HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

Discussion

Food that makes you particularly sad?

  • 480
  • Share
LOCKED DISCUSSION

I was talking to my mom earlier about food that just makes me sad - sad that it exists and even more sad that people actually eat it. Being chow hounds, I know we've all a few. So here are mine.

- Olive Garden. One of my roommates in college was from this tiny little town in Iowa and thought this was THE BEST food ever. The week after I came back from a trip to Italy, she suggested Olive Garden for dinner. I wanted to cry.

- Big Boy. This is my dad's family's favorite restaurant. Even as a small child with very little food experience, I had no problem recognizing it for the crap it was.

- Anything I've ever eaten at my dad's parents' house. It either comes straight from a Chinese restaurant (which isn't always bad), or straight out of a can. My grandmother once made the most inedible steaks on a new grill she just RAVED about - they came out GRAY, all the way through. And she always makes new potatoes, but regardless of what she tries to dress them up in, they just taste like the can.

- My sister's scrambled eggs. Drier than hell and peppered like it's going out of style. At that point, why even bother?

  1. Any all you can eat buffet place even the really expensive ones!

    I just find the way people eat in these places really depressing, and the way the cheaper ones have the institutional easily wipe-downable look.

    I had to go to one for my partners father's birthday last week (most definitely an event where I was not part of the decision making) and the place was packed with what must have been the entire membership for the local lawn bowls club. The people I was eating with (with the exception of my partner who knows better) thought it was fabulous, great food and good value for money but every thing was either fried or cooked to an unidentifiable mass or both.

    Mostly the thing that puts me off is the manic manner in which people try to consume as much as possible - almost like they get a cash prize for eating the most.

    I think food should be enjoyed as an taste/textural journey rather than some desperate act of glutinous excess to beat the profit margins of the establishment

    13 Replies
    1. re: irisav

      It makes me sad to see people salting food, usually without tasting it. In good restaurants I figure the chef would shudder. In chains and fast food places there's so much salt in everything that it's horrifying to begin with. I even see people salting food for little kids and babies.

      1. re: Judith

        watching people salt food without tasting it has always bugged me. Food that makes me sad is my children's hot lunch at school. Ick.

        1. re: Judith

          I totally agree Judith. Salt in this country is way over used. Sodium levels are way too high in chains and fast food. Why buy a good meal if your going to salt it to death and that will be the only thing you taste.

          to think that an average chain restaurant entree has over 1200 mg of sodium.

          1. re: Judith

            Or when they pour some sort of condiment all over it without tasting it first, like Tabasco sauce and ketchup.

            1. re: DishDelish

              What's wrong with adding Tabasco or ketchup if they are things you like? I lived in Louisiana for five years and got addicted to Louisiana brand hot sauce. It is one of those things I put on EVERYTHING I eat now, simply because I like it. Who gives a rip?

            2. re: Judith

              I went to college with a girl who would salt her food while she talked, just kept salting away. She would then taste her food, declare that it tasted like sh*% and push it away.

              1. re: KristieB

                just brilliant! [;^D.

              2. re: Judith

                Similar to adding wasabi to your sushi. In Japan, you will get your butt kicked by the chef if he/she catches you doing that. Ask for it hotter when you order it so the chef adds a dab more wasabi than usual...

                1. re: Judith

                  I am so with you on those who salt without tasting first. My sister cannot pick up her fork until she has drizzled salt all over her plate. I would excuse it if she just tasted things first and gave it some thought. Now my nephew (her fourteen year old son) does it too.

                  Back in the day (1970s) the food reviewer for the St Louis Post Dispatch came to a fish restaurant I was serving at. He and his dinner partner carefully salted their trout almandine before tasting. I was only in my twenties and we all were quivering in our boots at what his review would say but clearly he was a fraud.

                  1. re: pearlwhitson

                    Heavily salt their food first and see what happens!? Maybe a lesson?

                2. re: irisav

                  What's wrong with just strapping on the feed bag once in a while. That makes me very happy. Food as sport.

                  1. re: chocolatetartguy

                    :-)
                    Everything in moderation, including moderation! I agree.

                  2. re: irisav

                    I think NOTHING other than a trip should be called "a journey", least of all food. But hey. That's just me '-)

                  3. 1. Huge soft drinks in huge cups attached to people by a straw through the cup cap - only seen in the US.

                    2. Wasted food.

                    32 Replies
                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      I second waste.

                      And crab and lobster tanks, where they're crammed in and crawling all over each other. Even though I hypocritically eat them.

                      1. re: tatamagouche

                        I am saddened by almost all corporate chain restaurants. I don't eat shellfish but I can't imagine eating a crab or a lobster. If I were to explain my reasons I'd probably be accused of being flip. Shrimp are free game, though--not all crustaceans are created equal. And of course, waste.

                        Definitely waste.

                        1. re: Kate is always hungry

                          Ooh, lobsters in tanks are heartbreaking. And I also get sad when the crabs on ice are still moving their claws. :(

                          1. re: Angela Roberta

                            I agree. Everytime I see a tank of lobsters I want to buy them and send them back to the water to live out their natural life span. I'm not even a vegetarian. I just can't see eating something that could live for 50 years +/-.

                            1. re: Kate is always hungry

                              Would they survive? I came close to "freeing" a crab last year. It was in a tank with about ten other sluggish ones, but this one was moving around furiously and staring out at people and it looked so...crabby. I wanted to release him (her?) into the bay, but thought maybe the thing would die anyway.

                              1. re: Glencora

                                I freed a flounder once from of all things, a crab trap. I was wade fishing in Christmas Bay near Surfside on the Texas coast, it was kinda slow, so I waded to a crab trap to due a "survey." As I pulled it up, I noticed a pretty nice flounder, 18 inches or so, maybe 2-21/2 pounds, perfect eating size, along with a half dozen crabs or so. It was all beat up from being in the trap. I opened up the trap and "freed" it into my net. I thought about keeping it, but took pity and let it go. Funny thing, over the next 18 months I caught a 4, 41/2, and a 7 pound flounder from mere feet from that spot. As far as lobsters go, Antony Bourdain has no sympathy for them, calling them some sort of a bug with claws. They have no central nervous system, I've cut there head of from the tail, only to have it crawl around it the sink ten minutes later. Crabs, I have no sympathy. Blue crabs are just plain mean, I've had them pinch all the way through a finger nail, and halfway through the finger. Yeah, I had it coming, but I eat heck out of both of them.

                                1. re: James Cristinian

                                  you might catch hell for that post, although I have a similar opinion about crustaceans.

                                  just be quick and clean. it's probably the closest most of us has to the process.

                                  1. re: James Cristinian

                                    sweet story.

                                  2. re: Glencora

                                    I had the IDENTICAL experience at a Chinese restaurant a couple of weeks ago, Glencora. I wanted to buy him and turn him loose somewhere in the ocean so he could run away. Egad, I am STILL thinking about that crab! I am remininded of the Roman arena: "Those who are about to die salute you." I hate the way their pinchers are taped so they can't even defend themselves!

