Food of the Seventies, Metracal

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this was possibly a late 60's thing but also popular into the early 70's...a diet aid...predecessor to slim fast...every mom in the neighborhood drank metracal for breakfast and lunch...a canned meal...tasted like artificial maple was in it and came in chocolate and vanilla and they tasted the same....taste stayed with you for way too long
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The following are comments left about Metracal from site visitors such as yourself. They are not spell checked or reviewed for accuracy.

cindy - March 17, 2008 - Report this comment
Do I remember Metracal! I lost 30 lbs. the summer before I entered junior high drinking the stuff. And I thought it tasted great! The cans were only like 50 calories and they took it off the market because people were losing too much weight and not getting enough vitamins.
Jeff - May 28, 2008 - Report this comment
Haha, my mom liked this stuff too. She had just quit smoking. This was before people realized that it's a bad idea to try to live on 300 calories a day... After a few days of that your body would force you to go on a binge, negating the value of being on the Metracal diet.
AliceHartley - May 29, 2008 - Report this comment
A memory of my mother, circa 1965: At the dining room table, after a particularly wonderful, pleasurable meal, her Puritan side would rise up … she would put down her fork and shout “Tomorrow, Metracal!,” referring to some god-awful diet food we had seen advertised on our grainy black and white TV. But luckily, the cans of diet food never appeared… And so, I've googled Metracal in 2008 and find it really did exist!
Steve - June 27, 2008 - Report this comment
Actually Metracal came out in the late 50's. I was in High School at the time. Many of the guys on the football and wrestling teams would drink it with lunch to 'bulk up'. I was on the Track and Cross Country teams - and had no desire to bulk up.
Ed Lapinskas - December 07, 2008 - Report this comment
can't recall the name of the TV show back in the late 50's but it was a documentary about WW11. Seemed they had Churchill narrations in most of it too. Metracal was the sole sponsor of the show. This takes you back to about '59 and people used to think Winnie was a big hero too.
Charlie - December 31, 2008 - Report this comment
There also were Metracal cookies. I earned money in the mid 60's as a college student working at Richmond Bakery (Indiana) weighing out the ingredients, checking the quality, and running the approximate 100 foot oven line producing the cookies. We were one of two bakeries in the country working double shifts trying to keep up with the high demand for the sorta good tasting diet aides.
Debby - April 13, 2009 - Report this comment
Wow, my Mom used the stuff, too but it didn't work well for her. My memory of the taste is very different, too! I came home from school one time--I was about 9 (about 1965 I guess)--and saw some "chocolate milk" in the fridge. I grabbed, gulped and about spit it out on the floor! It was the nastiest tasting stuff I'd ever had! It was chalky, thick and really horrid! And yes, it was Metracal! It DID teach me to never grab and gulp indescriminately again, thought! :o)
John Foley - May 25, 2009 - Report this comment
My neighbor had cases of this stuff. It was like surplus or something that he got for free. This would have been 68' to 72' somewhere in there. My mom and sisters all drank it. I remember that he would offer it if I pulled weeds of something, but I hated the taste. I do not recall the flavors, but I do remember that he had chocolate and strawberry. As I write this I now remember that it he told me that it was taken off of the market because it contained saccharin, an artificial sweetener that it was believed causes cancer. Joe, my neighbor also told me that saccharin got a bad rap and that you would have to drink like a hundred Metracals a day to get cancer. It was great luck for him because he got like a garage full for free.
kmom - May 28, 2009 - Report this comment
Used Metracal but liked Sego better. It tasted better frozen. Metracal seemed to be more water.
Diabe Estes - August 23, 2009 - Report this comment
I suspicion that my high school usage of Metrecal in the mid 1960s may have caused racing heart beat. I would sit in Spanish class about an hour after my morning "dosage" counting my pulse. It was fast for me:110. Later on in my adult life I've developed atrial fibrillation. Anyone out there with similar experiences?
tessa - September 12, 2009 - Report this comment
I wish I could still buy Sego, Metracal, Slender! I froze Sego and there were sooo many great choc. flavors, sure saved me after wisdom tooth surgery! They all seemed to disappear with the appearance of Slim Fast? Would love to have them again! I also did the Stillman diet.
Suzan Farris - March 28, 2010 - Report this comment
Has anyone who has tasted Metracal noticed a huge similarity between it and "Boost"? Or is it just me?
Suzan Farris - March 28, 2010 - Report this comment
Humm.... I may be on to something here. Did a few moments of research. Mead-Johnson made Metracal Novartis makes Boost. News Story - 16-Dec-2003 Novartis buys Mead Johnson adult nutrition business. Swiss healthcare firm Novartis said today it is to buy US-based Mead Johnson's adult medical nutrition business for $385 million (€312m) in cash, giving it a strong presence in the US retail market.
Diana - June 03, 2010 - Report this comment
I remembered drinking Metracal thinking just drinking it like milk with the meal would help me lose weight. DUH! LOL! By the way I liked the chocolate flavor.
Rob - December 31, 2010 - Report this comment
I grew up in the 60's and when not school we played sports, sports and more sports. I was so skinny, from non-stop activity, my ribs stuck out. My mother would give me a couple of cans of Metracal a day to try and put weight on me. And kind of funny and nothing to do with Metracal, she would also feed me raw steak a couple of times a week, again to try and put weight on me.
Jane - February 09, 2011 - Report this comment
I use to freeze it and eat it as ice cream. Tasted like a malted.
Barbara - January 07, 2012 - Report this comment
My weight was 91 pounds in high school. A friend told my Mother she heard if you drank a large glass of Metracal before you go to bed you could gain weight. My Mother bought it for me and for 2 months I drank it every night and gained 10 pounds.
Sandi - April 25, 2012 - Report this comment
Mom bought the gallon cans of Metracal powder and drank it often, she lost 65 pounds using it. A friend said she couldn't lose weight using it. She loved it so much she would drink 10 to 12 glasses a day and couldn't figure out why she was gaining weight on it. I liked the vanilla and strawberry flavors. Would mix up both flavors and add real berries of all kinds into them and freeze them for after school treats. I lost about 20 pounds before they took it off the market. Wish it was back as saccharin is the only artificial sweetener I can use without severe side effects like migraine headaches.
Joe - July 16, 2012 - Report this comment
One of my favorite childhood memories. Grandpappy and I would get strawberry "ice milk", sprinkle strawberry Quik on it and top it off with a can of strawberry Metracal. "Some of the good!"
Erin - January 24, 2013 - Report this comment
I still remember my fifth grade teacher sneaking the cookies in class. Everyone seemed to be on Metracal drinks or cookies back in the day. I remember later on when Figurines came out---they were flat out delicious. My mom and I gained weight on them because they were so dang good you'd eat the whole box.
Rob Lambert - April 02, 2017 - Report this comment
Metrecal was introduced in 1962, made by the Mead-Johnson Company. Found TV commercial for this, aired on "Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" over ABC (12/14/65). Episode also has ad for 007 men's cologne (Sean Connery eyes pictured on box). Rick Nelson song: "Your Kind of Lovin'." Also, network promos for "Shindig" and "Where the Action Is." Concerns over the effects of liquid protein the cause of Metrecal being pulled from shelves in 1977.

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