Poor Man’s meal.

It’s hell being poor.
I always thought that being poor was about not having stuff. You know how it is; you see the person with the nice clothes, or the new car and your wish list grows by the minute.

Even if you grew up with a little money you probably experienced at least a temporary poverty. Like the college student scrounging under the seat of the clunker for change to buy gas. Or maybe the young person fresh out of high school who was “just starting out” and money was tight. We all seem to experience a time when money was something other folks had.

I’ve come to realize that the impact of poverty and health is the real concern with money, or lack there of! Everyone is most likely familiar with the image of college students eating pizza, or the struggling family “scraping together money” to make the next meal. The quality of food available to “poor folks” is terrible.

We won’t even get into the preparation and portion issue.
We all know that processed food is convenient when time for meals interferes with time for making a dollar. “Grab it and go” is the way to go when you’re chasing a dollar.

Everyone who has had money but needed to hustle to keep it going probably cruised down the highway eating a Hot Dog and drinking a Coke dropping fries on the floorboard for later.

Supply doesn’t seem to be the problem when it comes to food and poverty in America. Demand is definitely there by the looks of things. It’s the type of food and how it’s prepared. We’re fooled into packaged convenient meals that are skillfully labeled to confuse the guy rushing through the grocery store grabbing the cheapest box in the freezer. Or the other dude that never sets foot in a grocery store except to pick up a woman. He’d rather “drive thru” and go ! Both guys are paying big bucks for plaque on installments as the percentage rate goes up.

Portions in freezer boxes will leave a working man gaunt. You have to eat three boxes if you have ever worked outdoors laboring for 4 hours at a stretch. Even the hungry man size meal would do good to feed an office worker on a good day. This is a marketing strategy. Someone makes more money if you buy more meals, and you will buy more meals.

The opposite is true of fast food. There portions are designed for big boys. The kids meal is probably the standard for portion size for adults. We may scoff at that idea, but our disdain is not based on science, it’s based on marketing and the triple size portion that’s only $1.19 more. That’s a deal!!!

The issue is so complex that their are several industries researching psychological assumptions of demographic values and belief systems to capitalize on every dollar you have or want.

The foods we ate, as a nation, in early years were good foods. They are inexpensive and fueled us towards longevity and quality of life that was comfortable. However, those folks who had a work ethic that would put us to shame are long gone. Labor wasn’t just for the poor back then.

The serving size of a 19th century citizen vs the 21st century citizen is definitely not the same spoonful. The preparation technique and time has been reduced from hours to seconds. So nowadays we have the twisted version of a meal that can sit on a shelf for another century and someone could put it in a box that will shoot microwaves through it, then a minute later the 22nd century man will have an antique meal. Although, he’ll probably say “yuck” and spit it out. Then he’ll go into his undersized cabinet and get a tube of steak and potatoes. Or he’ll drive to the local fast food joint and order a meal that resembles something from the 20th cartoon The Flintstones.

“The Family Meal” has been reduced to dinner. So I was thinking if you’re poor and don’t have to run around everywhere chasing a dream that’s really a fantasy, you could get back some of those meals and time by buying groceries and cooking them on a stove.

Then you could talk and eat breakfast, share stories at a lunch that was prepared, and relax at dinner discussing your day. This sounds absurd to those chasing the “American Fantasy”, I mean dream!

Or you could continue down the road talking or texting while eating out of cardboard of paper sack chasing the “Jone’s”. Just remember dreams don’t come true and being poor can be healthy!


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