                                2. re: Angela Roberta

                                  The saddest thing I think I've ever seen was one of those claw games that are usually filled with cheap stuffed animals or candy, only this one had lobsters in it. Awful...just awful...

                                  1. re: theferlyone

                                    I just had someone recommending a resto. in AL to me on the grounds that it HAD one of those machines. I was like, WHAT?!

                                    Arika
                                    http://rawforamonth.blogspot.com

                                    1. re: ArikaDawn

                                      that IS sad.

                                      but, you know, on the other hand, the smart lobsters know how to evade the claw -- just like the best prize is always out of reach. <sorry about that; i couldn't resist...>

                                      no, it really is sad, and just makes me think so much less of the public who would go to a place like that. sort of like "gladiator" for lobsters.
                                      _________
                                      btw, arika, your stroganoff looks delicious -- and the stuffed cabbage, too. did you go to my cookie-palooza thread? you should post your blog there! http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/564196

                                      1. re: alkapal

                                        in that case Alkapal, if you ever find yourself in STL at the Venice Cafe, avoid the upstairs "Explorers Club" where they had (still do?) a big tank of Oscars (don't know the proper species name) and one used to be able to buy live goldfish to feed them at the bar.

                                        1. re: hill food

                                          this place, hill food? http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?...

                                          http://www.thevenicecafe.com/

                                          http://www.flickr.com/photos/heartlan...

                                          there is no mention of the explorer's club, or their little "amusement."
                                          but these folks look like they just might be twisted enough to do such a thing to little aquatic critters -- esp. that "uncle bill" who bills himself as a "godless mother&^%$#@". grrrrr.

                                          1. re: alkapal

                                            alkapal:

                                            they're really a bunch of ex-hippies who moved into a neighborhood that everyone else had written off. I have no idea if that fish food idea still goes on as it's been a million years since, but in a half-hearted defense - that is how Oscars are fed. they also helped a friend's early bio-diesel documentary effort "Fat of the Land" back in 94.

                                            If not for them, I think the neighborhood would be a lot crumblier than it is now.

                                            I do wonder about ethics when feeding, say, a boa. Is it less ethical to feed live versus dead? what about watching? do rodents have dignity or are we projecting? I don't know.

                                            1. re: hill food

                                              aaah, i'd never have a rodent or a snake. but i just had a dream about a parrot. ;-)

                                              the oscars are these? http://www.fishdeals.com/cichlids/osc...

                                              "let them eat pellets" -- marie cichlidette
                                              _______________
                                              ok, to save this post, i must ask if the cichlids were eaten by customers as crispy fried fish?

                                              at hong kong palace the tilapia in the tank all seem to face toward the hall from the kitchen to the dining room, like they are watching for the net, or waiting for a reprieve. i love crispy fish, but haven't yet condemned one of them. but i'm not really a tilapia fan.....

                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                Yep, alkapal, those are oscars. You are right in saying, "Let them eat pellets." While a live food isn't bad for them ever now and then, too much is thought to cause a disease called "hole in the head" due to poor nutrition. Cichlid flakes and pellets are a more balanced diet for these fish. Not to mention, lots of times feeder goldfish are kept in less than optimal conditions so can introduce diseases of their own to any fish that eats them. Ok, I'll hush now. I'm a huge fish fanatic, if you haven't guessed and have kept many different types of freshwater fish and cichlids over the past 15 years.

                                                1. re: alliedawn_98

                                                  alliedawn, now you can name one "marie cichlidette! ;-)

                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                    I have to admit, you've completely lost me!

                                                    1. re: alliedawn_98

                                                      in my earlier post, i was riffing on a quotation famously attributed (perhaps incorrectly) to marie antoinette, in her response to the peasants demanding bread: "let them eat cake." http://www.straightdope.com/columns/r...

                                                      hence for cichlids, "let them eat pellets." marie cichlidette.
                                                      _________
                                                      to save this post: frozen "hot pockets" make me sad -- totally tasteless, and a big waste of calories.

                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                        ROFL! Ok, I gotcha now!

                                                        Hmm, food that makes me sad........cooking something so delicious that there are no leftovers for lunch the next day! Last night's pork chops with caramelized onions and roasted red peppers comes to mind.

                                                        1. re: alliedawn_98

                                                          speaking of leftovers: i am really sad when i go to someone's house for dinner on turkey day, and they don't offer any of the voluminous turkey and dressing leftovers for me to take home for tomorrow's lunch. i love turkey, dressing and cranberry sauce (yep, the jellied kind) sandwiches!

                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                            I think that is sad, too. Having guests and not offering leftovers is an odd one to me, especially when there is a ton of food. But, that is probably just because of the way MY family did things; we always sent guests, be they family or friends or acquaintances, home with plenty of leftovers.

                                                            Mainly, I think it is sad when people eat by habit, like when they eat the whole plate-sized serving regardless of how hungry they are or when they heavily salt their food BEFORE tasting it.

                                                            I also find it very sad when people judge other foods and tastes without considering the difference in culture.

                                                            I find it sad when people think that organic means that something was ""done" to food rather than knowing what was actually left out of the growing process.

                                                            And, last but not least, those addicted to ranch dressing! Sorry to those who love it but does it really need to be slathered on and do those who eat it know how much oil is in that stuff? Sorry, being picky here :)

                                                            I'm not so big on waste because if you can't eat it, then don't stuff yourself just because you put a bit too much on your plate. Waste is bad but I don't condone making someone finish their plate, especially kids or elders in homes/facilities.

                                                            1. re: MinkeyMonkey

                                                              ranch is made with buttermilk and mayo -- so the only oil would come from the mayo. i don't see how that is so different in oil content versus, say, a vinaigrette.

                                                        2. re: alkapal

                                                          That is true. Ate one once (thought it would vaguely resemble a calzone) and it was dreadful. Not even guilty-pleasurish junk.

                                            2. re: hill food

                                              I love Venice Cafe. Used to be one of my favorite St. Louis spots!

                                              1. re: hill food

                                                I used to keep Oscars, with a tank of guppies next to it and a glass u-tube between the tanks. I viewed it as a reverse Darwinism test, if the guppy was smart and brave enough to swim up and over into the next tank he was lunch.

                                                As to lobsters/crabs/shrimp, I'm with PETA (People for Eating Tasty Animals). Lobster fisheries are sustainably managed and it seems to work, crabs don't seem to be having problems. I'm iffy about farmed shrimp, I think more needs to be done about pollution caused by it.

                                              2. re: alkapal

                                                Oooh, great thread! I plan on starting my trial holiday baking in the next couple weeks so I'll definitely post if i find any new cokies that are holiday worthy.

