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 Post subject: Little Room at the Table for Picky Eaters
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:15 am 
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Bathes in Braggs
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http://thechronicleherald.ca/opinion/11 ... cky-eaters

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In a New Yorker cartoon, one woman confides over coffee to her friend: “I was looking for my soulmate — now I’m just looking for someone who’s not on a special diet.”

Picky eaters are a plague.

Announcing what you won’t eat is passive-aggressive and boring to others. At mealtimes, it isolates us in silos.


It goes on a predictable way. I rattled off a short response last night and hope they publish it next week when her next column prints: Goodness, I am appalled at the realization that I may have offended Jan Wong (or someone like her) with my ethical choices. In future I'll just shut up and eat the slaughtered pig like a good little girl.

For background, Jan Wong is a well-known Canadian journalist who went through a big controversy with some of her work and then clinical depression. She now teaches at a New Brunswick university and writes a weekly column for our local daily paper.


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 Post subject: Re: Little Room at the Table for Picky Eaters
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:49 am 
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HOW DARE that waitress ask her if there's anything she can't eat. As someone who goes into anaphylactic shock when she eats peanuts, I am HORRIBLY OFFENDED by that waitstaff's consideration. WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO????

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 Post subject: Re: Little Room at the Table for Picky Eaters
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:54 am 
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Erika Soyf*cker wrote:
HOW DARE that waitress ask her if there's anything she can't eat. As someone who goes into anaphylactic shock when she eats peanuts, I am HORRIBLY OFFENDED by that waitstaff's consideration. WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO????
Exactly! I'm sure you have enough in the way of good manners to expire quietly and not ruin anyone else's meal.

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 Post subject: Re: Little Room at the Table for Picky Eaters
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:39 am 
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but I don't wanna eat purple food!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

kinda seems like she's trying to steal Bourdain's schtick.

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 Post subject: Re: Little Room at the Table for Picky Eaters
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:39 am 
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Erika Soyf*cker wrote:
HOW DARE that waitress ask her if there's anything she can't eat. As someone who goes into anaphylactic shock when she eats peanuts, I am HORRIBLY OFFENDED by that waitstaff's consideration. WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO????



you will die for politeness and you will like it!

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 Post subject: Re: Little Room at the Table for Picky Eaters
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:52 am 
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Jan Wong wrote:
And I’d only have to eat the rejects — cold and dried out — at the start of the next meal.


This gave me a Mommie Dearest moment.

Umm...err...I don't want to eat at this woman's house? I don't like her brusqueness. I think her being taken aback on being asked whether she has food restrictions is what is strange, I don't think the question itself is strange at all--I think it's very considerate and a question any good host/ess should ask. And that she doesn't recognize this makes me not want to read anything at all she may ever have to say on the subject of manners and etiquette.

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 Post subject: Re: Little Room at the Table for Picky Eaters
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:23 pm 
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That's just terrible. I have family members that have food allergies, gluten, soy, some other things. And when I make food for them I make just about everything gluten-free, soy-free and vegan. As far as I'm concerned if my guest has a gluten allergy, then for that day, I do too, and so does every one else. The only thing that would have gluten would be like a desert that someone else really likes and requested, and I make a gluten free desert too. But even then it's like" Everything's gluten ad soy free except the apple pie."


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 Post subject: Re: Little Room at the Table for Picky Eaters
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:41 pm 
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seitanicverses wrote:
Jan Wong wrote:
And I’d only have to eat the rejects — cold and dried out — at the start of the next meal.


This gave me a Mommie Dearest moment.

Umm...err...I don't want to eat at this woman's house? I don't like her brusqueness. I think her being taken aback on being asked whether she has food restrictions is what is strange, I don't think the question itself is strange at all--I think it's very considerate and a question any good host/ess should ask. And that she doesn't recognize this makes me not want to read anything at all she may ever have to say on the subject of manners and etiquette.


She sounds incredibly unpleasant and quite angry. I think she needs some therapy to process the experiences she has had with food rationing and wheat harvesting.


