YspeopleExplore tab


Do you remember Bushells instant tea?

Thumb images  1

About JK

A frustrated academic, I want to start a social movement that will bring people together to create a better world. The world is far from ideal and who is going to change it if we don’t?

Happiness is a birth right and at the very least, a worthy ambition for us all. We have a responsibility to work together to help all people experience happiness. Please join with me

This dreadful powder in a cup was the beginning of Australia's fascination with all things instant.

I remember visiting my grandparents many years ago and being introduced to instant tea, Bushells Instant Tea. It was a marvel, a revelation, an amazing time saver.

Not even the humble tea leaf has been safe from modernisation.

Not even the humble tea leaf has been safe from modernisation. Picture: Shutterstock

No longer was it necessary to put tea leaves in a pot and fill it with hot water. Now you could put powder in a cup and fill it with hot water. 

It tasted dreadful, but it was a lot easier than tea leaves – apparently.

It was a progression of Australia’s fascination with all things instant, including instant coffee, instant cake mixes, frozen peas, frozen pizza and so many other culinary delights.

I wonder if anything has changed more in Australia over the past 30 years than what we consume.

Our passion for junk foods has certainly grown in that time, along with our waistlines. I'm old enough to remember when no one had heard of Hungry Jacks, KFC and Red Rooster. I remember when the first Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet opened in our city.

When I was a child, fast-food meant fish-and-chips from the local. Now, fish-and-chips are considered a delicacy and many Australians are addicted to the big US brands like McDonald’s and a handful of Australian brands like Domino’s

Of course, there are those that would suggest that consuming junk food is not eating and I would be among them. In terms of the things we Australians eat and drink, the change has been even more profound over the last 30 years.

Remember barbecues in the 1970s?They consisted of chops, sausages, buttered sliced white bread, a tossed green salad with cheese and boiled eggs, and a bowl of beetroot. Today, in addition to steak, there might be crustaceans, a variety of other fish, one or more of a numbers of breads, and a range of salads involving any one of 20 lettuces, and an assortment of exotic vegetables, fruits and nuts etc.

Do you remember breakfast in the 1970s? Weetbix or a similarly unhealthy cereal (loaded with salt and sugar), warm full-cream milk, a slice of white bread toast and jam, and a cup of instant coffee. Very different from the smashed avocado with exotic condiments and barista-created designer coffee that demographer Bernard Salt has been so critical of Gen Ys for spending their money on.

When I was young, almost everyone took their lunch to school or work. I am told that today there is a problem in schools with kids getting Uber Eats deliveries. In the work place it seems that fewer people bring their lunch instead opting to use one of the growing range of exotic Lebanese, Vietnamese, Turkish, Greek, Italian, Indian, Chinese well-priced eateries in an easy walk.

I remember roast dinners with all the trimmings on Sundays, and ‘meat and three veg’, most week nights, all consumed around the table with full manners and parental respect on display. Today, this has all been replaced by eating out at a wide range of economical eateries, Uber Eats, supermarket delights or culinary masterpieces inspired by chefs and cooking traditions around the world.

I remember when mum did the cooking. Now some blokes are doing it. Fortunately, not me!

I remember when there were four styles of wine -- white, red, fortified and sparkling (carbonated) -- along with two local beers in each state and one national drop, Fosters. At the same time, spirits were generally southern European and the purchase place was called a ‘gallon license’ – with the law requiring purchasers to buy at least a gallon, in the vein attempt to protect hotel sales.

Today, the styles of wine available are far too many to count, boutique beer sales outnumber mainstream beer sales and the number of labels is increasing daily. The range of spirits is now huge, with a growing accent on quality and a growing interest in local boutique producers.

Then there are restaurants, where the number and range has exploded almost beyond comprehension. In most Australian cities, we can eat food from almost any country. Foodwise, Australia has truly become a melting pot.

Is there anything that has changed more in Australia than what we consume?

The growth of junk food has poisoned our society and increased obesity tenfold.

On the other hand, the increase in the variety of ‘foods’ eaten, at home with the family, when entertaining and in restaurants has enriched our diets, our culture and our understanding of other cultures.

Banner 2
| Your rating
No ratings yet

Related stories

From Superman to Jaws, these are just some of the important things to happen today in history!.

Memory Lane: January 16

January 16 is packed full of absolute highlights in our cultural history. Why not share with those celebrating an anniversary...

Sport Celebrities Nostalgia Culture History
About 20 hours ago
From famous birthdays to monumental events.

Memory Lane: January 15

From famous birthdays to monumental events, here's what happened over the years on January 15.

Celebrities Culture History Nostalgia
2 days ago
Corporal punishment was all the rage when I was at school.

Do you remember the cane and strap?

It doesn't seem that long ago that children were disciplined with the strap at home, or caned at school for misbehaving.

2 days ago
Who might you be sharing a birthday with?.

Memory Lane: January 12

Celebrating an anniversary or birthday today? January 12 has marked some momentous occasions.

Celebrities History Culture
5 days ago
What happened on today in history?.

Memory Lane: January 11

Celebrating a birthday or anniversary today/ See what other amazing things happened throughout history.

Celebrities Culture History
6 days ago
Steve Jobs announcing the iPhone (2007).

Memory Lane: January 9

Were you born on January 9? Here are some other historic highlights from your special day.

Celebrities History Culture
8 days ago
Can you guess who's birthday it is today? Picture from elvis.

Memory Lane: January 8

Two of the world's most famous musicians were born on this day in history.

Celebrities History Culture Music
9 days ago
The Beatles, icons of the 1960s.

Do you remember the Swinging '60s?

If you are under the age of 60, you probably don't. But neither does anyone who was truly there.

History Music Culture Nostalgia
9 days ago
Leighton Battery at Buckland Hill.

The huts behind the hill

Athol Barrett wants to learn more of the WWII soldiers who occupied some huts he enjoyed as a young teacher. Can you help?

Australia Memories Nostalgia
21 days ago
They were happy days in the time of black and white.

Do you remember black and white?

It was a time when most of your media was devoid of colour. And it was great!

Movies Technology TV
About 1 month ago
Trending stories
Spend time with your friends!.

10 powerful tips for self-investment

When we prioritise...

(Health & Beauty) 2 days ago
Corporal punishment was all the rage when I was at school.

Do you remember the cane and strap?

It doesn't seem that long...

(Nostalgia) 2 days ago
Aussie country music superstar Keith Urban.

Dang! Here's what's wrong with country music

Millionaire metrosexual...

(Entertainment & Culture) About 15 hours ago
The cat's out of the bag!.

20 truths about a woman's life after 50

The pros, the cons and a...

(Health & Beauty) 8 days ago
When it comes to great bloggers you can connect with, this list has you covered.

20 mature bloggers worth following

Looking for Australian...

(Entertainment & Culture) 9 months ago
Weekly Poll
Haiku of the week
Memory lane