                                                Arika
                                                http://rawforamonth.blogspot.com

                                          2. re: Angela Roberta

                                            Even worse was the way the cooks killed them at a restaurant I was a server at years ago, and the evil way they would show this method off to freak out the servers: put the live lobster on the cutting board and with a chef's knife slowly cut them in half from head to tail. The poor things were still moving after getting halved... way inhumane!

                                            1. re: enanochow

                                              I saw an old Julia Child episode yesterday where some chef showed her the way to slaughter a lobster. It was as you describe. Brutal. They chef said it was less painful for the lobster than being put in boiling water alive.

                                      2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                        Third waste.

                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                          yes -- some of those ultra-ginormous sized soft drink cups are rather alarming. i went to see a movie for the first time in a while the other day and my movie companion came back with a cup larger than my head. it was too heavy to lift easily and too large for me to hold / maneuver with one hand. i'm not a fan.

                                        2. Live baby octopus

                                          42 Replies
                                          1. re: Firegoat

                                            >>Live baby octopus

                                            Amen, Firegoat. And any of the other pets that the idiots on the travel channel feel the need to slaughter and eat for the PR sake of it all.

                                            1. re: dolores

                                              Very subjective. Who keeps baby octopi as pets? In impoverished Bolivia and Peru Guinea Pigs are raised for cheap protein, like we raise chickens, (Get off the 7 train at 61st street in Queens and try some.). Do you eat lamb or veal babies? Ever looked into the big brown eyes of a cow? Slaughtered and dressed your own meat? If not, are you a vegetarian? I won't eat supermarket chicken, but I hunt. I know what I'm eating.

                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                Yeah, but you know you only feel the need to hunt for the PR sake of it all.

                                                Killing animals is mean. Meat is okay, but only if it's not a recognizable part of an animal and it comes on one of those nice white styrofoam trays. Or better yet, cooked and plated with a nice garnish.

                                                Add to the list of foods that make me sad: battery-farmed chicken.

                                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                                  Guys, you're dragging up an old well-worn out issue where none was raised here. Dolores didn't say she was anti-meat. And the only question here is what food makes you sad.

                                                  I think she agreed with me that eating animals while they are still alive and eating pets made her sad. Although she can certainly correct me if I'm wrong.

                                                  Pull back those anti meat attacks. She never said that. Nor did I. I grew up on a farm, I've beheaded many a free range chicken and gutted deer. I was just answering the question of what makes me sad. Eating animals alive makes me sad.

                                                  1. re: Firegoat

                                                    Firegoat,

                                                    A thousand pardons if I offended you. That was not my intent. Neither was it my intent to insult anybody's decisions about what foods they choose to eat, be they animal, vegetable, or otherwise. As a matter of fact, I'm completely with you when it comes to eating things that are still alive: I draw the line at yogurt with active cultures.

                                                    My comment was directed to the comment that the "idiots on the travel channel feel the need to slaughter and eat [pets] for the PR sake of it all." In most of the world, eating meat is preceded by killing an animal. And especially when it comes to large animals that are eaten to celebrate major events in a community, the slaughter is often an integral part of the feast. So when, say, Tony Bourdain includes the ritual slaughter of a lamb as part of a show that includes the village feast where that lamb is eaten, he's not trying to shock or titillate, he's showing a culture where people know their meat and where it comes from.

                                                    I don't like the prevalent urban attitude that meat is a commodity that should be as far-removed as possible from the animal that died to provide it. And I have a major issue when somebody claims that trying to re-connect those dots is nothing more than a PR stunt. Hence my sarcastic reply to dolores.

                                                    It's my firmly-held opinion that if we all looked dinner in the eye more often before pulling the trigger, dropping the axe, or drawing the knife across the throat, we'd eat a lot less meat. We'd make sure that meat animals were treated more humanely while they were alive. And we'd be physically and psychologically healthier in the long run.

                                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                                      "It's my firmly-held opinion that if we all looked dinner in the eye more often before pulling the trigger, dropping the axe, or drawing the knife across the throat, we'd eat a lot less meat. "

                                                      Absolutely. My husband and I eat meat, but, since we got our dog, I find tasks like cutting up a whole chicken much more difficult.

                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                        Very solid, thoughtful reply.

                                                        1. re: alanbarnes

                                                          "I don't like the prevalent urban attitude that meat is a commodity that should be as far-removed as possible from the animal that died to provide it. "

                                                          Alanbarnes, I think you've hit the nail on the head. We are very removed from the origin of our food, especially in North America. Everything is pre-packaged, everything is prepared, if we wanted to, we could never cook a single thing, eat out all the time, defrost or nuke all manners of food. It isn't just meat, it is all food.

                                                          I just spent the last few days making kimchi with my mother. It is a time-consuming endeavor, even with us using bought chile powder, so we didn't have to process, dry and grind the chiles. And of course, we didn't grow any of the vegetables, or make the fish sauce or the shrimp paste, or the sweet rice flour. It would be so much easier to go out and buy pre-made kimchi. But that is the problem. We no longer appreciate the true value of food, because we no longer have to put in the effort to procure it.

                                                          I agree completely with your opinion that we'd all eat less meat if we had to raise and butcher our own animals. If we knew how much work was required to bring meat to the table, you can bet we would value meat much more, and we'd probably be more willing to eat parts of the animal that aren't tenderloin or filet.

                                                          I'm not sure I agree we'd necessarily treat the animals more humanely, I'm not quite convinced that we are all so humane that this would be an automatic response. There are plenty of examples of inhumane behavior that leave me astounded by how cruel humans can be.

                                                          Food is work. In North America, we are fortunate to have so much good food to eat, and not to have to work so hard to eat. But we have also lost many of our food traditions, and we have devalued food to the point that we tolerate practices such as battery-farmed chicken. It is a difficult situation. I recognize the need to change our attitudes, but I'll admit, I whine a little when I see the cost of my organic free-range chicken. And I am one of the lucky group of people that can afford the luxury of paying more for my meat, in order to assuage my guilt about sustainable agriculture and toxin-free food. Because there is no doubt that paying for premium quality food and having the time to process it is a major luxury.

                                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                                            alanbarnes, I wasn't insulted, although I did feel like the person who posted after me was taken out of context.
                                                            I appreciate the apology although it was unnecessary, as I am a meat eater who lives pretty darn close to the land.
                                                            I didn't mean to start some sort of debate on animal slaughter, my only point was....
                                                            a food that makes me sad
                                                            eating something alive that I think might realize it is being eaten alive and put in pain at being alive and being dissolved slowly by stomach acids and aphyxiation.
                                                            I'm not saying it is wrong.
                                                            I'm not saying people shouldn't do it
                                                            I'm just saying it makes me sad every time I see it.

                                                            1. re: alanbarnes

                                                              I wholeheartedly agree. There was a recent article in the NYT (or was it Bon Appetit or Gourmet?) about a Halal meat market. Two journalists went in to get a goat. They described the process of selecting your live goat and then they watched the slaughter.

