food preparation, and attitudes toward eating have changed
dramatically over the past 150 years, A century and a half
ago, no American ate a hot dog, a hamburger, or an ice cream
cone—foods that came to define the American diet.
Cooking was an extremely time-consuming task. Chickens needed
to be plucked, fish scaled, and coffee beans ground.
Restaurant meals were a luxury largely confined to the well-to-do.
Attitudes toward diet were very different than they have
since become. In the late 19th century, corpulence was a
sign of propersperity and well-being. Today, in contrast,
obesity is considered dangerous to peoples' health and slimness
is regarded as desirable.
cereals, fast foods, and processed foods are relatively
recent developments, as are pizza and chop suey.