery meats didn’t kill you, we had these chalk-flavored candy sticks to prep us for the stressful world of adulthood. (Disclaimer: my mom NEVER bought these for us. But dad did!)
- Textured vegetable protein (TVP). This meat extender was created for use in THIRD WORLD countries, not Utah. (Although some would argue Utah is a third world country.) Mom mixed this . . . . well, whatever this is. . . with hamburger to make patties, meatloaf and meatballs. She always said we couldn’t taste the TVP. She was soooo wrong.
This is only a tiny sampling of the types of things we ingested during our formative years. What foods did you survive? Did you grow extra limbs, eyes or superpowers as a result?