4 ways our eating habits have changed since the 1930s


Breadline, New York City, Xmas Day, 1931

Food was the single largest expenditure for families in the early 1930s, amounting to about a quarter of family spending…Today that number is lower, despite an increase in dining out; food expenditures amounted to about 10% of families’ disposable personal incomes in 2014…

In 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt approved a plan to create the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, which gave federal grants to states, who used the funds to distribute relief including food to U.S. families.

I’ll list the 4 categories of change wrought during Depression years:

1. The government took an active role in educating people about food

2. Bland foods were in

3. Cow’s milk was a ‘wonder food’

4. ‘Farm-to-table’ was the opposite of trendy

You get the idea; but, the review provokes a lot of interest. Some is pretty easy for geezers as old as me. Some will likely be surprising to folks whose knowledge of the Great Depression derives from romantic sources. No one in the family left to relate their personal tales.

And…the comments are worth wandering through. My favorite, so far…talking about the food being bland…“Too bad Phyllis Schlafly never wrote a cookbook. It’d give us something to laugh about.

Cooking with Phyllis:

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen. Today we’re going to be cooking with water. I’m going to show you how to make one of my favorite dishes: boiled liver.”

Har!

2 thoughts on “4 ways our eating habits have changed since the 1930s

  1. nicknielsensc says:

    My mother cooked with salt, pepper, bay leaf, and Lowry’s Seasoned Salt. Any other flavors were inherent to the food she prepared. We ate a LOT of casseroles. I think the only times she didn’t use onions in some way or another was with fish.

    • eideard says:

      Why leave out onions with fish? I can’t imagine enjoying a tuna salad or sandwich without onion. But, then, my Italian-American mom did use onions and garlic with everything.

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