Food Intake in Australia During the 1950s

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The daily food intake of an Australian living in the 1950s is extremely different to the food intake of an Australian today. The contrary is that in the 1950s, the standard dinner that most Australians had was the typical meat which was always the main feature of the meal, it would be served as a hearty sausage casserole, beef stew or mixed grill featuring lamb chops steak.

However, on the other hand, things worked very differently now, the standard meal that an Australian would have on a weeknight dinner is more likely to be a bowl of pasta with plain tomato sauce, Asian inspired meat and vegetable stir-fries, main meal salads, or a simple steak and vegetable dish. Nevertheless, vegetables haven’t changed too much, they would either be served boiled or roasted, the vegetables consisted of potatoes, pumpkin, peas, carrots and beans. There were many people who were able to grow some vegetables in their backyard like tomatoes, silverbeet and leeks.

In the 1950s mint and parsley were the only fresh herbs used and salads were certainly not considered full meals. Nowadays, a salad could fill someone up with a large bowl of tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, cucumber, onion, celery, carrots and sometimes containing a small amount of meat either chopped up steak or chicken. Just like today, desserts aren’t necessarily enjoyed every night after dinner.

A typical dessert in the 1950s was a bowl of jelly, tinned fruit served with cream or a warm pudding or pie at the end of the meal. The classic bread and butter pudding, apple crumble with cream, or poached pears were always a popular choice. Nowadays, a typical dessert would consist of a bowl of ice-cream with decadent flavours with anything from vanilla and caramel to chocolate and a cherry on top. Nonetheless, international cuisines are definitely taking over the Australian meals today with dishes like Italian fettuccine carbonara, Asian stir-fries and Mexican tacos becoming part of our standard weeknight menus.

The food of the 1950s used to be very basic and simple because there were mainly British people, however as time changed it then became a diverse change in the environment and which then led to more food being developed as new cultures came to Australia and taught others their background food and how they behaved in their culture.

The food of different cultures brought much more taste into the Australian culture and also helped Australians to maintain a healthy balanced diet. Back in the 1950s whenever they needed food to be brought over, all they needed to do was wait a few days and it would be received. On the other hand, if a food package was to be delivered to Australia now, it would be very difficult as there are border securities which check the items being brought to Australia and only allow the food if it was tested with no hint of drugs or if it isn’t illegal to be brought over.

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