Were the “good old days” really that good? We often think of America in the mid-1800s to the early 1900s as an age of carefree charm, gaiety, and stress-free buggy rides in the open country. But just try and buy some butter or “margarine” at the town store. Historian Otto Bettmann describes it: “Dairy by-products, it appeared to the Victorian manufacturers, provided a fine opportunity to improvise; here imagination was needed, not scruples…. Selling in the 1880s for a respectable average of 19 cents a pound, it was often rancid, and either a mixture of casein and water or of calcium, gypsum, gelatin fat, and mashed potatoes….
Vicki Griffin, MPA, MACN, is Health Ministries director for theMichigan Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, headquartered in Lansing, Michigan, U.S.A.