#1 Canucks Fret Over Picky Tastes Of Donated Food Recipients.08-30-2008, 09:00 PMMac and cheese study reveals Canada's social inequality
Last Updated: Thursday, August 28, 2008 | 5:14 PM AT Comments134Recommend120CBC News
A study found Kraft Dinner is viewed differently by Canadians from contrasting income levels. (Ruth Bonneville/Canadian Press)Simple meals like Kraft Dinner can be unsatisfying for the millions of Canadians who live in a state of food insecurity, found a new study released by the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research.
The year-long study, published Wednesday in the international journal Agriculture and Human Values, compared the perceptions of Kraft Dinner, a popular macaroni and cheese kit, by "food-secure" Canadians against those on low incomes who are "food-insecure."
"When people are worried that they're going to run out of food, when they have to make nutritional compromises, we have a state of food insecurity. We have a real public health problem," said Melanie Rock, an assistant professor at the University of Calgary.
The study, which interviewed people in Montreal and in Atlantic Canada, found higher income Canadians believe Kraft Dinner is an acceptable donation to food banks because it is convenient as a meal in a box, easy to prepare and tasty.
'Kraft Dinner is not comforting when you cannot always afford basics like milk and butter.'
— Melanie Rock, study co-authorRespondents also said because their own children liked the taste, they felt kids in lower income families would as well.
In contrast, those on lower incomes said they bought or ate Kraft Dinner as a last resort, usually near the end of the month when money has run out.
The study also pointed out that fresh milk, necessary to prepare Kraft Dinner, is the most precious commodity in many food-insecure households, which often can't afford it.
"For many of us, Kraft Dinner is a comfort food, but what we heard very clearly from low-income Canadians is that Kraft Dinner is not comforting when you cannot always afford basics like milk and butter," said Rock.
Some single mothers told the study authors that their children often refused to eat Kraft Dinner because they had to consume it so often.
Fresh milk is not a vital ingredient for fake mac and cheese. I've made it myself under duress using dry milk and margarine or just dry milk. It's nothing to write home about but I don't normally consider donated foods to be a real taste treat. It's something you use until you get back on your feet and have the ability to cook your own food.
08-31-2008, 07:37 AM
I have read British articles about 'food insecurity' too. It seems to me that a productive area of research would be to compare people who are coping well with others at the same income level who are not. Many lower income people manage to feed themselves and/or their families with a nutritious diet on relatively little, the answer is to study them to see what they are doing right. There are always going to be emergency events but 'food insecurity' seems to be a state of life rather than an isolated event.
08-31-2008, 08:24 AM
Last edited by bijou; 08-31-2008 at 08:29 AM."Don't vote. It only encourages the bastards." -PJ O'Roarke
08-31-2008, 10:43 AM
1/4 cup milk. That's what you need for a box of Kraft Mac N' Cheese. 1/4 cup. Everybody should donate fruits and veggies and see how they bitch then.Loyalty Binds Me- Motto of Richard III
08-31-2008, 10:54 AM
I cannot stand mac and cheese (I don't like cheese) but I have been known to cook the pasta, add a little butter and eat that.This is bigger than presidential politics. This is a battle for America.
noonwitchGuest09-02-2008, 10:20 AM
If people can't afford fresh milk, they can use canned or powdered milk, especially for Kraft Mac and Cheese. That cheese powder will cover any off-flavor of reconsituted milk.
I always have a box of Kraft in my cupboards. I don't eat it often, but it's good to have around if I run out of other food or if little kids visit-they love that crap. I prefer homemade mac and cheese, using my mom's recipe.
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