Junk food may be a nightmare to some people, but dang it’s good!!!!  :))))))))  


The other day I was driving back from a very good customer visit and noticed the line of cars at a national chain hamburger restaurant.  Then I passed another chain, and sure enough, long line. Then I saw a wrap-around line for drive through coffee. It got me to wondering about this type of food, and other “junk food” as we all call it.  I look at the salad option when I stop, but those fries!!!  YUM.  What’s the story behind this fascination, especially the “center aisles” in grocery stores – rows of chips and dips and crackers, and then the cookies and dessert aisles.  I’ll admit, the right bag of chips, with the right brand of dip, and I’m “all in”.  With a little checking I found out junk food has a fascinating and often controversial history, filled with intriguing facts and trivia. So, enjoy the info. And thanks to Google, You Tube and Wikipedia for the info. 

The term “junk food” was first coined in the 1960s, although unhealthy and highly processed foods have been around for much longer. Junk food refers to foods that are high in calories, sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats but low in essential nutrients.

Junk food became increasingly popular in the mid-20th century, coinciding with the rise of fast-food chains like McDonald’s, Burger King, and KFC-which is especially good cold!. These chains popularized convenient, affordable, and highly processed foods. Much of the same activity was underway throughout grocery stores, stocking shelves with “junky” snack foods.

Many popular junk foods have interesting origin stories.  The potato chip is said to have been invented in 1853 by chef George Crum at a resort in New York, in response to a customer who kept sending back his fried potatoes, wanting them thinner and crispier. Read article as it dates back further..)

Junk food companies have often targeted children and teenagers in their marketing campaigns, I can still remember the onslaught on Saturday morning TV.  Captain Crunch who can resist those!

Junk food has had a significant impact on culture and society. It has been linked to the rise in obesity and related health issues, such as heart disease and diabetes. Critics argue that the convenience and ubiquity of junk food have contributed to poor dietary habits and nutritional deficiencies. Most  of us have to admit, personal responsibility has lots to do with this problem.   A little is OK,  a full bag of chips at one sitting not so much!

With the globalization of food industries, junk food has become a global phenomenon, with fast-food chains and processed snacks available in nearly every corner of the world.  Traveling in Europe, I’d see American brands, next to local and regional brands.

There has been a shift towards healthier alternatives to traditional junk food, with many companies offering low-fat, low-sugar, and organic options in response to consumer demand for healthier choices.

Despite the criticism, many junk foods have become cultural icons and symbols of American and global culture. Items like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s Big Mac, and Doritos have become instantly recognizable around the world. I noticed a bunch of US pizza brands there too. Here’s briefs on some favorites:

Popcorn: Popcorn has been enjoyed as a snack for centuries, with evidence of its consumption dating back to ancient civilizations in the Americas. It became particularly popular in the United States in the late 19th century when street vendors began selling it at fairs and carnivals. Microwave popcorn, a convenient and widely popular modern variation, was introduced in the 20th century.  Certainly goes well with a good movie!

Potato Chips: As mentioned earlier, potato chips are believed to have been invented in by chef George Crum. Legend has it that Crum created the thin and crispy chips in response to a customer who complained that his fried potatoes were too thick. The popularity of potato chips skyrocketed in the 20th century with the advent of mass production and marketing by companies like Lay’s and Pringles. (how fun is stacking Pringles??).

Candy Bars: Candy bars, such as Snickers, Milky Way, and Hershey’s, have been enjoyed as sweet treats for over a century. Some iconic brands, like Hershey’s, date back to the late 19th century. These chocolatey snacks gained popularity in the early to mid-20th century,.

Cookies and Crackers: Cookies and crackers have a long history, with early versions dating back to ancient civilizations. However, commercialized versions of these snacks, such as Oreos, Chips Ahoy!, and Ritz crackers, became popular in the 20th century with the rise of industrialized food production. These snacks are often made with refined flour, sugar, and unhealthy fats, contributing to their classification as junk food.

Salty Snacks: Salty snacks like pretzels, cheese puffs, and tortilla chips have become staples of the junk food aisle. These snacks are often highly processed and loaded with salt and artificial flavorings. Companies like Frito-Lay, with products like Doritos and Cheetos,. Love the Doritos options on the shelf. I must admit Cheetos are my favorite!!  Try them with French onion dip!

Snack Cakes: Snack cakes, such as Twinkies, Ding Dongs, and Hostess cupcakes, gained popularity in the mid-20th century as convenient, shelf-stable treats. While they may have once been considered occasional indulgences, these sugary snacks have become emblematic of junk food culture.

Latest Rankings: These hit the Top 20 list for “worst to eat”:
#20: Ritz Bits Cheese Sandwich Crackers, #19: Cheetos Puffs, #18: Snyder’s Hot Buffalo Wing Pretzel Pieces, #17: Veggie Straws, #16: Cheez-Its, #15: Orville Redenbacher’s Pour Over Movie Theater Butter Popcorn, #14: Nutri-Grain Strawberry Bars, #13: Town House Flatbread Crisps Sea Salt & Olive Oil, #12: Chex Mix Bold Party Blend, #11: Twix, #10: Snack Pack Pudding, #9: Lay’s Classic Chips, #8: Swiss Rolls, #7: Nutella, #6: Oreos, #5: Drake’s Fruit Pies, #4: Nutty Buddy, #3:Hot Pockets, #2: Pop-Tarts… and the winner is …

#1: Twinkies – While Twinkies are undoubtedly iconic within pop culture, they are truly the antithesis of a healthy snack. The cakes are practically devoid of any nutrients, such as calcium. That being said they certainly last a very long time!! While having a sweet treat every once in a while, is fine for all of us remember……….MODERATION IN ALL THINGS!

Amazing volume video for my volume production buddies: CLICK HERE


Me, too.

As you may know the Kowalski Heat Treating logo finds its way
into the visuals of my Friday posts.
I.  Love.  My.  Logo.
One week there could be three logos.
The next week there could be 15 logos.
And sometimes the logo is very small or just a partial logo showing.
But there are always logos in some of the pictures.
So, I challenge you, my beloved readers, to count them and send me a
quick email with the total number of logos in the Friday post.
On the following Tuesday I’ll pick a winner from the correct answers
and send that lucky person some great KHT swag.
So, start counting and good luck!  
Oh, and the logos at the very top header don’t count.
Got it? Good.  :-))))
Have fun!!



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