We eat bad food.
I ran across this in a book today and it reminded me of the occasional "who can afford" and "who has time" cooking posts on metafilter. I always think of this as a "modern" problem, but would anyone care to guess in what year the following was written?→
". . . the American is no longer the gourmet he once was . . . . There are many reasons for the decline in food standards. The sedentary occupations of city-dwellers have lessened the keenness of their appetites, and the tempo of modern life has left little time for them to test the quality of individual dishes, and even less time to wait for the preparation of special orders. More important in the decline has been the domestic revolution. Women have seldom had as great an interest in food as men have had, but when housekeeping was the only career open to them and compliments on satisfying meals were the chief rewards for service, they spent much of their time in shopping for choice foodstuffs, mixing, beating, paring, boiling, and baking. When new careers were opened to women and they were no longer dependent on cooking for their living, they and the manufacturers united to make the preparation of meals a short process. Today a pre-cooked dinner, from soup to nuts, can be bought and placed on the table in half an hour. The difference between a dinner created by mass-production processes and one prepared at home is as great as the difference between a ready-made suit and one tailored to order, but an eating public gradually accustomed to the ready-made meal has lost appreciation of the finer product."