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?