While the name junk food was coined in the 1970s it may surprise you to learn that convenient, packaged foods first took off in the 1800s.
That’s when the process of canning food became popular and the steady stream of packaging improvements rolled out ever since. This helped to both preserve and brand our favorite foods: think cola bottles and cellophane bags of chips.
In the 1950s people traveled and ate out more than ever and the drive thru variety of fast foods took hold of our hungry appetites. And while this ever growing menu was dubbed junk food by microbiologist Michael Jacobson in the 1970s we can still enjoy them in moderation.
On National Junk Food Day, we say it’s okay to celebrate all the burgers and fries, pizza and bagels you love to consume on the go.