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 Post subject: Re: Little Room at the Table for Picky Eaters
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:44 pm 
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Well, she does say that its not rude if you have a "genuine food allergy." Because its only a pain in the asparagus and isolating to have to make a special meal if its for your ethics, or as she calls it "First World Fetishization."

I guess I have a genuine allergy to animal exploitation.

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 Post subject: Re: Little Room at the Table for Picky Eaters
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:56 pm 
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I really hate the idea of veganism as a "first world problem"
I mean if you wanna call it a "first world phenomenon" then go right ahead but it's not a "problem"
I don't ascribe to the idea that we should all support factory farming cause we are so gosh darned lucky to have them!!

yes CHOOSING to be a vegan is a priviledge, but so is CHOOSING to go to McDonald's and eat a cheeseburger.

this lady has a stick up her butt.

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 Post subject: Re: Little Room at the Table for Picky Eaters
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:20 pm 
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I don't quite understand how not eating meat is a privilege? My grandparents always said that having meat, eggs and dairy was a privilege, because it was more work and more expensive, and wasn't even always available, at least it was when they were young.


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 Post subject: Re: Little Room at the Table for Picky Eaters
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:26 pm 
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I don't get it. Being vegetarian isn't a first world phenomenon. Plenty of religions around the world advocate vegetarianism for ethical reasons. How is it a food fetish? Any ability to choose what goes in your stomach is a privilege. What's a first world phenomenon is the ability to have prime cuts of animal flesh at every meal.

She sounds like a grump looking to ruffle some feathers.

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 Post subject: Re: Little Room at the Table for Picky Eaters
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:45 pm 
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Omnis never refuse any food or make special requests. Ever.

When's the last time you heard an omni say, "No thanks, I don't like onions" or "Dumpster diving? I don't think so" or "Medium-rare, please" or "This needs salt" or "This chili is too spicy for me"?

Never, that's when. Because they know how to be polite.

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 Post subject: Re: Little Room at the Table for Picky Eaters
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:00 pm 
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There are lots of omnis that don't eat vegetables. Lots.

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 Post subject: Re: Little Room at the Table for Picky Eaters
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:06 pm 
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Untrue! If you serve them vegetables, they eat vegetables without complaint.

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 Post subject: Re: Little Room at the Table for Picky Eaters
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:40 am 
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The upside to her attitude is that if you had her over for a meal she would (supposedly) eat whatever you put in front of her without complaining. The downside is that you would become fodder for a future column.


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 Post subject: Re: Little Room at the Table for Picky Eaters
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:37 am 
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Let her eat kutti pi.

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 Post subject: Re: Little Room at the Table for Picky Eaters
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:40 pm 
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Alaina wrote:
I don't quite understand how not eating meat is a privilege? My grandparents always said that having meat, eggs and dairy was a privilege, because it was more work and more expensive, and wasn't even always available, at least it was when they were young.



It's a privilege to be able to choose what you eat, rather than to have to eat whatever is available to you.

Also, I somehow thought from the title of this thread that it was going to be about a cookbook focused on feeding picky eaters. Now I'm disappointed.

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 Post subject: Re: Little Room at the Table for Picky Eaters
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:45 pm 
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I wish I hadn't googled kutti pi

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 Post subject: Re: Little Room at the Table for Picky Eaters
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:40 pm 
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Morgyn wrote:
Alaina wrote:
I don't quite understand how not eating meat is a privilege? My grandparents always said that having meat, eggs and dairy was a privilege, because it was more work and more expensive, and wasn't even always available, at least it was when they were young.



It's a privilege to be able to choose what you eat, rather than to have to eat whatever is available to you.

Yea, but that sounds just silly when it comes out of the mouths of people who are choosing to eat meat, or any one that lives in a place with an abundance of food and food choices.
Plus like my understanding has always been that in areas where food is scarce people's diets tend to be mostly vegetarian. So when meat is the thing that's rarely available to eat, meat is the "privilege". Plant foods are more consistently available, hence not a "privilege". If you don't have enough food, you don't waste plant foods feeding them to animals instead of people.


