If a flight is at or above a certain length of time in the sky (not including take off or coming in for landing) then the airline will serve a meal to the passengers. The meal varies by the airline, the time of day, and the destination.
It's crap. Always has been. I first flew around 1966-67. I don't remember what I ate, but it wasn't good. The portions used to be a little larger though. Train food is also crap (and expensive as hell). Train station food is crap. Bus station food is crap.
And the flight attendants don't wear mini-skirts any more. And they aren't required to be female and single like they were when I was young. (yes, that really was a requirement)
not a fan of airline food. the pancakes were hard enough as hockey pucks, the sausage was nuked and hard enough to be used to hammer a nail in it. And the coffee is as strong as a watered down scotch and water.