                                                              I just returned from Portugal and I visited the small town of Mealhada, famous for it's leitao assado (roast suckling pig). These pigs are weened at two months and then slaughtered. After our wonderful meal, our server asked us if we wanted a tour of their kitchen. It was amazing but shocking. We saw their operations from beginning to end (minus the actual slaughter as they had all been killed for the day). Baby pigs freshly roasted and just outside the hot ovens. Pigs dressed and stuffed and sewn shut awaiting the oven. Many pigs hanging in the walk-in. It was an amazing experience and although my initital reaction was sadness, I quickly got over it and was just respectful of the pig, the people and their culture and the whole process in general. I am so grateful for the opportunity to see it all and to learn.

                                                              1. re: lynnlato

                                                                A photo of some suckling pigs on the spit, awaiting roasting.

                                                                 
                                                                1. re: lynnlato

                                                                  The article about the Halal meat market was in Gourmet, August I think. I found the article beautiful, and thought a lot about Ruhlman's Soul of a Chef. My reaction wasn't universal; apparently plenty of readers sent in letters to complain that it was inappropriately graphic. *snort*

                                                                  Food that makes me sad is all the pre-packaged crap people eat at the office: canned soup, "Healthy Choice" boxes. Plastic food eaten with plastic utensils.

                                                                  To balance: food that makes me happy is watching lunchtime at my boyfriends Montessori school. Everyone brown bags it, but they eat it off plates with silverware and even transfer their drinks to glasses. Cloth napkins at every setting. Peanut butter and jelly becomes more civilised in an atmosphere like that, and leftovers from dinner are much less likely to be mocked.

                                                                  1. re: thinks too much

                                                                    so-- your BF is a montessori school *teacher*--not a student, right? :)

                                                                    1. re: soupkitten

                                                                      *grin* Yes. Teacher. I have many flaws but that would not be one.

                                                                2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                  You are so very right. Seeing animals slaughtered for food does add to one's appreciation and even helps you to truly savor our meat. A living thing has its life ended for our pleasure/survival. Gluttony and waste seems out of the question now. Food coming from styrofoam containers at the supermarket on the other hand, much easier to mindlessly pig out.

                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                    Amen. Very well stated.

                                                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                      Amen. I've killed animals on several occasions for food, and while I certainly didn't enjoy doing it, I was able to and it gave me a much deeper appreciation for the meal.

                                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                        Amen AlanBarnes!

                                                                  2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                    Hey! Hey! Hey! *I* used to have a pet baby octopus! It hitchhiked home in a bag of sea urchin we had for dinner. The kids walked down the beach and got a half bucket of sand and a bucket of sea water and we had a happy baby octopodi in a gorgeous huge glass bowl. But poor baby! Despite food and fresh sea water twice a day, he died in about a week. The oceanographers at Scrips Institute of Oceanography (where my husband worked) told me the REASON the baby octopus died was because I failed to provide him with a hiding place. They said he died of embarassment. I shouldn't have watched him so much....

                                                                    But we would have eaten him when he grew up. Hey, we ate my pet chickens when I was a kid. Who knows? We may have eaten his mother. I love octopus. Small as pets, large as food. '-)

                                                                  3. re: dolores

                                                                    "other pets that the idiots on the travel channel feel the need to slaughter and eat for the PR sake of it all."

                                                                    LOL. Are the "idiots" "slaughtering" someone's "pets" against the pet owner's wishes? It LOOKS to some as it's for PR sake, but I find it educational, albeit occasionally unappealing.

                                                                    1. re: dolores

                                                                      During the 80's there was an Italian cannibal film genre, one of whose conventions were scenes showing the killing, butchering and cooking of a live animal (crocodile, pig, turtle etc). These films were roundly criticized for actually killing animals on screen.

                                                                      In the new milennium I see more graphic slaughter every day on the Discovery, Food, Travel channels.

                                                                      1. re: chocolatetartguy

                                                                        gore sells. look at success of saw 5. horrible crap.

                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                          There is a big difference between the gore in saw 5 and the reality of where all of our food comes from. If the two of you are vegans please ignore this post. If you are not then realize that the meat you eat is actually the musle of an animal. The word slaughter house contains the word slaughter for a reason. Perhaps understanding where the steak in the neat plastic package came from and respecting what was involved in that is less sad than ignoring the sacrifice involved entirely.

                                                                          1. re: keith2000

                                                                            keith, yep, i was anticipating a comment similar to yours, because of the brevity of my comment -- my shorthand. here is my concept, in a little more detail.

                                                                            saw 5 is a gore film, i know. slaughtering animals is not analogous to a gore film, and actually serves a purpose of feeding us. but, like horror films, there is an ever-increasing use of violence and the sight of blood (though with killing a food animal, it is necessary violence) on tv.

                                                                            my point was that people need more and more titillation as the threshold for violence is lowered due to desensitization (proven scientifically). and (many) people seem to go for it.

                                                                            like movie producers, i think tv executives and producers certainly believe that people want and need more titillation in order to get and keep their attention -- whether that titillation is provided by sex or violence.

                                                                            but i do believe there will be a backlash from those who will never opt to go to a theater for the viewing of saw 5, but just "happen to see" the bedouins slaughter a goat in the desert on the "fine living" network with tony bourdain.

                                                                            no vegan here. i grew up hunting in the everglades, and we ate the deer and wild boar we shot. i love my baby back ribs today, or lamb kabobs.

                                                                            in short, i know where and how animals are killed for my eating pleasure. i just don't want to see it on tv.

                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                              oops! Meant a "raised" threshold -- more violence needed to "get our attention."

                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                I don't think that the reality of where our food comes from is titilating. I like what Bourdain's show does. He shows people and cultures that are linked to the food they eat. People who understand fully where their food comes from and what it means to eat meat. They are not showing "faces of death" lets torture an animal for fun. They are showing the truth. The blood that goes along with it is not excessive it is reality. I think the western world needs to see it. We are not desensitized. We are over sensitized. The idea that "I'll eat it but I don't want to know that it bled when it was killed" makes me sad.
                                                                                I do not like to watch gore films. I will slaughter a goat or a chicken. Once you have done that you can not help but respect your meal. It is hard to be glutenous or wasteful when you saw it die and I believe this country has a problem with being both. Not everyone has been lucky enough to hunt in the Everglades. I think it is important for everyone who eats meat, young and old, to see the animal die.
                                                                                Anyone who becomes aroused or titilated watching it has problems and should seek imediate psychological help.

                                                                    2. re: Firegoat

                                                                      While live baby anything can be cute & adorable, I'm guilty of enjoying freshly prepared young vertebrate & invertebrate.

                                                                      1. re: OCAnn

                                                                        Don't get me wrong, I'm a meatatarian - not a bunny hugging PETA lover. I just can't stomach the idea of eating a creature alive, particularly not an octopus. Just humanely kill it, don't play with your food.

                                                                        1. re: Firegoat

                                                                          Many cultures in East Asia would disagree

                                                                          1. re: takadi

                                                                            I'm sure they would, but the question was what food makes ME sad.

