Once upon a time, butter, eggs, and bacon were considered health food. Our grandparents’ generation believed them to be the Holy Breakfast Trinity.
Old-timers believed that farm eggs, pork bellies, and hand-churned butter were the keys to longevity and happiness. And I don’t mean this ironically. I mean that these men and women actually believed this. So did their medical professionals.
Long ago, I remember when my grandfather visited his longtime family doctor—a cross between Fred Mertz and Methuselah. The old doc would finish each exam by shining a light into my grandfather’s ear canal and saying, “Hey, I can see daylight on the other side.”
Then they would laugh, fire up a couple Lucky Strikes, and tell dirty jokes.
You had to love these men. They were from another generation. They worked hard, polished their car engines, wore extremely high-waisted pants, used Old Spice, and ate bacon.
As a younger man, my grandfather would visit the butcher on payday and buy a huge pork slab. Bacon was so vital back then that he
would buy it before he spent money on anything else important, such as the mortgage, or beer.
Keep in mind, this was before the days of standardized testing and cellphones. Back when kids were still walking to school, uphill, forty miles, both ways, crossing rivers full of alligators, and doing their homework on the backs of shovel blades with charcoal.
So just to briefly recap what our grandparents believed:
Bacon, butter, and eggs; good. Communism and rock ‘n’ roll; evil. High-waisted men’s pants; sexy.
But somewhere along the way, nutrition experts changed their tune. They started claiming that bacon, butter, egg yolks, and pretty much anything that tasted good would kill you. This was in every magazine, newspaper, and morning talk show.
Soon, food companies were manufacturing bland, fat-free products that weren’t fit for thinning paint.
We had fat-free American cheese slices that tasted like single-ply…