Mt. Carmel St. Cristina Society

Poverty and the Immigrant Diet

Did you know...

That in 1880, 80% of Italians that came to the United States were from the South, and they had nothing but poverty? Their daily menu consisted of soups of lentils, peas, fava beans, escarole, and chicory gathered from the field. Many immigrants continued this practice in the United States and very rarely they ate meat. The average Italian consumed only 28 pounds of meat per year, while the average United States resident consumed 120 pounds per year. Many first and second generation Italians continued to eat a high carbohydrate, low protein diet out of habit which contributed to their generally small statute.