From the Factory to the Table: Advertising Cookbooks and the Changing Face of American Domestic Cookery 1880-1941
4. Health Benefits: Eat for Health with Pleasure
"Van Camp's Pureéd Foods are as good (probably somewhat better nutritionally) as you could prepare yourself--and Van Camp's are ready-to-serve."
Van Camp Packing Co. 1930. Eat for Health with Pleasure: Recipes for Pureéd Fruits and Vegetables. Indianapolis: Van Camp’s.
31 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 16 cm.
Van Camp's primary marketing appeal is on the basis of nutritive value as preserved through exacting scientific methods. The author employs a great deal of scientific jargon. Likewise the names of credentialed scientists and physicians are used at stamps of validity. The book closes with specific menu suggestions for restricted health diets. In this Van Camp's is tapping into the larger trend of dietetics that swept food culture in the 1920s and -30s. As the title and the quote above suggest, though, Van Camp's hopes to draw in customers on the rhetoric that heath food need not be unappealing.
These foods are advertised as healthy for baby and grown-up alike, situating this (like many of these books) as aimed not merely at women but at mothers. And like others of these books, Van Camp's tries to sell the product as something that mothers want, but cannot achieve without help. Mothers without the aid of Van Camp's cannot hope to adequately nourish their children and without this cookbook cannot hope to prepare Van Camp's products appealingly.
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