Food costs and preferences then and now

Lucille

I was thinking this morning about Grandma's stuffed cabbage and how wonderful it was, but also about the various types of meat/veggies used back then in her time and how different things are now.

Some people think it is not proper to eat certain kinds of meat for instance such as horse or goat or rabbit. There also seems to be controversy about selling horses for meat purposes. Is it the actual using of horse meat that is the issue, or the fact that in many places the killing process is scary/painful and we do not (of course) want our beautiful pets mishandled even at the end of their life, even if they die of natural causes. What about cattle? What about cats and dogs which meat could be used? What about people? What about guinea pigs? (My son was served guinea pig in a restaurant when he and his wife visited Peru years ago, it is apparently a common meat source). I'm thinking that no matter what kind of animal one uses for meat purposes, their death should by managed in a way that there is not pain or upset. How realistic that is I don't know but I have heard some upsetting stories about hunting/killing for meat, and commercial meat processing.

I do remember that in our grandparent's day and even some of our parents who lived through the Great Depression that almost no part of anything animal or vegetable was wasted. And fruits weren't picture perfect in the stores like they are now.

If some unanticipated event should cause food prices to really skyrocket, how many of us who are used to one type of food could think back to their grandma's recipes when various edibles were scarce and create nutritious and delicious meals? A cabbage, a bit of meat, a few other ingredients and my Grandma could serve up a wonderful dinner.

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katrina_ellen

I have been trying to cut down my food costs eating more beans, eggs and eating plain yogurt for alternative protein sources. Just trying to be more creative with cheaper cost items. I buy organic so the costs add up quickly. I think a little of this and a little of that gives a good variety to meals. I recently discovered a frugal cooking site and I tried a turkey meatball recipe that used a can of beans, 2 slices of bread and a pound of turkey. It would be cheaper to cook the beans from dry but I used canned. Along with spices, it turned out good, I liked it as much as using all meat.

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LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

If very high food prices were the only issue I think most people would be able to make do with a little learning curve but very few would probably be able to duplicate what the population had to nearly a century ago. Most people are too soft these days IMO.

I have a large garden, a chicken coop (currently not occupied), and a small herd of cattle so with a little creativity life would go on for us close to normal.

If the S#!T really hit the fan and there was a extended disruption to utilities, transportation, etc. then life as we know it would be over. Food riots, looting, mass hysteria...your basic armageddon scenario. Hunting, gathering, and food preservation skills would be of utmost importance for survival and I'm afraid only a small fraction of the populace possess those skills these days,

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Winter

"What about people?"

Remember the 70's book/movie Soylent Green? It was science fiction then.


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LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

The Donner Party wasn't science fiction back in the 1840s. People will do what they need to do to survive or not. The survival instinct is stronger in some than in others. I wouldn't be opposed to eating most any meat in a pinch but not human flesh.

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ritaweeda

OMG - the movie "Soylent Green" - not the greatest movie of all time but I'll watch it any time it's on just to hear Charlton Heston frantically yelling out "Soylent Green is People!" just one more time. LOL!

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DawnInCal

My grandparents aren't a great example of making do because they made their living raising cattle. They always had access to beef, my grandmother raised chickens for meat and eggs and a large creek that ran thru the ranch provided all the fish they could ever want to eat. My grandfather wasn't a hunter, but in a pinch, deer, elk and even the occasional moose could be had. Smaller animals included prairie dogs, rabbits, raccoons and porcupines. My grandmother's very large veggie garden provided all of their veggies and for fruit there were wild berries and strawberries. I remember my grandmother picking wild mushrooms at the right time of the year. They ate well even during the depression.

If things became really dire, I think we'd be better off than people in urban areas. While we don't hunt, we could take deer, rabbits or squirrels if we found ourselves in a situation that required us to catch our food. Fishing in nearby rivers and lakes would also be an option. I don't grow my own veggies, but I could if I had to and raising chickens is also an option.

I know how to make soup or stew with a bit of meat and whatever veggies I have on hand. Beans and a soup bone can also make a satisfying and filling meal. I don't think we'd go hungry, but we probably wouldn't have a lot of variety.

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Kathsgrdn

Never had a meal prepared by my grandmothers. One died long before I was born and the other lived in another country and I never met her. My mom was a great cook, though. I can make soup or stew out of what I have on hand, no problem. I have a small vegetable garden and could make it bigger if I had to. I know how to save seeds and raise some animals. Killing them for food would be hard, though, but I could do it.

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Lucille

BTW when the idea 'what about people' crossed my mind, I was thinking of how much pet food $ I'd save if I fed my plump exes to the dogs. (After they had passed of natural causes, of course).

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Annie Deighnaugh

There actually is a product called soylent...no, it's not people...but it is a quick to eat/drink product that is supposed to be 100% nutritionally sound for people who are too busy to eat/cook/do dishes, etc.

https://soylent.com/pages/about-soylent

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kadefol

We watched one of those "end of civilization" movies a while back and were discussing what we'd do if it ever came to that. Hub and I could subsist on a vegetarian diet, no problem, (and beans and dry good would likely be one of the last things looted from grocery stores, so easily available). But I'd be worried about what to feed the cats since they are obligate carnivores. I guess if the crap hit the fan, the only solution would be to let them outdoors to hunt for themselves.

