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Grain prominence due to the Great Depression?

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  • Grain prominence due to the Great Depression?

    I know grains have been around for ~10,000 years and have been a significant part of some cultures diets. However, do any of you think that grains being such a huge part of the SAD may be remnants of the Great Depression? Instead of everyone having hearty meals, they had to resort bread and soup lines to keep people from dying in the streets. Is it that the wheat production remained high after the economy recovered and other, better foods kind of creeped back in? It seems logical to me. I know people had bread, muffins, etc back in the 18th and 19th centuries, but I find it hard to believe that even their grain intake was as high as ours.

  • #2
    If anyone around here is a history major in college, this would be an awesome topic to look into for a paper or something!

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    • #3
      What I learned in elementary school:
      The Pilgrims were starving until the Native Americans showed them how to grow corn and pumpkins.
      Everyone had tea and crumpets until the Revolutionary War when we started drinking coffee.
      During the westward migration, the Donner Party ate people.
      Cowboys lived on beans.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by dragonmamma View Post
        What I learned in elementary school:
        The Pilgrims were starving until the Native Americans showed them how to grow corn and pumpkins.
        Everyone had tea and crumpets until the Revolutionary War when we started drinking coffee.
        During the westward migration, the Donner Party ate people.
        Cowboys lived on beans.
        love it!

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        • #5
          What happened in the aftermath of the dustbowl (which coin ides w/ the depression) was the entirely appropriate for the times intervention of the federal go t into the agricultural markets. What has followed in the decades since are the inevitable unintended consequences.
          Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by IvyBlue View Post
            What happened in the aftermath of the dustbowl (which coin ides w/ the depression) was the entirely appropriate for the times intervention of the federal go t into the agricultural markets. What has followed in the decades since are the inevitable unintended consequences.
            Yep, ag subsidies came into existance during the Depression and we're reaping what we've sown now...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jspradley View Post
              Yep, ag subsidies came into existance during the Depression and we're reaping what we've sown now...
              Well there ya go...blame it on socialism..

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              • #8
                European history PhD here so I can't speak for the US but prior to increased free trade in the second half of the 19th century most European countries did not import food and relied only on what was grown domestically. For most countries - England to Russia and everything in between - this meant an over-reliance on grains. It was not until the first decades of the 20th century, for example, that the British diet was diversified (for the lower strata of society especially), and nowadays Britain is most definitely not self-sufficient in food. So Europe has actually seen the reverse trend in the modern era - diversification of diet and reduced consumption (or at least dependence for basic sustenance) on grains.
                Last edited by unchatenfrance; 04-24-2011, 06:12 AM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by DFH View Post
                  Well there ya go...blame it on socialism..

                  *sigh*

                  Why are grains so "cheap" now?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jspradley View Post
                    *sigh*

                    Why are grains so "cheap" now?
                    Commie plot to weaken our population by corrupting our bodily hormones...

                    All BS aside, think of how centralized management of grains has, for better or worse, made history.

                    Start with the famous story of Mesopotamia. The simple, History Channel version says western civilization was made possible due to organized cultivation of grains that moved people away from the hunter/gatherer thing. (Of course it could be that they discovered beer and bread was a side issue, but still..)

                    Then there is the Roman Empire, a bunch of bread-eaters and beer-drinkers..

                    Fast forward to the depression and economic chaos. The central authority steps in, organizes the economy a bit, subsidizes food, and feeds more people. It reminds me of Mesoptamia a bit, in terms of centralization and feeding more people. All this has nothing to do with the health aspects of eating grains of course.. Politics doesn't care about that.

                    How did "amber waves of grain" make it into that patriotic song anyway? Things like that don't happen unless the state sees it as a priority.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DFH View Post
                      Commie plot to weaken our population by corrupting our bodily hormones...

                      All BS aside, think of how centralized management of grains has, for better or worse, made history.

                      Start with the famous story of Mesopotamia. The simple, History Channel version says western civilization was made possible due to organized cultivation of grains that moved people away from the hunter/gatherer thing. (Of course it could be that they discovered beer and bread was a side issue, but still..)

                      Then there is the Roman Empire, a bunch of bread-eaters and beer-drinkers..

                      Fast forward to the depression and economic chaos. The central authority steps in, organizes the economy a bit, subsidizes food, and feeds more people. It reminds me of Mesoptamia a bit, in terms of centralization and feeding more people. All this has nothing to do with the health aspects of eating grains of course.. Politics doesn't care about that.

                      How did "amber waves of grain" make it into that patriotic song anyway? Things like that don't happen unless the state sees it as a priority.
                      Commie plot? Nah...just ignorance and a healthy dose of greed and corporatist fascism.

                      Grains are WONDERFUL for feeding people and keeping them alive and happy (bread and circuses!), that's why they made early civilization possible.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jspradley View Post
                        Commie plot? Nah...just ignorance and a healthy dose of greed and corporatist fascism.

                        Grains are WONDERFUL for feeding people and keeping them alive and happy (bread and circuses!), that's why they made early civilization possible.
                        They work to make beer too...

                        You know I'm kidding on the commie plot stuff I hope. That was out Dr Strangelove...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DFH View Post
                          They work to make beer too...

                          You know I'm kidding on the commie plot stuff I hope. That was out Dr Strangelove...

                          OH SHIT!!!! derrrpppp!

                          "Our precious bodily fluids!!!" lol

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                          • #14
                            If anyone around here is a history major in college, this would be an awesome topic to look into for a paper or something!
                            Never looked into grain but in Archeology 101 I wrote a paper on how the introduction of the potato effected European Society. To condense an 8 page paper into a few sentence:The potato originated in Peru and was first brought to Spain by Columbus. The Spanish then took it everywhere else. It offered a high-yeild crop that provided carbohydrates (back when they thought carbs were good), potassium and vitamins (mostly in the skin) that for the first couple hundred years resulted in an amazing improvement in the quality of life of the extreme poor as it grew quickly, was easily stored through the winter and travelled well for economic trade and sale. But as the lower classes throughout Europe and especially in Ireland, became dependant on a single high-yeild crop they depleted the nutrients in the soil so that when disease hit the plants they had no diversity in their farming practices to fall back on a secondary crop to support them resulting in was mass starvation, pre-existing political unrest was intensified by the number of people starving, and the poor were expelled from their homes and waves of people immigrated to North America from Ireland, Germany, Ukraine etc. And somewhere in there the Russians invented Vodka which had a whole other set of economical/social/political results

                            Finally I found a use for something I learned in University!! Thank you forum! Thousands of dollars spent for this moment... even though it had nothing to do with grain which is the topic of the thread.... lol
                            The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease. - Thomas Edison

                            Vancouver Island Primal and Paleo Living <<< join our Facebook Group

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