Friday, September 29, 2006

Retro Retail Video - "Buying Food"

Buying Food (1950)

Here's a vintage educational short to watch before you head out to the supermarket next time. Take notes, and beware that impulse buying!

This was originally produced by the Centron Corporation, for Young America Films, and is a home management guide to sensible food shopping. At least, it was all supposed to be sensible back then anyway. Whether or not the strategies still are today, is up to you to decide.

Basically it's the kind of creaky old 16mm film we used to fall asleep to (while we drooled on our desks) in school. But heck, if you can manage to stay awake now, it actually still has some handy tips that, it turns out, are really pretty timeless.

Note: Video is Flash format. If you don't see it, you must temporarily disable your ad-blocking programs.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out Henry and his old lady's bowling ball and pin S&P shakers. Classic!

Fri Sep 29, 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger Cora said...

Oystery, cakes and a turnip type thing (looks like what we call "Steckr├╝be") - what was Henry thinking?

Actually, a lot of this advice, e.g. stick to a grocery list, read labels, check sizes, is still around today, though I miss the old standby of "the product in the middle of the shelf is always the most expensive". And homecanning has gone out of fashion, probably for the better, considering how much of the stuff tasted.

Notable by its absence were references to nutrition and ecological concerns. For example, the "Buy in season" advice is still around today, but as much for ecological as for economic reasons. And "Read the label" is usually done for health reasons, i.e. to check the ingredient list for additives. Also notable is that there was no mention that fresh and frozen foods contains more vitamins than canned or dried foods, whereas modern advice would certainly include this fact.

Utterly shocking was the advice to buy low quality meat, though. Maybe it is because Germany has just gone through a meat scandal, but currently the advice would be "Buy the best possible meat" rather than "Buy the lowest quality that's still edible".

Funny, though, that the film cannot resist warning about the dangers of raw milk, even though those dangers are grossly exaggerated, i.e. if you keep raw milk or a raw milk product like cheese well cooled, the risk is negligible. Still, those were the days when you could still buy raw milk at the supermarket. Nowadays, you'd have to go directly to the farmer.

Plus, thank to this film, I finally know what those beans are called in English.

Fri Sep 29, 06:16:00 PM  
Blogger hushpuppy said...

I loved the organ music. It reminded me of going out to the ballpark in the days before they played records over the sound system.

Interesting to me, even 56 years ago, they were using the Stupid White Guy as illustration for doing something idiotic. Look at today's commercials; he's still out there, being a doofus, forever being saved from his own dumbness by his long-suffering wife.

Fri Sep 29, 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Sobieniak said...

Still quite centered on what a woman's occupation is like if already married! Not that concerned about it myself, but I have to settle for that mindset when I watch these!

Noticed a supermarket see see in one shot is an IGA type. Remember going to one of those up in Michigan once.

Giving the mention of impulse buying, I don't think we have yet to learn that lesson well when it comes to non-food related items. Obviously the mall had been the big instigator of that, but also the mindless products you see at gas station food marts like those laser pointers and novelty lighters.

Aside from the quantity of an item to suite particular families, I often have to shake my head in disbelief at places like Costco, but then, I assume people just don't care either way!

Do they still sell Grade C string beans? :-)

Being reminded of one of the times that MST3K showed a Young America film as a short before a film, and one of the guys crack a joke about how the eagle's eye at the end looks like the Communist hammer and sickle! After noticing that, it's hard for me not to notice whenever that comes up like in this film!

Watching stuff like this reminds me of the experience I had in having to be in junior high back in the early 90's, and subjected to watch a worn-out 16mm print from the 70's on proper hygene tips that had guys in afros learning how to get the most out of common household items instead of impulsively buying products like deordorant and toothpaste. Essentially it encourages the old standby things my mom would tell me about like using baking soda as toothpaste or soap for something else and what-not. Nowadays this is all meaningless with the products available to us that makes it less trivial we ever need to bother doing something like that again.

Sat Sep 30, 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger Cora said...

I did notice the hammer and sickle, and I have never seen MT3K. Thought it was just me, though.

And the baking soda as toothpaste advice is still around. Tastes awful, though.

Sat Sep 30, 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Sobieniak said...

And the baking soda as toothpaste advice is still around. Tastes awful, though.

It doesn't if you get the store-bought type! :-)

Sat Sep 30, 07:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't they have refrigerators back in the 1950s??

Sun Oct 01, 12:00:00 PM  

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