Sign O’ The Times

Not to be the barer of bad news, but it looks like times are harder than we might have thought. According to an article from The New York Times, Americans are cutting corners wherever we can—even when it’s really gross. Yup, folks, it seems that Spam sales are on the rise.

Now y’all know I’m a cheatin’ vegan who has never tasted pork in my life (I once bit into a pepperoni hidden under the cheese on a plain slice, but I spit it out so it doesn’t count), but I think even if I were a pork eater, I could never go there; I got sick just doing the research for this week’s column. Ick. Somehow, a $2.40 can of “ham, pork, sugar, salt, water, potato starch and sodium nitrate to help Spam keep its gorgeous pink color” just doesn’t make my mouth go all watery.

But the recession is still young, and apparently I’m the only one turning my nose up at cheap meat;Spam factory workers are pulling double shifts to keep up with the demand. Also flying off the shelves: rice and beans, pancake mix, instant potatoes, fruit and veggie preserves (real talk, fresh fruit is waaayyyy too expensive), frozen pot pies and sides, Velveeta, Jell-O and vitamins (gotta get those nutrients somewhere). Oh, and beer and Kool-Aid; no word on what flavor, but I’m betting on Red.

What are we giving up to buy all these tins of Spammy goodness? According to research group Information Resources, we’re leaving paper towels, socks, shoe polish and women’s fragrances on the shelves (I guess dudes are refusing to sacrifice their smell goods for the cause, smh).

And my prediction is that we’re only getting started; with unemployment rates at a 14-year high (6.5% as of October) and the economy continuing to collapse like the crappiest, most deregulated house of cards you’ve ever seen, we’re in for another shitshow. But we must remember that everything is cyclical, and we’ve made it through worse.

In the meantime, I’ve got a bit of advice: Move to Austin, Minnesota, and get a job at the Hormel plant, stat.

What horribly unhealthy throwback food are you planning to stock up on this winter?

If you like Kenrya’s opinion, check out the rest of her posts here.

Last 5 posts by kenrya

  • aren’t HAM and PORK the same thing? GROSS!

  • Keeks

    Not sure if it has anything to do with the recession or a ridiculous craving, but I am all about Grits right now.

  • kenrya

    I thought so, too, CoolCrysMack, but apparently “ham is the rump and pork refers to any part of the pig.” Who knew? Ick.

  • Diane

    What’s up with these stats? Instant potato is not cheaper than by the lb. taters. Pancake mix is definitely not cheaper. So are folks buying cheap or convenient – because they’re working, um, 4 jobs???

    On the pittance I make, I’ve already curtailed my buying habits. You can have anything, provided you wait for a sale or cruise various markets for a sale. Except produce. What a load of crap they keep puttin out. I’m all about the frozen sh!t. Birds Eye was 2 for 1 this weekend (not the micro/steam stuff, tho it too was on sale). Who knew I’d ever be so cheap?

    I am a pulled pork ‘ho – ahem. Eastern/Western, wet/dry, memphis/texas – it all works for varying moods. Some troll asked me something about NC vs. SC barbeque – yeah ok.

    And yep, ham is pork, but not all pork is ham. And by ham, I mean fresh, still the other white meat. The pink stuff out of a can with the slime around it – um, not sure what all the fillers are, but I cannot call that ham. Of course cured ham/pork (proscuitto, bacon, pancetta – can have a darker tone to pink color – but that’s not the same.

    Carnivores know meat.

  • Rashidah

    I just ate yogurt that was one day expired. Shoot, it was too expensive to throw away. I didn’t even notice a difference in taste. I also started boiling water. Poland Spring cost about $.50 more than it used to.