At the Ottawa Home Economics Association (Ottawa HEA) 90th Anniversary Celebrations held on June 6 , 2023, Home Economist Elizabeth Larmond Elliot presented a ‘revisited’ talk she had given in 1967 forecasting what Canadian would be eating in Year 2000.
Elizabeth Larmond Elliot is former Director of Industry Services at the Canadian Gain Commission, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Retiring in 1999, Elizabeth has lived in Ottawa for several years where she stays active in several groups including Ottawa HEA.
Originally, Elizabeth’s talk projected 33 years into the future, but she clearly updated it for this occasion and compared — Then and Now.
Elizabeth took all 31 members in attendance for the Ottawa HEA celebration down memory lane in her review of Canadians’ eating habits over several decades.
Canadians basically went from a meat and potatoes diet in the mid-60’s where beef was the primary protein to an era where chicken ruled often served with rice or pasta instead of potatoes. Canned foods have been replaced by fresh fruits and vegetables.
Some promising developments of the 60’s such as food irradiation have been rejected by consumers while others, plant-based protein, for example, have been accepted. One unexpected development is ultra-high processed foods which are high in sodium, sugars and saturated fats. “In the end, consumers rule”, explained Elizabeth.
Trends were influenced when more women entered the workforce. The percentage of women working outside the home rose from 37 in 1964 to 82.8% this year. There was a new availability and taste for global flavours. International tastes increased as travel increased in the past 50 years and the Internet has influenced both eating and spending habits.
Quoting Dr. Malek Batal, Professor & Research Chair Human Nutrition, University of Montreal, Elizabeth explained, “A more diverse population, changing health trends and a globalized food chain have changed Canadians' palate in ways unimaginable in the '60s. When you look at demographic changes, economic changes, trade changes and health messages, you understand food changes." CBC News — 2018.
A special thank you to Elizabeth Larmond Elliot for sharing her knowledge and insight as she helped to make the 90th Anniversary celebrations even more special.
The Ontario Home Economics Association, a self-regulating body of professional Home Economists, promotes high professional standards among its members so that they may assist families and individuals to achieve and maintain a desirable quality of life.