A Colleague came across an article from the Ladies’ Home Journal that dates back to about 1911. The article is called “What May Happen In The Next Hundred Years,” and, at the very least, it was interesting reading.
As to be expected, many of the predictions were way off base, but surprisingly, a few of them hit pretty close to home. Some examples of the unrealistic predictions include a complete “extermination” of mosquitoes and flies, cars will be cheaper than horses (which may be debatable if the horse in question is the winner of the Kentucky Derby), and a university education will be free. As a parent with two in college, this prediction made me laugh out loud.
Don’t Be A Weakling
An interesting prediction, “Everybody will walk 10 miles,” caught my attention, as the text went on to say that all schools will have gyms and all cities will have public gymnasiums. Today, for those interested in physical fitness, gyms and other facilities are readily available in many areas. Sadly, however, I’m sure very few people are walking 10 miles. Nevertheless, part of this was true. The kicker, though, was the last sentence in the prediction: “A man or woman unable to walk 10 miles at a stretch will be regarded as a weakling.”
In spite of the phyical fitness buffs, the U.S. has and continues to grapple with an obesity epidemic. To my knowledge, though, I have never heard anyone refer to overweight people as “weaklings.” Although name-calling is generally frowned upon, could the Ladies’ Home Journal have been on to something? Maybe their goal was to make being physically fit “cool.”
Staying in the “health kick” vein, there also were predictions for “supersized” fruits and vegetables. For example, strawberries were projected to be as large as apples and peas as large as beets. According to the prediction, a single strawberry would suffice as a serving.
Too bad this didn’t happen. We can still have hope, though. Breeders continuously work on disease- and drought-resistant varieties. Maybe someday “jumbo” size will be included in breeding parameters. Think about it; producing supersized berries also could prove to save on labor.
There were other predictions, too, that were very close to being on target. For example, another one was titled “Vegetables Grown By Electricity.” The text reads: “Winter will be turned into summer and night into day by the farmer. … He will also grow large gardens under glass.” Technology has and continues to play a major role in food production.
Moving Into 2013
Since the end of the Mayan calendar and the predicted end of the world already came and went, that means we are all presented with an opportunity to make positive contributions to the future, especially the future of the vegetable producing industry. I’m not game enough to make predictions for 100 years from now like the Ladies’ Home Journal did, but if I was to look into a crystal ball for 2013, I would say we will see a workable Farm Bill passed, the government will realize the critical need for food production and will ease up on some restrictions, and we will continue to see technological advances in breeding and labor-saving equipment.
What is your vision for 2013? Drop me a line and let me know.