Sunday, December 12, 2010

Food Paradigm Shift

Diving Girl Apples Poster. Image Source:

Pepsi Raw Magazine Ad. Image Source:
From Market to Trademark
New varieties of food came only after technological, restaurant industry, and economic developments.
Early in American culture, "Few people went to restaurants—only rich people, and the restaurants were formal and fussy. People cooked, everyone did, because you had to eat, but it was meat and potatoes. Even fish was exotic. It had a Friday stigma."(Buford 1). Only after the Industrial Revolution did food develop into a global culture appreciated by people of all economic levels and ages. As the economy became more powerful, American restaurants began to diversely range from affordable ($) to the incredibly expensive ($). On the domestic front, millions of products were added to the shelves each year. Global food goliaths like Tyson foods, McDonald's, Coca-cola, Quaker Oats, and Pepsi emerged. Very soon, indulgence didn't mean a large home-cooked meal of meat and potatoes--it meant biting into a Diving Girl Apple; it meant sipping a Pepsi Raw.

Food has become a mega-culture driven by media and advertising. Billions of dollars are spent each year making new 'delicacies,' fads, trends, and trademarked products. To support itself, food is made sexy and readily available,
"the machine world reciprocates man's love by expediting his wishes and desires namely in providing him with wealth" (McLuhan 69). Society wanted more food 'wealth' to satisfying cravings and advertisers were making money from it by latching on to each new technology and food product. Three-dimensional replicas and projections of delicious meals bombarded society in the every form...magazine food photographs...and then food TV ads like this 1991 Sizzler commercial:

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