Those of you who are near my age might remember The Wild Wild West, the TV show starring Robert Conrad. It has always been one of my favorite shows, so I ordered Season 2 in DVD. To be fair, I also ordered something Ed would like - the TV show Topper, which he remembers from his own childhood. Ed was born in 1946, and I was born in 1954, which makes us close to the beginning and end of the Baby Boomer generation.
I was excited to watch Topper, because it actually came with a few commercials. I get a kick out of watching old TV commercials. Jello was this show’s sponsor, so we got to see several Jello ads from that era (1953-1955). Jello was introducing three new flavors - and on the box, yes, there it was: “artificial flavoring.” Ed turned to me and commented, “Do you realize how long we have been eating fake food?”
We’ve been reading books on eating locally, the Slow Food movement, and organic gardening, so “fake food” has been on our minds lately. Our generation was raised on food like Jello and margarine - chemical concoctions invented in laboratories. We are the first generation to accept chemicals as food. White bread, soda pop, Cocoa Krispies - all creations of decades of processed, preservative-laden eating. It makes one wonder about the cumulative effect these “foods” have had on our bodies - a whole generation that has lost touch with natural sustenance. It boggles the mind.
Ed thinks one day they’ll discover that the plaque buildup in Alzheimer’s disease is really trans-fat accumulation - a fake food that the body can’t recognize and doesn’t know how to handle - and one, coincidentally, the Baby Boomer generation has been ingesting most of our lives. Whether or not his theory will pan out is anyone’s guess. But it does put the “wonder” in “Wonder Bread.”