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 Post subject: Re: Little Room at the Table for Picky Eaters
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:15 pm 
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Alaina wrote:
If you don't have enough food, you don't waste plant foods feeding them to animals instead of people.


Unless the food that's available isn't fit for human consumption, which happens in some places, or if there is at least a portion of the harvest that is not ideal for human consumption, but could be eaten by animals. Sometimes having an animal who will eat almost anything is a good insurance policy against starvation - you can milk her, drink her blood, and if she is on the verge of death, eventually kill and eat her. I think most subsistence societies function on this kind of principle - eating mostly vegetarian and keeping animals to occasionally consume their bodily fluids (or eggs) and as last-ditch insurance against starvation when famines come.

In any case - most people living above the poverty line are exercising privilege in their food choices at least some of the time, if not always, and there ain't nothing wrong with that.

I had a conversation with a friend recently who was hosting a dinner and had one guest who sent her this long complicated e-mail about what she couldn't eat, based on somewhat sketchy allergy testing she had done recently. My friend was really feeling angsty about it and we spent a lot of time talking about what food restrictions are irritating in a guest. She has no problem feeding me vegan when I visit or feeding another of our friends with a variety of serious allergies, but this request just triggered a feeling of deep annoyance. I think particularly when people have food restrictions based on health issues that seem fake (including people who have "cured" themselves in various ways by eating paleo, raw, etc.) it makes the host feel compelled to play armchair doctor and immediately start debunking their weird and onerous dietary restrictions. That seems to be in a totally different category for some reason from obviously real allergies or health restrictions, consistent ethical food choices (I'm not going to feel like bending over backwards to feed you purely organic when I saw you drink a smoothie at a restaurant yesterday stuffed with conventional fruit), or even little preferences.


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 Post subject: Re: Little Room at the Table for Picky Eaters
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:23 pm 
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Quote:
I think particularly when people have food restrictions based on health issues that seem fake (including people who have "cured" themselves in various ways by eating paleo, raw, etc.) it makes the host feel compelled to play armchair doctor and immediately start debunking their weird and onerous dietary restrictions.


That said, if you're annoyed by someone and feel compelled to play armchair doctor, maybe they're not that good a friend? I get the temptation to roll your eyes at someone who is now following a diet that sounds like magical thinking, but I'd be so annoyed if my host were sitting there thinking "OMG, does she really think she's going to save the planet by not eating dairy and eggs or meat? Whoop de freaking do." And maybe it is magical thinking to think my veganism matters to the planet, but I still wouldn't like anyone feeling "compelled to debunk it." Or judging me because you feel like I'm not consistent enough in my ethics (OMG how could a vegan actually be driving a Hummer?)

If someone has a dietary restriction, and you like the person, then honor it. If its a pain in the asparagus to honor, then invite them for something else.

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 Post subject: Re: Little Room at the Table for Picky Eaters
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:45 pm 
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Sure - and my friend was having this person over and trying to figure out what to cook for them! But I don't think it's that reasonable to say you'll never roll your eyes at someone else's choices, no matter how close they are. I'm trying to unpack the reasons that lead people to be particularly prone to rolling their eyes. Magical thinking is definitely up there in causation.

And I'm pretty clear and concise about why I'm vegan, and the reasons are pretty unassailable - if someone was rolling their eyes because I made a choice not to eat someone whose life I could imagine in all its sadness and cruelty, I imagine they'd make their own choices not to associate with me, let alone eat with me. But in the end, I'm not so worried about what people are thinking about my eating habits, because it's really none of my business what's inside other people's heads, it's only my business how they treat me. I know half my family thinks I'm crazy for being vegan, but they accommodate me at family gatherings because they love me, and that's a hell of a lot more important to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Little Room at the Table for Picky Eaters
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:13 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
I guess I have a genuine allergy to animal exploitation.


There must be a pill for that.

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 Post subject: Re: Little Room at the Table for Picky Eaters
PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:15 pm 
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lutin wrote:
Tofulish wrote:
I guess I have a genuine allergy to animal exploitation.


There must be a pill for that.


Antipsychotics, SSRIs, etc.

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