                                                                          2. re: Firegoat

                                                                            I'm w/you there; I like my food dead. However, a little squiggle of the amaebi (sweet shrimp) in my mouth actually tickles my fancy. But it is, indeed, dead (beheaded before my eyes) before it goes in my belly!

                                                                        2. re: Firegoat

                                                                          there is a resturant in DC that serves pickled baby octopus as a garnish on a martini. that is SAD

                                                                          1. re: anunez

                                                                            Why is that sad? Are you an olive person?

                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                              olives are wrong - lemon twist.

                                                                              names anunez, please.

                                                                              I want my little shy cephalopods grilled. in any case octopi should not be pickled and served as a drink garnish. do we put herring in cocktails?

                                                                              1. re: hill food

                                                                                we put worcestershire sauce in bloody marys. so, anchovies, we do!

                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                  OK that's a fair cop.

                                                                                  oooh I would try an anchovy in a bloody. but they're salt cured, not vinegar.

                                                                                  good idea. I like the visual - I think I know what next Friday has in store...

                                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                                    hill food, you want "pickled"? just drink a lot of the bloody marys! ;-)

                                                                                    ps, LOVE "cranky mccrankpants"! LOL! and you want to "swim, like dolphins can swim..." bowie "heroes" fan?

                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                      who?

                                                                                      I wish your grits are laden with cheese and garlic at any time of day.

                                                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                                                        cranky?? that's your profile name, right?
                                                                                        and bowie? who doesn't know bowie?

                                                                                        thanks for the good grits wishes. back at ya!

                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                          what, Jim Bowie? forgive me but I don't see where dolphins occur in central Texas.

                                                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                                                            hill food, you know, too many bloody marys just might cause this dissociative disorder you apparently are experiencing. (hill food, meet profile) i'd seek professional help. ha ha.

                                                                                            ___jim bowie.
                                                                                            harrumph. i'll bet jim bowie never said, "let's dance! .... under the serious moonlight...with my bowie knife strapped here to my le-eeeg." {;^D

                                                                                            ok, now i'm envisioning david bowie and jim bowie, circling each other, ready to tangle. hahahaha. english cross-dresser vs. american icon. well, i guess we'll just see what happens in this "new america."

                                                                                      2. re: alkapal

                                                                                        http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.ns...

                                                                          2. All you can eat buffets and big gulp sodas have already been mentioned - those are high on my list of food crimes.

                                                                            I'll add:
                                                                            highly processed food for children (lunchables embody this to me)

                                                                            13 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Cachetes

                                                                              I get very sad when I see children drinking sodas. At least adults should know how bad that crap is for them.

                                                                              1. re: mojoeater

                                                                                Worse yet is when I see things like those vibrantly colored "fruit" drinks (eg. Hi-C, Hawaiian Punch) in baby bottles. Not that I'm saying it's right, but with children, I could picture them nagging their parents until they would get some soda (because that's what I did as a kid). But if you're at the stage where you're drinking from a baby bottle, chances are that you have absolutely no say in what you're eating or drinking.

                                                                                1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                  When I was in high school a classmate of mine would give her daughter a bottle of Mountain Dew because it helped wake her up and make her less crabby so they could both get to school on time. She didn't LIKE doing it, but,"the day care they have here at school makes me check her in 15 minutes before first period so I don't have a choice." Right. Sad.

                                                                                  Arika
                                                                                  http://rawforamonth.blogspot.com

                                                                                  1. re: ArikaDawn

                                                                                    Oh, how really sad for both the daughter and the mother! I'm wondering if there was an alternate way to get her daughter less crabby without Mountain Dew -- perhaps having her daughter go to sleep earlier. But I'm sure it was pretty difficult for both of them. I hope things work out.

                                                                                  2. re: Miss Needle

                                                                                    On a bus in Mexico I saw a mother pouring Coke from a two-litre bottle into her baby's bottle and using it to make the baby stop crying. She must have thought she was pretty smart, figuring out that high fructose corn syrup and caffeine would get her crying baby to be quiet (for five seconds)!

                                                                                    1. re: Jetgirly

                                                                                      no, the mexican coke uses cane sugar.

                                                                                      maybe the kid's tummy was upset from the road trip. my mom used to let me sip coke and nibble on a couple of saltine crackers when i got queasy as my dad was driving around the mountains heading to our summer place in highlands, north carolina. coke syrup helps to calm the upset tummy.

                                                                                      maybe that was the situation with the mexican mamacita. maybe not.

                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                        It would definitely be a sight to see, as jetgirly suggests. But as alkapal points out, it could have been for stomach upset. When I was in Chiapas a few years back, I remember a guy telling me that Coke (I think it was Coke - it was either coke or pepsi) used to be sold in Mexico as La Chispa de la Vida (the spark of life), with campaigns promoting how healthy it was for settling stomach aches. The result was that people abandoned customary remedies for stomach upset in favor of Coke, according to him.

                                                                                  3. re: mojoeater

                                                                                    How do you feel about kids drinking soda with a large chocolate chip cookie? It's always bothered me that a certain chocolate chip cookie chain offers a large soda to wash down a cookie but the milk they sell is the dinkiest size. When they first opened, they only had the large size cookie. Mothers were buying their very young kids a whole large cookie. More often than not, a Coke was the drink of choice.

                                                                                    1. re: Kate is always hungry

                                                                                      Soda really doesn't go with chocolate chip cookies. I think I would rather have my kid drink water than a soda. And a Coke? No way!

                                                                                      I try not to be judgmental regarding what parents feed their kids, because I know I'm far from perfect in that department. But sometimes I see things that are so contrary to common sense (i.e., the whole Coke thing), I have to shake my head.

                                                                                    2. re: mojoeater

                                                                                      I agree. I'm trying to kick my Dr. Pepper addiction (the word "addiction" is NO understatement) because I'm setting a bad example for my near-two-year-old. I caught myself saying, "No, honey. Here's some rice milk for you. Mommy shouldn't even be drinking this (the Dr. Pepper), so I won't subject you to its horribly tight vice grip." She has NEVER had soda, kool-aid, or any of that crap. It will stay that way until she gets a job and can buy her own crap. Hopefully by that time, however, she'll have good nutritional values instilled in her.

                                                                                      1. re: elysah87

                                                                                        Fellow Dr. Pepper Addict here trying to set a better example for my 7 year old. I regularly tell her whow awful it is and that I am not doing well by myself by drinking it.

                                                                                        Dr.Pepper is really like a little taste of heaven.

                                                                                    3. re: Cachetes

                                                                                      Lunchables: Not just the food but the packaging waste. Sigh.

                                                                                      1. re: pdxgastro

                                                                                        i totally agree! now they're doing it for adults, with tuna salad and crackers kind of things.

