Food Snark

Meals from the Great Depression

February 27, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

This article was written by Phin Upham

There is a big push these days to grow food for the home. It’s an effort to save money in the household, but it also comes in response to growing concerns about preservatives and harmful chemicals used in mass produced food.

During the Great Depression, the diets were radically different because they were based on what people had access to. Hunting was still important and many families collected road kill for food sources. Some of it isn’t pretty, but these were the foods that got our grandparents through some rough times.


Ketchup was an important staple in American kitchens throughout the Great Depression. You could make ketchup soup by combining one part ketchup with two parts water. Salt and pepper could help the taste.


A variety of sandwiches became popular because bread was part of the essentials a family might have had on them. Sandwiches used ketchup or bacon grease, but kids enjoyed sugar sandwiches for dessert too. This was also the time of the open faced sandwich, like mashed potatoes and gravy on toast.

Hot Dogs

Hot dogs also found a place in American kitchens as a cheap and much needed source of protein. You could put hot dogs in baked beans or serve them with fried potatoes. The dishes were filling and tasty.


Eggs were another great source of protein, and they found their way into a variety of dishes. The “One Eyed Sam” was an over easy egg on a piece of toast. Hard boiled eggs would get served with rice, for a dish that was filling and easy to prepare. Runny eggs and grits were a breakfast favorite that continues today.

About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website

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