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REFRIGERATOR AND PRESSED
RED SPOON TIPS
Betty Crocker, 1921 In 1921, Betty Crocker was created because of a contest that was part of a promotion for Gold Medal Flour. The company needed a name to sign to the letter, accompanying the prize of flour sack pincushions, sent to the thousands of customers that successfully completed a puzzle. They chose the family name of an early director of the Company, William G. Crocker, and the name Betty for its warm and approachable feel. The signature was voted the most distinctive of several submitted by female employees. The pincushion promotion set off a flood of inquiries for reliable and creative cooking advice. In 1924, Betty Crocker was on a local Minneapolis radio program called "Betty Crocker Cooking School of the Air." The response to the show was positive and it joined the NBC network lineup in 1927. Over the next quarter century, The Cooking School "graduated" more than one million listeners. During the Great Depression, Betty Crocker found ways to help families maintain an adequate diet with low wages and relief foods. In the 1930's and 1940's, Betty Crocker published the meal-planning booklet "Meal Planning on a Limited Budget" and used the booklets and the radio to provide helpful hints to homemakers to make the most of war rationed foods. In 1945, Betty Crocker was pronounced the "First Lady of Food," in a survey of best-known women in America, following First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. In 1947, the Betty Crocker Ginger Cake mix was introduced and the name was transformed into a brand name distinguishing a nationally distributed family of products. The growing line of baking mix was an instant hit. In the 1950's, the red spoon logo appeared on the cake mixes and became one of the most recognized brand logos in the world and is a symbol of quality, convenience and reliability. It was also during this time that Betty Crocker moved on to television, hosting her own programs and appearing on many others. During the 1950's, families were growing and needed new recipes to prepare in their suburban kitchens. Of course, Betty Crocker met that need with the first cookbook, which was followed over the years with over 200 cookbook titles and countless small format recipe magazines. The Betty Crocker Cookbook has reached an 8th edition and has sold over 27 million copies, which makes it the all time best selling cookbook in the world. There are eight Betty Crocker kitchens, which represent different parts of the American cultural tradition: the Arizona desert, California, Cape Cod, Chinatown, Hawaiian, Pennsylvania Dutch and Williamsburg. Professional home economists work in the Betty Crocker Kitchens to develop and test recipes, work with new products, and develop time saving techniques that help families cook and bake smarter. There are three camera kitchens that are used to create beautiful food photography for use in the cookbooks, magazines and recipe cards.
James Hill, M.D., a nationally known weight loss authority, is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado and an adviser on obesity to the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Hill is in charge of the National Weight Control Registry and developed the "America on the Move" program. He is the coauthor of The Step Diet Book.
Susan J. Crockett, Ph.D., R.D., F.A.D.A., is the Director of the General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition in Minneapolis, Minnesota.