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Lars

Cannibal club that I bought in Fiji, which used to be called the Cannibal Isles. This practice stopped in the 1860s, I believe, but they still make the clubs to sell to tourists. Unfortunately, the seller also insisted on explaining to me exactly how they were used. They also sold cannibal forks, but I did not buy one of those, although the real antique ones are very collectible in England.

I could grow vegetables in my back yard - my main limitation would be water. I do grow quite a bit of fruit - citrus plus cherimoya and white sapote. I have a banana tree that is supposed to make bananas, but it has never bloomed for me. I also grew up on a farm and felt that cows were pets, and so I would not eat beef, but I had a dislike for the pigs and did not feel bad about eating them (they were mean), but Kevin will not. I used to have chickens as pets (despite their lack of cooperation to be petted), but Kevin and I both eat chicken today. I don't think I could kill a chicken to eat, but I do not have this problem with fish for some reason.

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Olychick

I think a lot more of us would become vegetarians if we had to slaughter animals ourselves for food.

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patriciae_gw

My grannie taught me to cook so I am good. I learned on a wood cooks stove.

Chickens are not nice. Given the option they would most certainly eat you and feel no angst over it. Nice in this case means picky. We are predators so it is interesting that so many people today have problems with the idea of taking life, with parameters. Why doesn't anyone care about the feelings of fish? I suspect facing starvation our delicacies would evaporate. I tried to learn how to kill chickens, My grannie wrung their necks. My chicken got up and walked away. I had to recatch it so she could do the job.

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schoolhouse_gw

My Mom could put a meal together with whatever was on hand too. I learned from her and still cook that way, nothing fancy or over spiced, just plain ole' food. Lately I admit I find myself sometimes reaching for processed frozen entrees and making a meal around those. Never really feel satisfied afterwards tho.

Plus I don't mind leftovers. My brother won't eat leftovers and neither will my aunt.

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joyfulguy

Chop a chicken's head off with an axe on a block, drop the body on the ground and in some situations, at least, it'll stand up and run around for a few seconds, but I think that it's reflexes, for there's no connection to the brain and I think no pain awareness.

Which is smarter, a pig or a cow?

When I was a child Dad built a platform of planks in each pen where a sow's litter of ten or a dozen growing pigs were kept and they'd throw a forkful or two of straw onto that platform. When we kids were running around playing, occasionally we'd go into the pigpen and could choose to lie down on those strawy platforms. The pigs lay down there and kept it clean, doing their business in another corner of the pen, and some distance from the trough inside the pen at ground level where we fed them their ground grain and whey.

Those who know tell me that a cow will shit in its own manger.

Pigs make great pets, are friendly and can be house-trained fairly easily, I've been told ... but don't try it with a calf.

I was a child through the years of depression in the '30s, and 10 in 1939 when World War II started, soon our farm workers went to war, and what Dad, this 11 - 16 year old and a couple of younger brothers did on Dad's rather large farm - got done ... and the rest didn't!

There were a lot of things that we wanted that weren't available, or only in very restricted quantities, during the six years of the war. Being a farm kid - I got my driver's licence at age 15.

ole joyful

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Lars

Why doesn't anyone care about the feelings of fish?

Fish eat fish all the time to survive, and so I don't think fish feel too much about eating other fish, and this makes me feel that it is okay for me to eat them as well. I have different feelings about marine mammals, but they also eat fish. Also, fish tend to reproduce in large numbers, much like pigs. Cows only have one or two calves at a time, but pigs tend to have litters that are more like a dozen at a time, which is unsustainable, and pigs can do a lot of damage and also attack humans.

For me, animals that reproduce in huge numbers are more acceptable to eat than those who have few offspring.

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nickel_kg

I'm not overly squeamish about fish: every summer we spent at my grandparents cabin we'd fish. Grandpa taught us to knock the fish on the head before gutting them. I think he did that so they wouldn't squirm, I interpreted that as meaning they wouldn't suffer. I've never had to kill any other kind of meat. I think I could handle a chicken (if someone was there to teach me how to do it calmly and quickly), but any type of mammal ... well, I'd have to be desperately hungry. Not likely to happen (thank goodness).

My parents were kids during the Depression. Frugality = good, waste of any kind = bad. Taking advantage of seasonal garden surplus seems natural to me, because I remember the days when you COULDN'T find produce except in its season.

If civilization collapses, don't worry about the kids ... they'll just look up what to do on the internet ... oh wait! LOL!

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nicole___

I agree with Lars. Fish, chicken, pigs....so many of them. We eat a lot of ground turkey as opposed to beef. Sausage & pepperoni pizzas or calzones. Tuna melts. Meatball sandwiches. An omelette. I like rabbit & I've eaten horse.

If we had to provide our own food....I'd start a garden. Have a chicken coop. Lettuce would be a main staple. It's a fast turnover crop. And then research what to grow to feed the chickens.....?

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