                                                                                    4. Any food served under cool-white fluorescent lights.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Sinicle

                                                                                        The prepared food in the cases at Whole Foods. a) it's so expensive, relative to the ingredients used b) you have no idea when it was prepared or its expiration date. c) there is no way that the food will be sold, given demand (at last at our WF) and thus is for asthetics only.

                                                                                        1. re: brendastarlet

                                                                                          Oh, I forgot about this one! Yes, WF prepared foods do make me sad. Remember when health food stores used to be healthy? Now, all the WF made foods are high in sugars, salt and fat. Yes, expensive and alternate forms of sugar, salt and fat, but it is still just that, sugar, salt and fat. I tried to buy one of their pre-made deli salads that did not contain mayonnaise and the counter guy could not find ONE single salad without it. He was more shocked than I was when the label for the pasta, mozzarella and tomato salad contained mayo. But, I was out of time and on my way from work to a party, so I picked up a ton of those grilled veggies. Whoowhee, pricey but good.

                                                                                      2. when jfood used to drive the little jfoods to school, he was always upset when the weight challenged classmates showed up with a large bag from Dunks. he sees them in town now ten years later, looking very unhappy, down on their luck and no good line of site for their future.

                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                                                          similar here. i get very saddened when i see a very overweight child or teenager eating very unhealthy food, only worsened when they are covered on body and clothes by said food.

                                                                                          i'm also bothered by food being eaten alone, and not in the case where it seems that the diner is doing so by choice.

                                                                                          1. re: Emme

                                                                                            Great responses by both jfood and Emme!

                                                                                            1. re: Kagey

                                                                                              I second that

                                                                                            2. re: Emme

                                                                                              Just the thought of someone eating alone not by choice is making me tear up.

                                                                                              1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                                                                I'm trying to think of a situation where someone would eat alone NOT by choice. I suppose if there's been a big snow storm or flood or something. And then that person can eat whatever they want without considering any one else's preferences. That's total luxury in my book.

                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                  For those of us privileged enough to regularly enjoy great food with friends and family, the occasional meal alone can be a welcome indulgence. But there are too many people who are lonely and isolated from their families and communities; solo dinners are far from happy moments for them.

                                                                                                  My family has a habit of feeding strays, from my daughters' teenage friends whose parent(s) aren't around at dinnertime to the guy across the street whose wife died last year. There's always room at the table for one more...

                                                                                          2. I just came back from the grocery store. I was in the pasta aisle picking up a few bags of whole wheat pasta, and I looked over at another woman who was pulling about 8 boxes of kraft mac and cheese of the shelf. Her cart was loaded with lunchables, about 5 more boxes of white pasta, peanut butter with tons of additives, and white bread. It just made me really sad to think that some poor children are being raised on that.

                                                                                            I also did a film shoot a couple years ago with the Cherokee Nation up in Oklahoma for a documentary we were filming, and I was just appalled by the food choices. Everything there was fried, fried again, and then fried one last time just in case. It was impossible to find a salad during the whole week. The Cherokee made breakfast for us one day, which was nothing but biscuits and sausage gravy. My poor director had had a heart attach a month or two earlier, so he sent me to McDonald's because even THAT was healthier.

                                                                                            On the biscuits and gravy note, I recently had a conversation with a guy from the UK who was in Louisville for the Ryder Cup, and he said biscuits and gravy were one of the strangest things he saw while he was here. So apparently it's kinda weird that we eat that.

                                                                                            12 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Al_Pal

                                                                                              Al_Pal, One in three children living in America today will acquire diabetes due to their parents food choices (and lack of exercise). 70% of All of America's healthcare dollars are spent on chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. If people want affordable healthcare, starting living better...

                                                                                              1. re: Walters

                                                                                                I am not sure you can blame it entirely on the parents. The school situation is just as bad. My school district's cafeteria menu is mostly cheeseburgers, chicken fingers, pizza, tacos, nachos, hot dogs, corn dogs, and other equally fattening options. If your children are on free/reduced breakfast/lunch plans, it's not like you really have a choice of what they are going to eat when they get to school. When the kids are eating that food and have little to no PE and recess time, of course they're going to become obese. The reality of the matter is that lower income people (the most likely group to become obese) has fewer options in terms of healthful eating than do the wealthier population. That's what makes me sad.

                                                                                                1. re: queencru

                                                                                                  All of this sadness makes me want to instill a little cheer....Florida has mandatory PE daily for elementary and middle school and my county includes whole-wheat in its pizza and other steps in a better direction.

                                                                                                  1. re: TampaAurora

                                                                                                    Interestingly enough, if you're from Tampa, all the items I listed came right from your county's October 2008 menu for middle and high schools. Plus, the whole wheat pizza isn't really going to be appealing if they still sell Domino's or Pizza Hut slices in every middle and high school. I think the PE requirement in middle school only requires 30 minutes per day for one semester, not both.

                                                                                                    1. re: queencru

                                                                                                      Wow on the ESP angle. The kids - and teachers too - seem to like the pizza. I haven't braved the cafe for any reason yet but the promise of pizza is beginning to tempt. I honestly don't know many details about the new legislation beyond we were still arranging our schedules to fit in PE and academics instead of electives for every student 4 weeks into the school year! There were other concerns as well, but they are off topic.

                                                                                                      1. re: TampaAurora

                                                                                                        I think the prior legislation was for 90 minutes/week in middle school, but obviously with that you can end up with once or twice a week PE depending on the scheduling. Still, if it was 90 minutes a week for the whole year, that seems to be preferable to a kid possibly going a whole year without a PE class at all. The last time I was in a cafeteria was around 3 years ago and let me tell you, the options then were still pretty appalling. It also seems like during lunchtime, some schools are very regimented and don't allow the kids any play time in middle school. They go into the cafeteria, sit down, eat, and then go outside to wait for their teacher to pick them up.

                                                                                                    2. re: TampaAurora

                                                                                                      Yes when I went to primary school, we had a weekly two-hourly PE class, one afternoon a week the class would play a game of bootball, or poison ball etc, then the next day we would play a similar game against the other classes in our year level and every wednesday morning we would go for a 2 km run/jog/walk, we also had a canteen that was a health based one, so very limited selection of junk (a choice of a very small packet of plain chips (crisps) or a single scoop of ice cream in a cone) so most kids opted for the frozen banana, orange quarter, grapes (in summer), or the plain popcorn, celery stick, sultanas or cheese stick - as they were all less that 15c so you got better value for money!

                                                                                                      When I reflect on this I thing this was significantly related to why there were so few overweight kids when I went to school because this exercise and good food was all in addition to the 1 and 1/2 hours of running around playing tiggy (chasey) scarecrow, octopus, releaso, poison ball etc we played during recess and lunch.

                                                                                                      1. re: TampaAurora

                                                                                                        I do remember how sadistic gym class was when I was a wee thing. It was constant humilitation of kids who were shy or clumsy. I was skinny as a rail then and very small, but I usually managed to duck out of much of the shame of gym class (I was considrably brighter than the teacher). Only when I discovered non-competitive pursuits - hiking, cycling everywhere, which I still do, did I get enough exercise.

