Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Leaving a Legacy for your Children

I was making a quick lunch for our family today and YES it was Chef Boyardee's Beefaroni! (Oh c'mon, you don't do Chef you will tell me you've never had the boxed Kraft Mac and Cheese???)

While I was stirring and heating it up, I gazed over at the opened cans and noticed a small blurb on the name sake. I guess in some ways, I had always wondered how, or who, shall I say, the food got its name. The blurb was only a few sentences, so I did some research on the man.

According to Wiki:
In 1924, Boiardi opened the Giardino d'Italia restaurant at East 9th Street and Woodland Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio. The idea for Chef Boyardee came about when restaurant customers began asking Boiardi for samples and recipes of his spaghetti sauce, which he often gave to customers in old milk bottles. He opened a factory in 1928, moving production to Milton, Pennsylvania ten years later.

Boiardi began to use this factory in 1928 to keep up with orders, setting his sights on selling his product nationally. Touting the low cost of spaghetti products as a good choice to serve to the entire family, Boiardi introduced his product to the public in 1929. In 1938, production was moved to Milton, Pennsylvania, where Boiardi was able to maintain greater quality control over his products. He even grew his own tomatoes and mushrooms in the factory basement for use in his creations. He decided to name his product "Boy-Ar-Dee" to help Americans pronounce his name.

Boiardi's company made and prepared millions of rations for American and Allied troops during World War II, and for his efforts he was awarded a gold star order of excellence from the United States War Department. After struggling with cashflow and managing rapid internal growth, he sold his brand to American Home Foods, later International Home Foods, for approximately $6 million. Boiardi then invested in steel mills, which helped produce goods needed for the Korean War.

Boiardi appeared in many print advertisements and television commercials for his brand in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. His last television commercial promoting the brand aired in 1979. Boiardi continued developing new Italian food products for the American market until his death, at which the Chef Boyardee line was grossing $500 million per year for International Home Foods. He died of a heart attack on June 21, 1985. He was 87.

American Home Products turned its food division into International Home Foods in 1996. Four years later, International Home Foods was purchased by ConAgra Foods, which continues to produce Chef Boyardee canned pastas bearing Ettore Boiardi's likeness.

So what's my point?

Well, this got me thinking about one's life work and legacies, specifically, of the one that you leave for your children.

Proverbs 13:22
A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.

Ezra 9:12
...that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it to your children as an everlasting inheritance.

2 Cor. 12:14
After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.

With Chef Boyardee, in one way, I feel like he did leave a legacy, per se, in that even though it's been over 20 years since his death, he still has his name out there and the product has lasted 50 plus years and maybe this is resulting in a financial legacy for his family (children's children sort of thing). But on the other hand, I wonder about the "legacy" and question whether this is the sort of legacy that God intended. After all, one man's life work/business/restaurant/dream --- well, in all honesty, can be bought at .88c a can on sale. Plus, it has a subtle underlying stigma of "canned pasta" attached to a face with a "you actually feed that to your children" attitude. Yes, he sold the company for millions and there are probably royalties still today, but what happens when the money runs out? What is the family left with?

I think there is more to the intended legacy -- that of values, morals, character, love for and walk with God.....though I do believe the "inheritance" deals also with land, showing our children the value of work, living off the land and not being dependent on others (yes, I am back to my homesteading ideas)....In the Bible, it does say to not be indebted to another man and to work for God, to not have money as your master.....

I think it would be amazing to instill in my children these values. Where the "inheritance" we give them is something they can use as a never failing foundation -- both literally (in the land sense) and spiritually (as in God).

So this is just more of a reflection, as it came to mind today. It makes me question what sort of legacy we are leaving for our children. What decisions are we making today that will affect my children and my chldren's children? And are they to their benefit, ones that will take care of them, financially, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually and physically?

I can sense this will be an ongoing thought....

1 comment:

  1. Agreed... this is one kind of thought that will have a lasting legacy...(definitely ongoing)


Thank you so much for sharing your heart!