27 Oct

Great Depression Soup Line I understand that there’s a lot to dislike in processed foods and sugary snacks, but I sometimes wonder if the current “obesity epidemic” is partially a long term backlash to The Great Depression.

My grandmother, (or Memere, as we call her,) wasn’t the most obsessive of the post-downturn hoarders that I’ve met, but throughout most of her life she maintained a small vegetable garden in the backyard; she made sure plates were full, that the scraps were used for something (often soup), and that leftovers were treated with proper respect.

(It was also common for my grandfather, Pepere, to refer to bologna as “poor man’s steak”.)

I don’t see anything wrong with the way Mom handled things, but everyone I know was raised with the same refrain of “you’re not getting up from that table until you’ve cleared your plate”, or “finish your ——, or no desert”. Are these just echoes of our grandparent’s lack? A warning to finish now what we might not have tomorrow?

4 Responses to “Post-Depression”

  1. Monique October 27, 2010 at 18:42 #

    What you say is quite accurate and unfortunately we take a lot of the ways we were raised with and make it our own when we raise our kids. But we do ad new things we learn like healthier way as we go. Do you also remember your mothers saying when it came to desert? And I am sure your brother and sister can confirm this. lol “Desert is not a necessity. Its only to please your taste buds.” Also, “Eat half of your supper and you get half a desert”. And this was because someone kept telling his Grandma that he always had room for desert cause he had 2 seperate stomachs. One for the meal and one for desert! Hmmmm wonder who that was. lol

    • JRD Skinner October 29, 2010 at 12:54 #

      I do recall. 🙂

      “Desert is not a necessity.” is still a popular refrain around the house.

  2. bmj2k October 29, 2010 at 12:51 #

    There is so much more to this post that my comment sounds (and is) very superficial, but I can;t get past how much the billboard image looks like the image of the Ricardos and Mertzes traveling to California

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