Today in Food History

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Also, on this day in 1785 William Prout was born. An English chemist, he was the first to classify food components into 3 main divisions – carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

In 1889 U.S. patent No. 396,089 was issued to Daniel Johnson of Kansas City, Kansas, for a Rotary Dining Table for use on ships.

In 1915 John Van Wormer was granted a patent for his ‘Pure-Pak’ – a “paper bottle” to be used for holding milk.  It would be 10 years before a machine was perfected to make the containers.

In 1915 Fannie Merritt Farmer died (born March 23, 1857). American culinary authority, and author of the 1896 edition of ‘The Boston Cooking School Cook Book’ later known as the ‘Fannie Farmer Cook Book.’  Director of the Boston Cooking School, and founder of Miss Farmer’s School of Cookery. Often cited as the first cookbook author to introduce standard measurements.

In 1919 The Great Molasses Flood. On January 15, 1919, a large 50 foot high storage tank in Boston burst and sent a tidal wave of over 2 million gallons of molasses traveling at over 30 miles per hour. Houses, buildings and parts of the elevated rail system were crushed in its path. Twenty-one people died, and over 150 were injured. It took over 6 months to clean up the mess. The damage was in the millions of dollars.

In 1986 Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn was introduced by General Mills.

In 1990 Campbell’s Soup produces its 20 billionth can of tomato soup.

In 2013 The Food Safety Authority of Ireland announced that horse DNA had been bound in frozen beef hamburgers sold in several Irish and British stores. Pig DNA was also present in some samples of beef products.  The beginning of a major horsemeat adulteration scandal that would involve many other companies and products (beef lasagne, beef Bolognese sauce, beef meatballs, etc.)  The scandal soon spread to at least 13 other European countries. Supposed ‘Beef’ products were found to contain 29% up to 100% horsemeat.

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