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40 years of changes in our food

Donut.jpgThe Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit consumer advocacy group that works on issues of nutrition science and food safety, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

As part of their celebration, they've compiled a list of the most significant changes that the last four decades have brought to the American food landscape.

A sampling of tasty tidbits from the list:

In 1971, fewer than one out of every 100 U.S. households owned a microwave oven. Today, only five out of 100 don't...

In 1970, there were 1,675 pounds of food available for every person in the United States to eat. In 2003, it was up to 1,950 pounds. That means an extra 500 calories a day was being produced for every man, woman, and child. The increase in available food is more than enough to account for our steadily rising weight...

If you read a typical food label in 1971, you wouldn't have had a clue how many calories or how much fat or sodium was in each serving. Shopping for healthy foods got a whole lot easier with the introduction of the "Nutrition Facts" label on food packages in 1993. Today, two out of three shoppers say that they use the labels to help figure out what to buy...

By the early 1990s, researchers had discovered that trans fat, which is created when oil is partially hydrogenated to make shortening and stick margarine, raises LDL ("bad") cholesterol and lowers HDL ("good") cholesterol. That’s a double whammy for your heart ... Since then, we estimate that two-thirds of the trans fat in the American diet has been eliminated. Bravo!

Photo by uberculture

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