John Cheese's latest column on Cracked.com is entitled "The 5 Stupidest Habits You Develop Growing Up Poor". One of them is "You Develop a Taste for Shitty Food."
If you grew up poor, have been poor as a young adult, are poor now, or — most of all— if you are one of those people who just can't comprehend why anyone buys canned corn, please read it. A sample:
People who have never been poor love to point out overweight people in the ghetto and sarcastically exclaim, "Yeah, it really looks like she's starving!" And they have no idea that the reason many of them have weight problems is because everything they're putting into their bodies is dirt-cheap, processed bullshit. Grab a TV dinner and look at the nutritional information.
- Mmmm....fat and salt
Fresh food is expensive and takes forever to prepare. It goes bad quickly, so it requires multiple trips to the grocery store per week, which is something most impoverished people can't do. And since all of those time-saving frozen meals are high in salt and fat, they take up residence in the expanding asses of the people who can't afford anything else.
There's also a more shameful horror (please note sarcasm): growing up in a prosperous family and becoming a poor adult. That's me. It's long been my impression that many food bloggers and critics are from well-to-do families. It's not uncommon that they are subsidized by their families when young and, if not, often end up with significant credit card bills.
Even if you don't make writing about food your business, being a poor little rich kid as an adult can leave you with a sense of culinary entitlement way out of proportion to your income. I remember hosting dinner parties that left me with a $30 bank balance and no electricity for a week. I'm not exaggerating. Part of this was the ordinary impulsiveness of youth and I wised up eventually. I cut out the dinner parties and increased my balance to $98.60. Yeah, I remained poor and my father wrote the check that I taped at the last minute to the gas meter to avoid disconnection. (Did I mention I was working as editor of Creative Loafing then?)
I don't know any full-time critics these days who have a sufficient budget to do their best job of reviewing. That's why the blogs of the subsidized and those not depending on writing for a living often provide such a terrific resource.
Love pork belly.
Some food just doesn't photograph well, even if it is tasty.
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