In the 1960s, my brother and I grew up with serious food disadvantages. Mom was an Adele Davis groupie, adding wheat germ to everything (we were in our teens before we learned spaghetti sauce could be red rather than brown…) But it wasn’t all about health. To balance the germ nutrients, Mom loved the convenience of frozen foods, like Banquet fried chicken, and breaded fish sticks.
Another layer of food knowledge was added through farm weekends. Do kids these days have this advantage? Weekends were spent at mom’s parent’s retirement farm on Sheldon Road in Belleville (sp?), where we ran wild (suburban kids have gone free-range) with cousins from Dearborn. The four of us helped Grandpa with the orchards, garden, and 10-acre pumpkin patches; Grandpa loved the farm after a work life spent in the office. And we, my brother Pete and I, spent at least a week each summer with dad’s sister, Aunt Mary Jane and Uncle Bill at their retirement farm in Northern Michigan, in Bellaire with literally thousands of pine trees (we know the number because Uncle Bill planted them, and our cousins tended them) and hundreds of cherry trees, and yet more vegetables. We were the lucky ones. I know that now. Looking at pictures of the cousins sitting up in the big tree out the back door on the farm, all I see is happy kids.