I was reading about Victorian England and the working class diet in those days. I found out that at the beginning of Victoria's reign very few working class families had ovens and cooking was done in a pan or pot on an open fire. Many poor families had only one pot. There was also a lack of cheap fuel. Food was adulterated with all kinds of things and many poor people were undernourished, anaemic and had rickets.
Wiltshire, for example, was, in those days a poor county. The staple diet of the working man there was bread, butter, potatoes, beer and tea.
Some of those with higher wages had bacon now and again. For the rural poor there were wild birds in addition. In urban areas there was tripe. In Macclesfield 23% of the silk workers had never, ever tasted meat!!!
In the workhouse the staple diet was potatoes, cheese, bread and gruel.
Better paid workers had meat daily and cheese for supper but these were those who were in much better jobs.
. By the last quarter of the century the working man's diet improved and from 1877-1889 the cost of the average food items i.e. butter, bread, tea, milk and meat fell by 30%.
They did not know much about healthy diet. Bread and dripping was popular. Sweet foods were popular. There was not much real interest in vegetables. Vegetables changed with the season but the rest of the time food tended to be the same for certain days of the week. For example cold food on Mondays, (because of wash day), boiled beef one day, fish on Friday. Sea fish could be eaten inland with the coming of the railways. In those days fish was a comparatively cheap source of protein. So things were certainly looking up.
We often don't realize how lucky we are and for that reason I have decided to write this post for my "Reasons to be Cheerful" to be added to Michelle's blog hop this week.