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Feeding the American Family: Feminism and Food

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  1. In the post-World War II era, America found more women in the workforce than it had ever before.
  2. McDonald's first restaurant opened for business in 1955 (?Where it all began?), and today, it is the largest fast food chain worldwide.
  3. Marketing ploys from each of these companies attributed to their success beginning specifically in the 1950s and carrying most of them through today.
  4. Today, parents face the challenges of keeping their children happy while trying to provide nutritious food.
  5. Articles about men's assistance in the kitchen continue to spring up in various newspapers and magazines around the country
  6. Vegetarianism, once thought of as a left-wing political movement, has been taken up as a cause by many feminists.
  7. Also sometimes referred to as the Whole Foods movement, the macrobiotic diet is about purity of the mind and body
  8. Women have the power and ability to push forward a more beneficial health agenda in America today
  9. Personal responsibility is what this debate comes down to Changing one's diet does not have to be a drastic change, and it can be easily adapted to.

Due to the multiplicity of duties and roles families play in American society, women with families face the increasingly difficult task of managing food preparation and providing nutrition for their families at once. Women with full-time careers must both conduct their own lives and care for their husbands' and children's needs in a homey atmosphere. They are responsible for nutrition, and they are in charge of many other aspects of home life as well. They are also accountable for the safety of the food they provide for their families. As the accessibility of TV dinners and fast food chains increased in the 1950s, women who wanted to successfully achieve all of the mentioned aspects of domesticity opted for more simple meal plans in the home. Continuing into today's market, fast food and heat-and-serve food options still monopolize the way American families, specifically busy wives and mothers, see mealtime. Because we cannot expect women to take full responsibility for this occurrence, we must look at the origins of these ideas and practices, what it means for us today, and options we have in correcting an epidemic of poor nutrition in busy American families.

[...] ?Slow Food USA Convivia Leaders From Around the Country Meet in Vermont.? 12 June 2003. Slow Food USA. Smith, Christopher Holmes. ?Frozen Foods and the Postwar Family.? Kitchen Culture in America: Popular Representations of Food, Gender, and Race. Ed. Sherrie A. Inness. Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press Summar, Polly. Husbands on the Forefront of Kitchen Equality.? Albuquerque Journal October 2002. ?Swanson 50th Anniversary Celebration Press Kit.? 2003. Pinnacle Foods Corporation. Takehisa, Aya. are Learning to Cook.? Topics Varnum, Steve. [...]


[...] The tricky past comes when you combine female- promoted diets aimed at adults and try to incorporate these ideals into American family life. While a successful adult may have no trouble adopting a macrobiotic lifestyle, a five-year-old boy might not be quite as apt to adopt such practices. It is important to work on incorporating concepts while realizing that some of the aspects of each movement are not possible, of even desired, by all people working towards a change. Sometimes, this is even simply because of how feminine a movement is portrayed and viewed. [...]


[...] Each of these companies, seeing a turn in a new direction in American life, took great strides in marketing to appeal to the career women with families, both in scaring and offering to assist them. Swanson, the company lauded as inventing the TV dinner, celebrated its 50th anniversary in February 2003 Though Swanson did not intend that their meals be solely eaten before the television, the name dinner? spoke to the progressive era during which the prepackaged meal came into existence. [...]

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