Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I was really disturbed one morning last week while watching CBC Newsworld. During one of the business segments, there was a story about how, since food prices are rising and incomes are not, SPAM is becoming more and more common on the shopping lists of those trying to stretch their food budgets as much as possible.

Yahoo has a fuller account here.

My first response was, Eeeeeeewwwwww! SPAM is like totally gross! I think I had SPAM once or twice as a little kid, probably on a camping trip. If it was anything like canned corned beef, which we had quite a big of growing up, it was totally repulsive.

Then the sadness settled in.

I live on a small income, and I get by. And I don't eat a ton of processed, chemical-filled, unidentifiable foods, either. I manage to eat healthy whole foods, with the occasional junky binge here and there. My cupboards are not full of KD and ramen and I don't subsist on tuna casserole of Chef Boyardee. I certainly avoid SPAM and most canned meats like the plague (once in a while I do crack open a tin of tuna or a tin of salmon).

Sure, SPAM is cheap, but let's take a look at the nutritional information, which I gleaned from Wikipedia (such info is irritating to come by on the SPAM web site, which is one of the most annoying, absurd sites I have ever had the misfortune of directing my browser to):

1 serving = 2oz/56g: 7g protein, 2g carbohydrates, 15g fat (including 6g saturated fat), 170 calories, and nearly 1/3 of the daily recommended intake of salt

The labeled ingredients are: chopped pork shoulder meat with ham meat added, salt, water, sugar, and sodium nitrite to help keep its color.

Historically, it was widely used during WWII when rationing was on. Since then, it's become quite the legend. There is a collection of SPAM cookbooks.

But so what? Apart from price, there are absolutely no redeeming qualities about this product at all!

Surely the $2.50 - $3 a can of SPAM costs nowadays could be better spent. A dozen eggs would be a far better source of protein and nutrients, is far more versatile, and would go much farther on a small budget. There are other much healthier food choices out there than purchasing a can of SPAM for dinner. Really. Really.


Meg said...

Totally agree with everything you said! I have never tried SPAM and don't plan on it!

tshsmom said...

I LOVE fried spam sandwiches on toast with lettuce!
I agree that spam is far from nutritious. I only have it for a rare treat.
I could buy 2 dozen eggs, 3 lbs of chicken thighs, 4 cans of tuna, 1.5 cans of salmon, or a pound of burger for the same price as a 12 oz tin of Spam. I'd hardly call Spam an economical option. Like we've said before, people just don't know how to shop!

Cherie said...

Hear hear!! Good job, WC!

My dad used to coerce my mom to fry up slices of the stuff. The grease just oozed out. I couldn't stand the sight or smell of it and have never had more than the teeniest bite so that I had the right to tell Dad, "EW! I don't like it!"

There's got to be a better way to feed people during hard times.

Joanna said...

okay. let me go ahead and say EWWWWWWWWWWWW, too. haha that stuff is so gross!!!!! i haven't even tasted it before, and i don't think i ever will.

i agree with you,though. it's possible to eat healthy with a smaller income.

Border Life said...

OMG, my Dad has a tin of TURKEY SPAM in his pantry.

Barb Patch and Mark Spurrier said...

I agree with tshsmom. I love to slice spam and grill it like a hamburger.

And it is a must for breakfast when camping. Try grilling half an english muffin, and topping it with a slice of fried spam, a slice of cheese, and a fried egg. Hog Heaven!

Wandering Coyote said...

Tshs & GWB: you have GOT to be kidding! Ewwww!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin