The American Meat Institute was founded in 1906 in Chicago as the American Meat Packers Association. The organization was created shortly after the passage of the Federal Meat Inspection Act and spent much its early years helping meat packers adjust to new inspection requirements.
During WWII the Institute became instrumental in advertising to consumers to drive interest and demand of meat. With the rationing restrictions and shortages, many homemakers were learning to make do without meat altogether. Interestingly, in 1944 the American Meat Institute Foundation, was created with the sole purpose of allowing AMI to conduct scientific research designed to help meat and poultry companies improve their plants and their products.
One of the premises of my project was to discover and describe how WWII brought on the emergence of food science. When it came to food, the US Army was most interested in delivering light-weight, non-perishable, and tasty food to soldiers. Eggs, milk, and many other dairy products turned to powder. Chemical preservatives and salt could extend shelf lives of products, allowing transportation overseas.
What came first: corporations noticing the trend and applying it to the home front early in the war (who wouldn’t want to buy a little meal convenience), or corporations developing products and seeing a near end to the war and their new profits? I’m inclined to answer the latter.
Returning soldiers found work and settled off farms. Once homemakers were off the farm, supply of dairy and other food was found in grocery aisles, not gardens.
So, back to Frosted Meatloaf – I almost forgot! Through advertisements disguised as recipe pamphlets, The American Meat Institute introduced a new, creative, and meat-extending version of meatloaf in 1943. Frosted Meatloaf. It was a regular meatloaf with mashed potatoes “frosting”.
I’ve never been a food mixer. I’d rather use one of those compartmentalized plates at Thanksgiving to keep my cold salads away from the warm sides. I don’t want my stuffing and gravy to touch.
Frosted Meatloaf took me out of my comfort food zone. And I didn’t like leaving my zone. Hubby enjoyed the effort, presentation, and flavor. I, on the other hand, ended up deconstructing the thing when it got to my plate.
Some things just shouldn’t be messed with, no matter how boring the original becomes.