That’s an era that produced lasting scars, in ways not always apparent. As most people realize, the deprivations of the Depression led to the excesses of the Fifties, because kids who grew up with nothing were now prosperous adults, the war was over and it was time, by golly, to enjoy not being deprived.
Why did I get to thinking about this today? Well, because one of the lasting effects of the Depression concerns food. Our parents were taught by their parents that Wasting Food was something akin to a capital crime. Why, those starving children in [name some exotic country halfway round the world] would be happy to finish what you ungrateful kids are refusing to finish! I/you put that food on your plate so you darn well better eat it! Clean your plate!
The result was that several generations of kids were trained from the get-go to keep eating till the plate was empty, regardless of whether their stomachs were full. And to Not Waste Food. Which might well be the reason why so many of us turned out to be fat adults.
Fortunately, my brothers and I weren’t treated to the extremes of Not Wasting Food Mania that some of our friends were, because my dad was an Olympic gold medal picky eater and we were a bunch of sharp, wiseass kids who weren’t shy about asking why we had to clean our plates when Dad didn’t. But my husband’s father would brook no such backtalk and by golly if you put it on your plate you had to eat it, period.
Thus, my husband, from long conditioning, believes at a visceral level (no pun intended) in Not Wasting Food. It pains him to toss out an unopened jar or can that’s past its expiration date. Even though he studied organic chemistry all the way through grad school, he refuses to believe that organic substances in sealed containers deteriorate in any way. And any cooked food that is placed in a storage container in the fridge is Still Good until it starts growing green and purple alien life.
Even though I do my best to put dates on the various zip-lock bags and containers in the fridge, if the stuff still “looks good” he is going to eat it, period. He likes taking leftovers to work for his lunches and for the most part that works out fine. Not always, though. Apparently he deemed something “still good” a couple days ago that wasn’t… and came home sick from work today.
Putting dates on stuff is not enough. I’m going to have to be the Fridge Police and throw things away myself. While he’s not looking, of course, lest he suffer gastric distress of a different kind. 🙂
photo credit: Jill – Glossy VeneerHope you'll recommend my posts via your favorite social media. Just don't copy the material as your own.