Food from the Factory Farm


The Great American Shopping Cart
How America Gets its Food Today

Another oldie for your consideration. This is a kids book on the economics of food. Not bad for 1969 but almost comical for 2012. (Yes, it is still in circulation). The premise is that the USDA is going to help you and keep you safe from bad food. Also, the great industrial machine is good for food production. Think of this as a kind of the junior anti-Michael Pollan¬†book. Local food, food borne illness, and other issues today are not even on this book’s radar. I did get a kick out of the discussion on trading stamps. I remember my mom and dad faithfully pasting S & H green stamps into books. I think after hundreds of stamps, we ended up with a crappy card table. ¬†(Click here to read the wikipedia entry about trading stamps.)

Now I feel REALLY old,











  1. This reminds me a lot of an old 1970s educational film I once saw about economical grocery shopping. The narrator literally berated people for buying fresh vegetables and *real milk* when frozen vegetables and *imitation dehydrated milk* were “just as good” and much cheaper.

  2. Linden…what ELSE would you grab for an impromptu picnic? That can with the twist key just screams “al fresco.” Probably keeps the ants and wasps away!

  3. My parents used to collect green stamps too. One of the premiums we got was a badminton set that we
    broke later that day. Ah good times.

  4. The attitude on that last page lays out the beginning of the obesity epidemic in first world countries.

  5. Okay, I don’t get this one. The dollar values seem way off – would an iron really have cost $15 in 1969? According to an inflation calculator that would be almost $100 today. So was this book reprinted with more recent dollar values? That doesn’t seem to make sense with the inclusion of S&H stamps. I’m so confused.

  6. lina, the prices seem reasonable to me for the original publication date. Not everything inflated in price in a linear way.

    As for S&H Green Stamps, as a reward for pasting them in (in huge quantities, gosh, I remember how they smelled and tasted, even though we used wet paper towels and not our tongues), my brother and I were allowed to “spend” a book on ourselves. I honestly don’t remember what they had that was appealing to kids at the Green Stamp Redemption Center, but a few years later I did pick up some dish towels and kitchen utensils to kit out my graduate-student studio apartment kitchen. And what’s more, some of them are still viable and in use! The dish towels as cleaning rags now, though.

    For my family, the stamps were a given — there was only one big supermarket that was nearby, so whether or not they raised their prices on account of the stamps, we were stuck with them.

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