Not all Soviet food is created equal.

There’s your run-of-the-mill Soviet stupidity and associated tragedy on the one hand – the sort that communitarially robs capitalist human inventiveness from the productive class – and then there’s the exceptionally vapid, and historically unprecedented in scale, brand of puritanical Soviet stupidity and associated tragedy on the other hand – the sort that communitarially robs masculine human independence from the middle class.

The former is best exemplified by pre-1991 Soviets, the latter by their post-1991 torchbearers, but each has slightly different impacts on nutrition, agriculture, and the food supply.

Let’s look at some data.i And some eats!

Food availability differed between regions in the SU. For example, fruit consumption per capita in the Russian SFSR was 40 kg per person, while the Siberian region just consumed 12 kg. Meat consumption in Estonia was 80 kg, but just 31 kg in Uzbekistan. (Data for 1975-1981)

Citizens reported daily queuing, inferior quality goods, and lack of supply sometimes. Most respondents said that there were deficits in meat supply. However, almost everyone had meat (and cheese, kefir, milk, and eggs) several times per week, and the majority had them daily. One explanation of why there was queuing and shortages while at the same time they were eating meat almost daily is that there existed a legal private market (rynok)

What the existence and efficacy of private markets demonstrates is the degree to which pre-91 Soviets, by and large, knew that the whole thing was a sham, a charade, a pretense that was better than nothing but still not to be taken too seriously, certainly not in private. That the subtly massaged history books now call these private markets “legal” is perhaps a bit fanciful, but there’s no doubt that there were various expanses of grey zone activity in the pre-91 edition of Sovietism, an opening that the post-91 gang is keen to minimise no matter how naively implemented and fundamentally futile.

The post-91ers have given this endeavour a better shot, to be sure, but they also had two generations of world reserve currency status with which to reinforce their mayogendered mass in the battle against the vicious vortex of human complexity, stupidity, and unpredictability. Not like it’s done the UStards any good, they still eat mega-farmed rubber chicken while looking down their noses at the “Third World” and their backyard meats.

Overall, consumption as estimated by Schroeder and Denton increased at 5.2 per cent a year between 1964 and 1973, or 3.9 per cent per annum per head of population

There, only a few people have eaten lobster, pineapple, or avocado in their entire lives. The quantities of juices, spices and various imported products cannot even be compared. There, they eat tomatoes and fresh cucumbers from August through October, plums in September, and strawberries for two weeks at the beginning of summer; here, all these and much more is available year round. There, vegetables means cabbage, beets and carrots; here, there are dozens of types. There, apples are available in the fall; here, almost any fruit is eaten year round.

Remind you of the “new” “seasonal eating” trend ? Where born-again-hippies line-up by the dozensii on the mouseshit-infested floors of Planet Organic (or similar) to trade stacks of inherited bezzlars for greenhouse-grown, pesticide-“free”iii vegetables in the middle of winter instead of eating pickled cabbage and mouldy potatoes like the Ukrs, Swedes, and Germans who first brought European agriculture to the Redman’s lands ? It should. It’s no wonder the more astute students of history are nauseously incredulous at the degree of similarity between the pre-91ers and the post-91ers, hurling their cookies over the fact that so many mistakes could be repeated so soon afterwards. Different language, sure, but same playbook. Seriously, the exact fucking same playbook to a degree that will require no small amount of scholarly dissection a few centuries hence. If the heads on Mount Rushmore could talk… Oh the tales they’d tell!

Practically all American food is enriched with vitamins, while in the USSR in 1974 only 15 per cent of bread and bakery products were enriched.

Incomparability of the quality of bread greatly complicates the comparison. In the unanimous opinion of all Soviet emigrants and many other Europeans, the quality of bread in America is worse.

In this connection it is worth saying that in 1913 the Russian per capita consumption of potatoes was less than in 1976 – 114 kg, in spite of a much lower urban share of population (18 per cent compared with 61 per cent in 1976) – a fact that gives cause for wondering about dietary progress in this country.

Gotta love how the evilbaddoubleplusungoodniks from the SU can’t even tolerate the soi-disant “baked goods” typical of their new homes in the US. No wonder so many emigres long for the glory days of Stalin!iv

Also, did you know that urbanisation is the fyootoor ?! I mean the past!!! I mean the only way to deal with 7 bn +++!11!1 Why ? Because it’s the most efficient and pragmatic way to deal with moo-eyed cattle, which is precisely what Soviets are, first and foremost. Doesn’t matter which side of the Berlin Wall they were on before. At these population levels, it’s all a wash now.

Speaking of which, you should probably wash those vegetables and start making your own bread. You don’t know how bad you have it.

___ ___ ___

  1. Via Artir, some loveable Latin-loving bastard.
  2. Yet in the post-1991 Soviet imagination, this sorry state of affairs is different than the lines the pre-91 Soviets wasted their days in ? Please, tell me how. I’d love to hear it.

    Not like it’s limited to organic grocers. See Walmart, Costco, Superstore, etc. LINES LINES LIIIINESSSS!!!!1 And for what ? High quality food ? No! High quantity!!

  3. Of course, “organic” meat and produce isn’t pesticide-free, much less corn-free, but rather free of the pesticides with such a preponderance of evidence indicating their riskiness for human consumption that it’d be unconscionable (ie. litigiously unsound) to use them. This is, unfortunately, still predicated highly problematic areas of “scientific” research ; so not only is it unclear just how dangerous the ingestion of the known poisons are, but even the potential poisons remain in use because they’re subsidised more than Elon Musk’s “Next Big Idea” and they do a hell of a job burying and externalising risk. What’s not to like ?
  4. At least according to their official mouthpiece.

9 thoughts on “Not all Soviet food is created equal.

  1. The ‘enriched’ American bread – and the tasteless year-round fruits and vegetables, bred for shelf life and shipped under ripening gas – I would consider cruel to feed even to a pig.

    Actual edibles are no easier to obtain here in USA than in historic SU. But, while in SU, e.g., ersatz rubbish bread was produced strictly during WW2, in besieged Leningrad; in USA – it is to be met with in every grocery shop.

  2. My point is that they in fact were ‘much for fine dining’, compared to what modern Westerners are accustomed to.

    • Pete D. says:

      I get that, but we’ll be talking at cross-purposes until the cows come home if you abuse ‘fine dining’ to mean just eating non-garbage. Fine dining is, properly speaking and to take an example from a restaurant I quite enjoyed this past weekend, more like this. Maybe this sort of fare was only known to Party Members before. Hell, maybe it still is!

      At the grocery store level, sure, the New Kidz have it worse than the Olde, but we all get what we deserve in this life.

  3. vechbrau says:

    got cake?

  4. […] bathrooms ? This division is a completely bizarre and entirely delusional bit of “progress,” one created out of some narrative fiction about how wimminz need to be “safe” […]

  5. […] kicker, however, was this : we grew up mocking the inefficient line-ups of the overly centralised Soviet Unionviii and yet there we were – the people who actually had a choice of where to eatix – […]

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