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.
A. AN ILLUSTRATION
OF HOW THINGS HAVE CHANGED
B. NOTHING IS THE SAME AS IT USED TO
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
H. NOT KNOWING WHAT TO DO