Megan McArdle has an excellent post at Bloomberg review that she titled The Economics Behind Grandma's Tuna Casseroles.
McArdle sets out to explain why we eat differently (and in many ways better) than our grandparents. Here's my favorite passage:
She also notes that food preference were probably similar in the 1950s as compared to today, it's just that our grandparents couldn't afford to eat the way we now do, and technological changes have made what were previously "fancy" foods available to the masses. Take, Jello for instance:
There is a lot more at the link and the whole thing is worth reading.