While writing my previous article, I came upon this image. It must be from the late 1970s. And look at the breakfast that we are supposed to keep fit with:
- Bowl of Wheaties (110)
- Three strawberries (12)
- Two pieces of Wonder Bread toast (158)
- Glass (8 oz) of orange juice (112)
- Milk (4 oz) for the Wheaties (73)
- Glass (12 oz) of milk (219)
- Cube of butter for toast (102)
Okay, I’ll admit: it isn’t a cube of butter. But it is enough butter for about half a loaf of bread. I really wonder if General Mills is heavily invested in the dairy industry. They have, regardless, a cozy relationship. And I think even at that time, we had a good idea that milk was not something we should be consuming a lot of.
Also of interest here is that this “keep fit” breakfast has a whole bunch of grain. And I say that as a grain guy myself. But really, is it necessary to have two grain products in this breakfast? We have bread, which is made out of wheat. And then we have a cereal that, if I had to guess, you know, based on its name — “Wheaties” — was made out of, I don’t know, wheat?
But this isn’t all wheat and dairy. We also have a hulking big glass of orange juice. I remember in the day, this was called “a serving of fruits and vegetables.” It doesn’t much fly. Once you distill fruit down to juice, you remove most of what is good for you. There really isn’t much more to say for the glass of orange juice in the picture up there than there is for a can of Pepsi. Except that your mom probably wouldn’t have complained.
The numbers above are the approximate number of calories. I used whole milk, of course; this is from the 1970s! But that adds up to a total of 786 calories. And I’m going easy on this. Those glasses look bigger than I’ve estimated. And despite what every breakfast cereal label in America says, people put more than a half cup of milk on their Wheaties. And I’m pretty sure there is more than a tablespoon of butter on the bread (that’s what I used, not my joke cube). That’s a whole lot of calories for what is an uninspiring meal.
As you may know, I don’t much think about nutrition. It is filled with pseudoscience. Every time I hear about the current nutrition fad, I ignore it. I just don’t care. In a few years, they’ll probably be saying something different. And I don’t care anyway. I just eat what I like. I try to mix it up. That’s about it. But I know that picture up there is not of a healthy breakfast. For one thing, who wants to drink that much milk?! It’s just propaganda.
With or without the strawberries.