                                                                                                  2. re: Al_Pal

                                                                                                    Al_Pal your story just reminded me of something I saw in our local store - a mother screaming at her kids for playing up the whole way round the store. Then I spotted her shopping in the queue - about 10 boxes of microwave fries, value white bread and that was it. Nothing else - no wonder her kids were playing up they were probably desperate for some nutrition!!!!

                                                                                                    Food that makes me sad - here in the UK we have the most vile smelling fried chicken places everwhere and I just know they use the worst kept battery chicken ever (which I also get sad when I see it piled high in "butchers" for £1 each). You can tell that the chicken in these fried chicken places is badly raised just by looking at it - the drumsticks are all bone, just horrid looking food. These make me sad for two reasons - one the chicken has been kept in horrific conditions and two the main people that eat this junk are kids, given money to buy it on the way home from school as their parents can't be bothered to make them dinner.

                                                                                                    It also makes me sad that people still buy non-free range eggs.

                                                                                                    1. re: Al_Pal

                                                                                                      Whole wheat pasta makes me sad. While it's important to eat helthily, whole wheat pasta is an adulteration and has a horrific texture. If I'm going to eat a highly processed food, I'd rather it be the real crap and just balance it out with some veggies or something.

                                                                                                      1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                        Say what??? Bleached flour is an adulteration, whole wheat is the original pasta.

                                                                                                        1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                          Cheese Whiz is a highly-processed food; pasta is not. I'm not quite sure what an "adulteration" is.

                                                                                                      2. Massive portions of cheap food always make me sad for some reason (massive as in, few people could possibly ever eat it all in a sitting or even two). It seems so wasteful and unnecessary when there are people starving around the world while in North American we fight unprecedented levels of obesity. I remember going to a rather mediocre restaurant many years ago and they had some sort of deal where the second plate was 5 cents. A very, very large, middle aged gentleman sitting alone near us ate a huge plate of pasta with meat sauce. When he finished, the waitress addressed him by name and asked if he was ready for his second plate (he was obviously a regular). He said yes and they brought out another plate. It makes me sad to think about him even now, many years later.

                                                                                                        1. Non-fat "sour cream." Turkey "bacon." Egg beaters. Soy cheese. Boca burgers. And anything else that is made in a chemistry lab and purports to be a "healthy" replacement for real food.

                                                                                                          25 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                            LOL @ turkey "bacon"...the quotes made it funnier. ITA.

                                                                                                            1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                              ^^^^
                                                                                                              I would totally disagree. I don't think you can argue that any of those are supposed to be an alternative to "real" food. For those of us trying to watch our caloric intake and cut down on fat, foods like these are a godsend. I buy eggbeaters because I eat egg white omelets, but I just can't justify using real eggs and letting the yolk go completely to waste.

                                                                                                              I would argue that turkey bacon is on a par with ground turkey. It's still got nutritional value, but it has none of the fat you would get with real bacon. Sour cream as well. It's like buying skim milk. It's not devoid of nutrients, it's just a low-fat option.

                                                                                                              And I don't think you can really put soy cheese and Boca Burgers into that category. These products are primarily targeted at vegans and vegetarians, whose dietary concerns are simply different. I don't believe they actually contain anything that's inherently unhealthy.

                                                                                                              1. re: Al_Pal

                                                                                                                You're certainly entitled to your opinion. My primary objection to fake food is that it tastes like crap, which is purely subjective. But the distinction between real food and imitation food is a lot more objective.

                                                                                                                Let's look, for example, at the ingredient lists for sour cream and non-fat "sour cream." One has cream and enzymes. The other is a witches' brew that includes corn starch, gelatin, carageenan, guar gum, and xanthan gum. The FDA eviscerated the requirement that imitation foods be labeled as such during the Nixon administration, but prior to that time federal law would have required the stuff now being sold as non-fat sour cream to carry a label reading "imitation sour cream." According to my thesaurus, "imitation" is a pretty good antonym for "real."

                                                                                                                And to argue that turkey bacon is on a par with ground turkey is to ignore the point I was trying to make entirely. Ground turkey is real food (turkey) that has undergone a simple process (grinding). Similarly, bacon is a real food (pork) that has undergone a simple and centuries-old process (curing with nitrates and/or smoking). If turkey bacon were just turkey that had been cured and/or smoked, that would be one thing. But it's not. It's turkey and sodium nitrate PLUS mechanically separated turkey, water, sugar, salt, sodium lactate, canola oil, sodium diacetate, sodium phosphates, smoke flavor, sodium erythorbate, and autolyzed yeast extract, all of which are layered and pressed into a slab and passed off as a substitute for real bacon.

                                                                                                                I have no problem with vegetarian dishes in general, or vegetarian "burgers" in particular. If I do say so myself, I make a darn tasty spicy lentil patty that goes great on a bun with lettuce, tomato, onions, and pickles. But something that comes out of a box from the freezer with fake sear marks and "grill flavoring" - whatever that is - sorry, it's not real food in my book.

                                                                                                                Contrary to your assertion, soy cheese is not intended to be a vegan alternative to milk-based cheese. It nearly always contains casein, a dairy product, and often contains butterfat. It also has an ingredient list that includes things like modified food starch, tapioca starch, rice flour, sodium phosphate, powdered cellulose, sodium citrate, tricalcium phosphate, natural flavor, yeast extract, dried yeast, sorbic acid, carrageenan, acetic acid, enzyme-modified cheese flavor, tara gum, lactic acid, and ferric orthophosphate. I don't know that any of those ingredients are "inherently unhealthy." Regardless, that's a list for a chemistry experiment, not a recipe.

                                                                                                                We as a nation have been bamboozled. Manufacturers of highly-processed food have convinced millions of people that real foods like bacon, eggs, and cheese are unhealthy. Which, of course, they are - if eaten in excess. But instead of moderating our intake and eating more things like, oh, vegetables, we give those manufacturers billions of dollars in exchange for imitation food. If Americans were getting thinner, at least there would be an argument that these food-like substances have some public health benefit. But we're not - we're getting fatter by the year while eating tons of processed food that, to bring things full circle, tastes like crap.

                                                                                                                And that makes me sad.

                                                                                                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                  My Light Daisy Sourcream has Cultured Cream, Skim Milk, and Vitamin A Palmitate. It's the only one available without all the extra chemicals. The only reason I buy the Light version is that I like sourcream on most things I eat regularly - eggs, burritos, chilis, etc.

                                                                                                                  1. re: mojoeater

                                                                                                                    That's real food. So's Cabot reduced-fat cheddar. And skim milk.

                                                                                                                    My problem isn't the removal of fat, it's the substitution of a highly-processed food-like substance for a food that's perceived as being too fatty. If they could make nonfat sour cream by putting enzymes in sour cream, that would be real food too. But they can't. And therein lies the rub.

