Depressing food

In Featured Posts, Food and Culture, Front page by Prof2 Comments

As college students, you certainly know what it’s like to eat on a budget.  Perhaps the three most important requirement are that food should be filling, use simple ingredients, and above all, be cheap.

Not that long ago, I was listening the the NPR show “Fresh Air“, and two authors describe how Americans ate during the Great Depression of the 1930s.  That was a time when there was great poverty and families struggled to put food on the table.  With the best of intentions, home economists and school lunch managers developed recipes and food plans that did indeed fill stomachs and stretched budgets.  In hindsight, however, these foods were awful, both in culinary terms and nutritionally. There was a lot of creamed stuff.

As we begin our first unit on “food and culture”, it might be instructive to think about the economic and other social factors that influence what you eat.



  1. Before the semester started, I went to visit my grandparents. While there, I was flipping through a cookbook my grandma got as a wedding gift in the 50s. I was surprised at how many of the recipes sounded repulsive, and the difference sixty years has made in the American household’s diet.

  2. My parents recently gifted me a book which details what many ate during the depression and how this affected their mind set about food. It also included multiple recipes, none of which I’m interested in recreating.

Leave a Comment