‘What shall we eat tonight for dinner?’ is a very normal sentence for all of us right? We can can take away some Chinese food, or maybe buy sushi. Another possibility is to make spaghetti or to go trough a drive thru to get a burger for example. We can eat pumpkin in the summer and watermelon in the winter if we would want to. The possibilities are endless. But it hasn’t always been like this. Today we have access to all kinds of food originating from all over the world. One wasn’t always able to live like this, so how did the generation of our grandparents manage with food?
Food in wartime
Our grandparents are now around 80 years old. That would mean that they were children during the Second World War. Because of that they behave nowadays differently when it comes to food. We have grown up in a world where there was enough food for us and we didn’t really think more about it. Our grandparents on the contrary, they’ve experienced food on a whole different level than we did while being a child. War meant that there wasn’t always the certainty of having food at all while we complained when we didn’t like something. There also wasn’t a lot of export and import from other areas of the world. In Belgium for example, most people ate potatoes, and eggs and drink milk. Because of the lack of food at certain times in the war, especially during the cold winters, people got creative and did everything they could so they wouldn’t starve. For example a lot of people ate raw flower bulbs or made soup out of the skin of a potato. Ofcourse it didn’t taste very well, but at that point it didn’t matter, as long as you could eat it, people ate it. That’s something that luckily we never experienced, but there are still so many people in this world who need to fight for even the smallest amount of food, so they don’t starve.
Food coupons from during the war and the flower bulbs people ate during war.
War leaves its scars
So our grandparents had a different youth because of the war and although the war is been over for a long time, it has had a huge impact on the food habits of our grandparents. They won’t complain for example like we do when we don’t like something, because they’ve learned to be happy with the food you have. My grandparents also think people should sometimes be reminded by the fact that we’re actually very spoiled and not everyone can live or lived like this.
This was the amount of food that was able to buy with the coupons for one week.
Of course it is good that the food industry has grown so much and we can’t even image how it would be without all the fast food take aways, chinese restaurant, sushi bars, pizzeria’s, etc… But I think it’s also good to keep in mind that our way of living, food related isn’t how it always was and we can’t take that for granted.