The farmers, workers, and pioneers of America in the 1800s were nourished by a tradition of hearty, downhome cooking that is still a part of our national cuisineNew England baked beans, roast beef, turkey, corn on the cob, and pumpkin pies. With roots in the British Isles, and with important contributions from Native American food plants and cooking techniques, American food and drink quality and seasonal variety was vastly improved during the 1800s by new technologies in transportation, food storage, hygiene, and preservation, growing national and world markets, andnot leastthe delicious ethnic cuisines of new immigrant groups. Hungry for innovation, quality, and economy, Americans in the 1800s became the bestfed nation in the history of the world!
Medicine developed into a science in the 1800s, but it was a long evolution from folk remedies and superstition to a modern understanding of how the human body works and how disease is spread. Throughout much of the century, the life expectancy of the average American was decades shorter than it is now. A lack of understanding of simple hygiene contributed to the early death of many women after childbirth, and children routinely died of common childhood diseases like measles. An incorrectly treated broken arm could kill a healthy young man, and pain, disfigurement, and epidemic disease was the fate of many Americans. Traditional herbal remedies were sometimes the best treatments available, while patent medicines often contained toxic substances, and medical procedures were often painful, disgusting, and ultimately useless. The dedicated scientists and medical researchers of the 1800s made a tremendous contribution to the health and happiness of Americans.
The Mexican cuisine of today originated thousands of years ago. The ancient Olmec and Mayan civilizations domesticated maize, beans, and chili peppers and developed the flatbread cakes known as tortillas. The Aztecs expanded the Mexican diet with other meats, fruits, and vegetables. As Spanish explorers conquered and colonized Mexico, European cooks introduced new ingredients, such as rice, wheat flour, and the meat of domestic animals like pigs, chickens, and cows. They also brought previously unknown methods of preparing food, such as frying. Today, Mexican cuisine is extremely popular far beyond the borders of the nation, and in 2010, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared Mexican cuisine to be an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
We all need to eat! But making healthy food choices can be tough. To be healthy, we cant eat only our favorite foods. We need to eat some foods from each of the five food groups: dairy, fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins. Learn about all five food groups and find out why each is so important to a healthy life. Discover why eating a balanced diet is one of the best ways to lose weight, stay in shape, and keep your body healthyand how you can do just that!
Apples, bananas, orangesthere are so many fruits to choose from! But what makes fruit such a healthy food choice? Find out more about fruit: where it comes from, how it gets to your plate, and why it is such an important part of a healthy, balanced diet. Learn how much fruit you should be eating each dayand how you can make healthy food choices a part of your life!
Someone, sometime, has probably told you, Eat your vegetables! But do you know why eating vegetables every day is so important? Find out how vegetables make your body healthier. Learn how vegetables like potatoes and peas, cabbage and corn, broccoli and beets get from the farm to your tableand discover why eating vegetables as part of a balanced diet is the best way to stay healthy!
From bread to pasta to cereal, most of us eat a lot of grains. But why is eating food from the grain food group so important? Find out more about grains and how they keep your body healthy. Discover where grains come from and how they get from farms to factories, from stores to your plateand learn some easy ways to make grains part of your daily diet!