Sunday, January 02, 2011

Poor people's food

Do poor people still eat the food we ate when we were poor?  Difficult to say.  I no longer know any poor people.  But I was one myself once.

Mr Charm was a graduate student, with the mandatory accessories:   a pregnant wife,a toddler, a student loan, and two jobs.  Our refrigerator was so empty we kept our glassware in it.  At least we always had chilled glasses.

We ate graduate student food:  spaghetti, with cheap hot sausages or canned clams for protein, tuna noodle casserole, hot dogs and beans, ramen noodles.  For a treat, we had Chinese takeout or maybe a hoagie once in a while.

We haven't needed to eat like that for a long time, but Mr Charm still likes most of that stuff.

It's my impression that nowadays poor people like junk food:  Kentucky fried chicken, McDonald's and its imitators.  I've noticed that poor people are generally fatter than rich people these days.

My mother knew real hunger, growing up.  Sometimes she and her two brothers shared a can of sardines while their parents ate bread and tea. They grew up to be shorter than average.  My father, on the other hand, had rickets and grew up bowlegged but was six feet tall.

Mr Charm was a child during the depression.  His mother was a single mom and lost her job at the worst possible time.  He was the youngest and used to cry because he was hungry.  They fed him pancakes made of flour and water to shut him up.  His older brother stole bread from people's doorways.  His mother refused to go on welfare--she considered it a disgrace to live on charity.  People thought that way then, I guess.

1 comment:

Chad said...

You can't even get government cheese anymore. I remember having it a couple times a year.