From Bananas to Brown Rice- Iowans' Diets Have Changed Drastically

Sep 8, 2015

The way we think about food has changed a lot over the last 30 years. Today, we see yogurt and brown rice on mainstream grocery store shelves, but that wasn't always the case. Theresa Carbery, one of the founders of New Pioneer Food Coop in Iowa City, says in the early 1970s, she was a part of a buyers' club to get foods that weren't available in grocery stores. 

"We saw that our diet was predominantly processed, and so we wanted better and wanted to eliminate white flour and white sugar," Carberry explains. "We came together to meet a shared need. We would buy a 50 pound bag of brown rice and bring our own jars and on a given night we would break down the rice and put the money in a cigar box."

This hour on Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Carbery about the influence early food coops have had on our ideas about food and nutrition.

Jan Miller, a food editor at Better Homes and Gardens, and Ruth Litchfield, an associate professor of food science and human nutrition at Iowa State University Extension, also join the conversation to talk about how portion sizes, restaurants, recipes, ingredients and grocery stores have changed. 

This show was originally broadcast on September 8, 2015.