I don't see this as political, but maybe the thread should be moved under venting or OT.
One of the changes in my life since 2008 is that I have a lot more time to prepare all the meals I eat from scratch, to bake my own bread, to garden and "put things up." The economy has affected how I eat and how I think about food. I still eat well--I am not eating catfood <g>. But, I don't shop the same way. I no longer decide to make something, make a list, and go get the ingredients. Now I look at what I have on hand, check the flyers for what is on special, and formulate my weekly menus around those things. The Frugal Gourmet tried to share this lesson with us (the general population) years ago...we didn't get it.
I am amazed by the number of people who don't cook--who order out/go out--I'm not talking once in awhile, but 3-4 times/week. There is a show on slice.ca called Until Debt Do Us Part (I can only watch it when I dogsit for a friend who has satellite TV). Almost every segment shows a huge amount of the disposible income (and a large portion of the credit card debt a person has acccumulated) is/has been spent on eating out/take out etc. And, a lot of the people on the show don't know how to prepare food at home. One of the challenges is to learn how to cook.
I've only been part of this forum for a short time. I am astounded by the amazing meals people prepare and then am gobsmacked when one of the people who has shared one of those that they are living on a limited income and that they still can eat well.
I read an article awhile back that people (women) used to spend on an average 3 hours a day preparing meals (in the '40s and '50s I think it was). Today the average time spent preparing meals is 15 minutes, definitely under 30 minutes.
People with low incomes are also have poorer nutrition that results in more health-related problems. I think it is great that people on this forum have said "I'm really struggling financially but I want to eat healthy. Anyone have any suggestions of how I can eat healthier on a limited budget?"
When I receive payment for a project (anywhere from 30 to 150 days AFTER I submit the invoice), I pay my bills first, and the next thing I do is go grocery shopping. I buy "treats" (yesterday's mussels were an example) or restock my spices or buy things I've wanted to try but couldn't justify. Little pleasures, but not the same as going out and buying a new car. Quinoa is one of those things I buy. Yes, it is pricey, but it is very healthy and filling. I still eat well, but I spend a lot more time in the kitchen then I did when I was pulling down a 6-figure income. But, even then, every fall I bought 1/2 a beef and 1/2 a pig for the freezer.
Kayelle, the economy has changed how we eat and how we think of food. I think the OP assumed we all recognized that and didn't give the whole backstory when he/she started the thread. I think those in financial straits would agree that not having food in the cupboard is very depressing and demoralizing. Having people who can help them figure out how to stretch what they have and not treat them as if there is s/thing wrong with them because they are in that position, is important. Support networks make the world of difference when people are "on the dark side of the moon" and only want to find a way back.
On an up note, I think we are moving toward better times. It is just going to take sometime to get there. And, I doubt that the habits I've developed re: enlarging the garden, homecooking everything, ferreting out deals re: food, etc. will change, even if I do go back to working 100-hours/week or billing more than 275 days/year. I've learned a lot from this recession/depression. But enough already <g>. I thought I signed up for a stained-glass making course, not the "on-the-job retirement training" course. That's what I get for being too vain to wear my reading glasses.