A Complete, Well-Balanced Diet

September 30, 2009 at 6:55 am 7 comments

Assortment of Vegetables, Spices, Grains, Nuts, Pasta and Fruit

In 1951, food engineering was in its infancy. Imagination was the only limit to what the chemists might achieve. And what could be better than a candy bar that offered all the nutrition and sustenance of a complete, well-balanced diet?

Monsanto Chemical Co. thought it was possible. After all, they had already worked on emergency subsistence bars for the Army which were rough derivations from chocolate candy bars. The food scientists were learning the secrets of concentrated proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. A Monsanto representative explained the principle:

It requires no great stretch of the imagination to foresee that with current knowledge already in hand … a tailor-made bar could be achieved which would sustain life for a long period of time with essential elements. A ’meat bar’ is already under investigation. Peanut bars, contributing a valuable source of protein, have already been in commerce for some time. … If properly qualified scientists, chemists, and food technologists directed their attention toward developing the kind of product necessary for human sustenance, I am quite confident that a tailor-made, approximately balanced candy bar can be achieved.

It’s probably a good thing that they decided to abandon this line of research. Imagine all those school kids opening their lunch boxes and pulling out “well-balanced candy bars.”

Wait, I err. In the twenty-first century, we can buy “well-balanced candy bars” at any grocery or drug store. They come in convenient and delicious flavors like chocolate almond and caramel crunch. Look for them under the wholesome sounding name of “meal replacement bar” or “protein bar.”

I do wonder what happened to the idea of “meat bars,” though.

Source: “Candy Bar to Equal Well Balanced Diet Seen in Near Future,” Candy Industry, 17 July 1951, p. 3

Entry filed under: Candies We Miss, Candy as Food, Health, Science, WWII to 1960s. Tags: , , , , , .

Glue-cose Oliver Chase and Necco Wafers: Where It All Began

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Patti  |  September 30, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    I always thought Monsanto was the devil incarnate. Now I know for sure.

    • 2. CandyProfessor  |  September 30, 2009 at 2:54 pm

      Yeah, I was surprised by this Monsanto connection to the candy industry, especially given the date. I can imagine their current genetic engineering candy projects: chickens that lay jelly bean eggs, or corn plants that sprout candy corn…

  • 3. Leona Flores  |  October 5, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    check your candy bars for soy products now. Betcha dollars to donuts it’s in there. Monsanto is the antichrist.

    • 4. CandyProfessor  |  October 6, 2009 at 7:46 am

      Yeah, we’re pretty close to an all soy/corn diet. Remember Soylent Green? “It’s people!”

      • 5. Leona  |  October 11, 2009 at 7:31 pm

        “It’s a Cookbook!”

  • […] Note: yes, that’s the same Annheuser-Busch better known for beer. For the full story on how a brewer ends up provisioning the candy trade, see my post Beer and Candy III. For more on Monsanto’s chemicals in the candy industry, see my posts Please Don’t Eat the Wrapper and A Complete, Well-Balanced Diet. […]

  • 7. Granola Bar? Candy Bar. « Candy Professor  |  September 10, 2010 at 8:04 am

    […] A Complete, Well-Balanced Diet […]


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Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure

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Candy in American Culture What is it about candy? Here you'll find the forgotten, the strange, the curious, the surprising. Our candy story, one post at a time.

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