Thursday, December 11, 2008

What and How America Eats in Recession

In a recent article in PARADE, an article was featured called "What America Really Eats." It features statistics on what America eats now, especially now that we are in a recession, and just how we eat in general. NBC's Brian Williams had a follow-up commentary on the article.

How are Americans responding to the recession in terms of eating and food?

Here are some interesting statistics on America's eating habits:

-59% have cut back on meat due to rising costs

-33% ignore expiration dates (40% expired bread, 30% canned goods)

-53% would pick up their hamburger, hot dog, ice cream cone, pretzel, or any food that hit the floor and eat it within five seconds of hitting the floor

-54% brew coffee at home or work

-71% always wash fruits and vegetables before eating

-21% won't go more exotic than sushi

-35% prepare meals from scratch

-28% buy more products in bulk

-1/3 said one thing they wouldn't give up is a balanced diet

-48% eat out less than they used to

-21% have their own vegetable gardens

(Vegetable gardens are now a $1.4 billion-a-year industry)

-61% rely on coupons and sales when buying food

-42% have switched to less expensive brands of food

-47% resist the urge to splurge on nonessentials on their shopping trips

-66% would never try to pass off prepared food as their own

So, what do you think of these figures?


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Megan B......... said...

I think that honestly, there's too much hype over the recession. Maybe not too much-- just hype in the wrong places.

I'm researching Depression-era clothing for the school drama "You Can't Take it With You" and I came across an interesting website which made a correlation between the style of clothing that's "in" right now, and the style of clothing that was "in" during the Great Depression. I can't find the website now, but it's out there somewhere.

As with the food thing, I think that maybe 3 things on that list actually relate to recession. Cutting back on meat- I've done this because yes, meat is unnaturally expensive. Expiration dates? If the food's still good, eat it. Recession or no. The FIVE SECOND RULE?? COME ON!! When I dropped a whole batch of cookies on the floor after baking them last night, I picked them up. I wasn't thinking "OMG there's a recession, I had better not waste those cookies!!" I picked them up because I was pissed that I just spent an hour rolling 64 balls of chocolate and peanut butter and then re-rolling them together.

A Balanced Diet? I want to be healthy.

Passing off prepared food? That's kind of contradictory to limiting the number of eat-outs per week? That has more to do with laziness and sheistyness than it does with recession...

I think you get the point.

Jami said...

You're right about people's connections with food and the recession. It doesn't come to my mind when I'm shopping really, but I liked to hear that connection between dropping the cookies. That made me laugh.

That's interesting that you're doing some research and drama work with the Great Depression era. We just did a 1930s unit, and it was interesting to connect the two recessions between now and then. It was hard to explain the depression to them because they've always has excesses and surplus--they didn't understand how they couldn't buy a loaf of bread for ten cents. PICK IT OFF THE FLOOR! They'd yell. Oh..youth.

Anyway, thoughtful comment. You always add such good insights to my ranting world.