Segments in this Video

Jelly Beans and Chitlins (09:31)


American food scientists turned traditional French jelly desserts into the market's first bulk candy; other culture-changing foods include moon pie, pineapple rings, and s'mores. Chitlins were a soul food favorite during the time of great African American musicians such as James Brown; however, they originated as a last resort food for starving slaves.

Boiled Eggs and Grasshoppers (08:27)

Having fast food options is important for the modern American lifestyle; boiled eggs have been called "nature's most perfect food." Other convenient, fast foods include rice cakes, fortune cookies, rice pudding, and applesauce; grasshoppers might be the go-to protein food choice in the future.

Energy Bars and Ice Cream Sundaes (08:14)

Energy bars have become a staple meal replacement in the modern food market. Fig newtons, hash browns, baby carrots, and tacos were world-changing, mass-produced foods. The creator of the ice-cream sundae was rebelling against "blue laws" in Wisconsin.

Spam and Jello (09:08)

In 2010, Americans spent $165 billion on fast foods, with citizens in states like Alabama spending sixty percent of their weekly budgets on these types of foods. Spam, gingerbread men, space food, pretzels, waffles, and other foods were invented to solve a problem in food culture; jello has a connection to the global arms race.

BLTs and MREs (09:04)

Oysters, Girl Scout cookies, BLTs, and meat pies were all foods that changed American society and food culture. MREs (meal ready to eat) are the main food sources served to members of the American military.

Fish n' Chips and American Chinese Food (11:52)

The Hershey bar changed American culture and the candies were airdropped to kids in post-war Germany by the pilot Colonel Gail Halvorsen. Foods such as processed cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, donuts, Chinese takeout, and potato chips have become central to American culture.

Infant Formula and PB&J (08:36)

Food historians discuss how scientists replicated all of the nutrients from breast milk to include in infant formula. Raisins, popcorn, cornflakes, and peanut butter and jelly are food staples for American’s on the go and school children.

American Corn and Pizza (09:22)

The history of corn in the U.S. is complex; the modern industry is one of the most profitable in the world due to the versatility of the grain. Falafel is the Middle Eastern equivalent of the American hamburger. The oldest pizzeria in the United States can be found in New York and is named Lombardi's.

Fried Chicken and Hamburgers (08:46)

Fried chicken is one of the most notoriously popular American foods, but was born out of slavery in the South. Other impactful foods are pickles, bananas, and hot dogs. Experts conclude that the most influential fast food in history is the American Hamburger, which was revolutionized by McDonald's.

Credits: 101 Fast Foods That Changed The World (00:33)

Credits: 101 Fast Foods That Changed The World

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101 Fast Foods That Changed The World

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Across borders, cultures and time, food is one thing that all people share.

Length: 85 minutes

Item#: FMK160912

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

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