Oats: “the best balanced food in existence” -1918

If you lived in the early 1900s, what would you be eating for breakfast?

Food history is a phenomenal niche field that preserves proof of our human relationship with food and how it’s shifted over time, from what we valued to how and why we served it.

I bought this 1918 original Quaker Oats advertisement a few years ago and have been waiting to frame and hang it in my office (it will be going up tomorrow now that I’m in my new counseling space!)

My favorite elements:

  • Calories are defined as “the unit if nutrition”
  • The main point is to show how oats have more calories per pound than steak, eggs, and chicken
  • Other major selling points: more lime! Also more phosphorous which is very true of most whole grains
  • Oats are called “the ideal food for growth” and “the best-balanced food in existence”
  • The dietitian (nurse? sales girl?) Is lovely in her fabulous outfit of authority

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