Fred Wilkinson, Managing Editor
Fred Wilkinson, Managing Editor

One of my all-time favorite magazine features is “GQ Regrets,” where the men’s fashion bible pokes a little fun at itself for wardrobe oddities it once pushed as what every sharp-dressed man should be wearing.

Not surprisingly, many of the sartorial disasters ridiculed in the regrets department date from the 1960s and ’70s: garish colors, seizure-induing patterns, collars wider than a banana leaf.

Fun stuff.

If you need a laugh — or maybe a not-so-subtle reminder to hit up that post-Christmas sale at Macy’s — check it out.

Among the miscellaneous items in my filing cabinet here at Packer Mission Control are some yellowed old copies of the paper dating from the mid-20th century.

In these pages there are some features that we could call The Packer Regrets.

Rather than being clothing trends gone laughably stale, The Packer Regrets is all about produce recipes that time forgot.

Is that a banana in my ham? Yes, it isMy dubious favorite is for banana ham loaf, the fading black and white picture of which suggest it’s basically a ham meatloaf with a couple of whole bananas stuffed in the middle — kind of a meat Twinkie with banana filling.

This lost gem appeared in a banana marketing section published April 22, 1967.

The section also boasts recipes for banana cheese pie and banana funcakes, which sound a lot like banana pancakes.

A mushroom marketing section from Oct. 14, 1967, featured plenty of recipe suggestions too, although none as memorable as banana ham loaf.

Among its promotional tips were these catchy one-liners:


  •  Love him? Serve him mushrooms!
  •  Mushrooms — the glamour food.
  •  Mushrooms, “food of the gods.”
  •  Mushrooms, “the vegetable steak.”


It’s fun to look back at what now seem like hokey marketing tactics and food trends and feel a little superior.

But lest we feel a too smug, food trends are always changing, and what’s trendy today may seem as dated as lime Jell-o with carrots in a few years.

Don’t take your vitamins

Americans are always looking for a quick fix. Witness the proliferation of convenience packs in the produce aisle.

But sometimes this impulse can prove self-defeating.

Take multivitamins — or maybe don’t.

New research recently chronicled in the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine suggests multivitamins are no substitute for eating fruits and vegetables.

In fact, the study says taking vitamins isn’t making people healthier — and may even be doing them harm, according to an excerpt at

“We believe that the case is closed — supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful,” the study’s authors wrote. “These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough.”

These findings come after a review of previous studies and some new ones, one of which looked at past surveys of more than 350,000 people and found no significant decrease in risk of heart disease and only a marginal decrease in cancer risk among takers of multivitamins.

Nutrition studies frequently receive media attention, and it isn’t rare for them to contradict previously established nutrition guidelines.

With that in mind and trusting your gut, it seems increasingly clear there is no magic pill (or single food item) that will ensure health and longevity.

But studies do, however, largely support that eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables daily correlates with greater health and a longer life.

The new research gives nutrition-oriented fresh produce marketers a nice talking point in their favor.

What's your take? Leave a comment and tell us your opinion.