The Fourth of July is a time for flags, fireworks, and lots of great food! As we prepare to celebrate America’s birthday, no doubt part of the plan includes a BBQ and other traditional food fare. I think about the special preparations I and others will make, that go beyond the everyday, when so many of us demand convenient, on-the-go food to serve our busy lifestyles. For many it will be pleasurable to take the time to prepare a feast for friends and family – my husband included – especially given he received a bright and shiny new ceramic grill for Father’s Day!

Mission Field works on many innovative food projects that I thought it would be fun to look up what our Founding Fathers’ ate 243 years ago, to see if we whether there truly has been an American Food Revolution. Here is what I found -- Colonists in 1776 America had to make do with whatever was in season—preparing and eating it that same day as refrigeration and food preservation did not exist. If they wanted to cook or bake, a wood fire was the only option. (Note, one leading cause of death for women back then, was burning to death as their large skirts would catch on fire while cooking – oh my!). They used lots of sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to season food – this included seasoning vegetables that were judged unappetizing raw, so they boiled them in water doused with sugar – yes, lots of added sugar!

I am proud to say that we are working on lots of ways to bring flavor and eating enjoyment to 21st Century America and it has nothing at all to do with adding sugar! Or setting skirts on fire!

 Happy Independence Day! Eat Well!