Magazine article Insight on the News

A Poultry Era in American History. (for the People)

Magazine article Insight on the News

A Poultry Era in American History. (for the People)

Article excerpt

Want to read a sketch on the origins of that very American invention, the frozen TV dinner? You'll find it in The Old Farmer's 2003 Almanac by Robert B. Thomas to which for the people first introduced its readers in the last issue but through which it continues to skim with great interest.

The turkey TV dinner, the first in a long line of such cuisine, made its debut in 1952 "in grocery stores in six cities between Omaha and Chicago" largely because Swanson, the "largest turkey grower in the world," found that it had a lot of unsold turkeys on hand and needed something to do with them. The frozen dinner was one solution.

The new product sold "for 98 cents to $1.29--a whopping amount, considering that a McDonald's hamburger was only 15 cents" at the time--so folks perhaps regarded these instant banquets as something of a luxury. The dinner included cornbread stuffing (soon changed to the white-bread variety) and a sweet potato (later changed to white mashed potatoes). …

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