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Foods That Built America

Discussion in 'Movies, Music & Television' started by Judge, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2013
    Entertaining three-part saga on the History Channel about the origins and struggles of some of the biggest American food brands. Imagine living in an era when virtually no commercial food products were regulated for health and safety reasons. :eek:

    Where John Pemberton had to have been on drugs to have invented Coca Cola. And he was. And where Post got his start by stealing some of Dr. John Kellogg's secrets. And he did. :p

    And that Dr. Kellogg may have been the ultimate cereal-killer, as he had no interest or vision in the commercial development of the granola product he used for years in his Battle Creek Sanitarium. A product that came to fruition only thanks to his brother W.K. Kellogg, who was largely looked down upon as a flake by his brother. The rest is history. :rolleyes:

    Or that the number "57" had no real significance for Henry Heinz. He just liked the way that number appeared in print. And that Heinz beat his ketchup competition by simply buying up all the bottles in the area, placing them on a barge and sinking them all. o_O

    Worth watching if you are a history geek. :)

    The next episode would deal with confectioners Hershey and Mars. Sweet. :D

    Lots of historical tidbits that make you think, "Hmmmmm". :cool:

    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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  2. oregano

    oregano Your time will come...

    Mar 6, 2015
    Milton Hershey was a real interesting guy, actually. He figured out how to make a commercially marketable caramel confection, then sold the hugely profitable caramel company to bet the farm (literally) on a new chocolate recipe he devised that used milk to sweeten the taste of the chocolate. He also married a very sickly woman, who from some accounts sounds like she may have had multiple sclerosis. She couldn't have kids, so the Hersheys started a school for orphaned boys. Mrs. Hershey got pneumonia and died after being out in a northeastern winter for too long (she had a hard time telling if she was too cold or too hot) after which Milton threw himself into his company and his school. When he died he bequeathed the company to the school, a smart move since no big conglomerate has been able to buy it out and shut it down, the latest attempt coming from transnational sweets maker Mondelez. Hershey built a factory and accompanying town literally from the ground up, turning a Pennsylvania backwater into a major industrial center.
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  3. Peter Morrison

    Peter Morrison Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Jun 18, 2018
    I really love stories about the development of civilization. The Renaissance brought art and science together, and the Industrial Revolution allowed us to mass produce precision instruments and design new items to serve desired improvements in daily life. Heavy glass containers became lightweight plastic and packaging became disposable. We didn't realize what adverse effects would come along with our innovations. Our desire for more, better, and cheaper has led us to become spoiled. Our latest stage of development involves the uses of technology. This is probably bigger than the Renaissance and Industrial Revolution put together. We are seeing the detrimental side of relying on technology to get us through our lives, but we benefit greatly from all of the innovations born from it. As with anything new, responsible use is the key. Our information age is demanding a lot from us as we try to make sense of it all in the proper context.

    This series about food innovations is fascinating because the real stories about discovery, ideas, and money-making all collide into an amazing collection of circumstance, know-how, and having a market ready for the products. There are a lot of urban legends about inventions, and I'm sure some of them are true. The huge spike in new products and patent applications around 1900 shows us that electricity altered housework and cooking with newly invented appliances. This is on-going with new fabrics that changed fashion and synthetic alternatives to expensive raw materials. We've become a consumer society because we wouldn't want to live without these things. But, it sure is a lot of stuff.

    Thanks for the info about the TV series. I love trivia and exploring the ways invention changes society. Bigger changes are still coming. Technology will override our ability to be truly human. There will be less thinking and less learning. Children will be asking why Hansel and Gretel didn't use GPS.
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  4. Bolletje

    Bolletje Overly complicated potato V.I.P Member

    Jan 3, 2017
    Wow, that sounds cool!
  5. Aeolienne

    Aeolienne Well-Known Member

    Oct 29, 2016
    Here in the UK, the various Back in Time For... series have been a mine of fascinating facts about the history of eating habits.