A. AN ILLUSTRATION OF HOW THINGS HAVE CHANGED
B. NOTHING IS THE SAME AS IT USED TO BE
C. LESS TIME ON FOOD FOR OTHERS
D. SOME THINGS HAVEN’T CHANGED
E. AN IMPORTED HABIT
F. A RETURN TO THE PAST
G. DEFINITELY NOT BETTER NOW THAN IN THE PAST
H. NOT KNOWING WHAT TO DO
FOOD IN BRITAIN
1. A series of food revolutions has changed British eating habits unrecognisably since the 1950s. The introduction of supermarkets transformed the way people shopped and bought goods, while the advent of frozen foods slashed cooking times and opened the door to food from around the world. Everything from meal times to kitchen utensils is now different from how it was just a few decades ago.
2. Shopping habits have changed a lot since the 1950s. Back then, when supermarkets first arrived, people had to be shown how to use a shopping trolley - there were diagrams for them to follow. Shoppers also needed guidance on how to load up their groceries into the boot of their car.
3. With changing family and work life, and new technology, the idea of the TV dinner arrived in the l960s. They were served in the sort of trays that are used for meals on aeroplanes and they were disgusting. The concept came from the US. In Britain, TV dinners weren’t really considered civilised, but it was at this time that the word ‘convenience’ started to be used for food and meals.
4. The British public has now gone full circle in its food requirements, from the days when food was organic and free-range because that’s the way food was, to the need for cheap and plentiful produce, and then back to the desire for good quality, fresh food. The British have come from wanting processed food to wanting organic goods again.
5. There have also been changes concerning the role of women. They once spent three to four hours preparing the evening meal, whereas today it’s often a matter of convenient cooking and shopping. Women were released from the kitchen and started going out to work in greater numbers than before. Now they don’t have to spend all day looking after people and hours preparing the evening meal.
6. People don’t eat together so much any more. This is something neatly reflected in the Bisto Gravy advertisements over the years. In the latest advert, the family members are all proud of the fact that they fix a time, one day a week, when they all eat together. That would have been bizarre when the adverts began in the 1950s, when everyone ate together.
7. Today the way in which people eat has changed too. Nowadays, young people fiddle with a mobile phone or change channels on the TV while they are eating. And, despite recent publicity about their effects on health, comfort foods such as crisps, chocolate and sweets dominate the market, helped by TV advertising and colourful packaging. There were a lot fewer snacks like these around in the 1950s. Eating habits have certainly got worse since then.