Kraft Dinner = Comfort Food or Crap? did an article (well a blog entry really) called Perceptions of Kraft Dinner.

The gist of the article was:

An associate professor at the University of Calgary co-authored a study that looked at people’s perceptions of Kraft Dinner. It was really an examination of social attitudes between those who are “food secure” and those who are on low incomes and “food insecure” — where running out of food is a daily reality.

The study found that food-secure Canadians perceived KD as convenient, easy to prepare and popular among kids. They said for those reasons, KD was an acceptable (and popular) donation to food banks.

But for people on the receiving end, KD is seen as the food of last resort. To them, it represents money running out and food being scarce. Some said it underscored the fact they couldn’t afford butter or milk to make the KD. And many parents said their kids hated the taste because they had to eat the mac and cheese so much.

I am really lucky to never have had the choice to only eat Kraft Dinner or starve. I’d eat it, if I had to, but it hits home that KD is reality for a lot of families who cannot afford to buy fresh fruits, veggies or meat.

I cannot imagine hitting so low on the income level that I have to resort to KD every day. I really feel for those families, especially since I’ve just gone shopping for groceries and I came back with $60 worth of veggies and fruits, nothing processed, nothing in a box and all raw, real, tasty food.

So I think it’s pretty clear, it’s not a meal to me and it never will be. But some people love KD. They don’t think of it as being a ‘poor person’s meal’, they love the taste because they’ve grown up with it, and it’s comfort food. KD is practically an American icon! You tell someone “I ate some KD today”, and they immediately know you’re talking about Kraft Dinner. Talk about branding.

As for my history and perception with it, the only time I’ve ever eaten Kraft dinner was at a friend’s house. Once, and that was enough. The taste on its own is really unnerving because I’m not used to that flavour or the faux cheese, but mixed with real meat and vegetables at my friend’s house, it wasn’t so bad. Much like ramen when you make it and mix it with fish, veggies and other great things, ramen isn’t so bad.

So I guess someone’s KD is my ramen. But I would never eat ramen just the way it is – I add eggs, I add meat, I add veggies and it’s a really hearty meal.

Update: Not any longer, ramen makes me sick and dizzy now.

Personally, I don’t like it and it doesn’t look appetizing to me. That bright orange colour that dyes your hands when you touch it (ok I’m making that up, I’ve never tried),… I just can’t imagine eating it and thinking it’s good. If I wanted macaroni and cheese, I’d make it our of real macaroni and real cheese in the oven, baked and delicious with meat.

So readers, what about you? What are your experiences with Kraft Dinner?

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.