                                                                                                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                      What makes me sad is that fat has been made the enemy. I'm not talking crap like canola oil, but stuff like butter, animal fat, nut oils, etc.. I read Gary Taubes' book "Good Calories, Bad Calories" a couple of years ago and really had my eyes opened about how the American public has been lied to for almost forty years about what food is healthy and what's not because of politics and grant money. That's why we're all fat or sick--and believe that a vegetarian diet full of soy and processed crap is "healthier" than a steak and a salad.

                                                                                                                  2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                    Re: turkey bacon - some people just can't eat pork so turkey bacon is their alternative :)

                                                                                                                    1. re: LTL

                                                                                                                      There are pork-free dietary traditions that have gotten along just fine for centuries - even millenia - without turkey bacon. In my opinion, the alternative to real food that's prohibited or unavailable is other real food. Fake food just doesn't do it for me. YMMV.

                                                                                                                    2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                      Alan, would you mind posting your lentil burger recipe on the home cooking page...is there still a home cooking page? I'd be much obliged.

                                                                                                                      1. re: kiwi

                                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/561127#

                                                                                                                      2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                        Take 'em to church, Reverend! I would much rather monitor my caloric and fat intake by just eating less. I've recently stopped eating larger then 1 egg omelets, started getting 6oz portions of meat from the butcher instead of 8 or more, and normally make at least a few meals a week simply vegetable based. And not vegetables formed into a patty meant to be a substitute for meat. But this all goes back to the quantity vs. quality issue. In America, we don't want just enough, we want a TON of it, and to hell with how it's made, or what it contains, or even what it tastes like.
                                                                                                                        This all leads me to yet another food that makes me sad, and that is *any meat or cheese substitute aimed at vegans/vegetarians. Why does this make me sad? If your eating soy BBQ or vegan mozzarella, this means you still enjoy these foods, but for whatever reason chose to deprive yourself of them (Allergy's and intolerances not withstanding). Deprivation makes me sad.

                                                                                                                        1. re: goldendawn7

                                                                                                                          I've always been curious about the attraction of faux-meat. some are good, but the desire to present (and buy) as such, remains intriguing.

                                                                                                                          but as an omnivore, asking for bacon on a veggie cheeseburger elicits the most interesting reaction from the waitstaff.

                                                                                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                            There was a place near my old office that made a tasty vegetarian sandwich. Nothing sad about it; just a good assortment of fresh veggies on great bread.

                                                                                                                            The fact that it was even better with bacon continues to amuse me to no end.

                                                                                                                    3. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                      Fat free Whipping cream in a carton.
                                                                                                                      Or non-dairy whipping cream.

                                                                                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                        If it wasn't for things like non-fat sour cream and fat-free half and half, my dad would be twice his size and right back in the hospital. Some people have trouble with controlling what they eat and feel they "need" sour cream and other fatty things. He feels emotionally satisfied when he gets his fat-free fatty foods and his sugar-free chocolates.

                                                                                                                        I have to agree entirely about the 'healthy' non-dairy cheese (except for those who cannot have dairy and want their cheeses!) and the 'healthy'' fake meats. As someone who loved and grew up on fake meats, I can no longer eat any of them due to my Meniere's syndrome and the high amount of salts in even something as simple as a tofu pup. If it isn't plain old tofu, and not the flavored, baked or seasoned kind, I can't actually eat it without setting off an anvil in my head and getting dizzy. So SAD that they don't have plain old unsalted tofu pups...

                                                                                                                        1. re: MinkeyMonkey

                                                                                                                          Your dad would be far better off eating full-fat dairy and staying away from the sugar-free chocolates, which are loaded with sugar alcohols and other nasty things. The full-fat dairy is much more satisfying and he'd actually eat less. Fat doesn't make you gain weight, never has, and slowly but surely that fact's getting out to the public. It's not the onion dip made with full-fat sour cream, but the potato chips it gets put on that makes one fat.

                                                                                                                          As far as pups, have you tried organic hot dogs? Tallgrass Beef hot dogs are awesome, made from grass-fed beef. Just don't put it on a bun! :D

                                                                                                                          1. re: MandalayVA

                                                                                                                            I agree that full fat versions of foods like sour cream are more satisfying (obviously!) but not everyone has strong willpower or knows when to stop eating. I recently visited my grandpa and put up with his "diet" bagels, bread and yogurts all week. It works for him because he does not feel emotionally satisfied unless he can eat A LOT. And for many people the emotional part of eating is far more important than the actual taste of the food, as strange as that concept may be to many on this board. While I can longer stand fat free yogurt (and am amazed I lived on it for years), I am thankful it exists- for the sake of his health.

                                                                                                                            1. re: MandalayVA

                                                                                                                              The notion that only carbs cause weight gain was debunked long ago. And there was nothing slow or sure about the public's embrace of low-carb pseudoscience. Remember the Atkins diet craze of the '90s?

                                                                                                                              The fact is that if the calories you consume are more than those that you excrete and metabolize, you gain wait. If they're less, you lose weight. And if they're the same? Well, you get the picture.

                                                                                                                              1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                It's more the type of calories rather than the calories themselves. There's a great book that's been mentioned a couple of times here called "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes, a science journalist. It really changed how I look at food, and it's why I cringe when I see people here or anywhere else going on about how healthy grains and starches are and how bad meat and fat are--when it's the opposite that's true. I'm an emotional eater too but when I stick to meat, eggs, fats (mostly animal, but I like olive oil on salads) and non-starchy veggies I find that not only am I not hungry between meals but that I mellow out considerably and am therefore resistant to the siren call of Ben and Jerry's and Frito-Lay. Such a diet regulates itself.

                                                                                                                                1. re: MandalayVA

                                                                                                                                  Lots of books have been written advocating low-carb diets. Unfortunately, they're bunk.

                                                                                                                                  Last year the New England Journal of Medicine published an article by real scientists (not "science journalists") comparing low-fat, low-carb, and "Mediterranean" diets. Results? When it comes to losing weight, the only thing that matters is how many calories you eat.

                                                                                                                                  Not to disparage low-carb diets; if it works for you, by all means stick with it. Low-fat diets work well, too. But there's no magic bullet for weight loss. You just have to burn and excrete more than you consume.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                    Taubes is a science journalist and he went into this project with the usual "low-fat is good, you lose weight if you burn more calories than you eat, etc." mindset. What he found over five years of research was something very different. He's not shilling a diet at all, he's simply reporting what was found and he'll be the first one to say that one way of eating does not fit all.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: MandalayVA

                                                                                                                                      If what he "found over five years of research" was supported by empirical data, he could have had it published in a journal like NEJM and obtained significant scientific credibility. He didn't. He published a book.

                                                                                                                                      Anybody can print anything in a book. There's no peer review process. It doesn't matter whether the contents are supported; all that matters is whether copies will sell.

                                                                                                                                      Apparently you've bought the book and buy into the bunk. Doesn't make it true.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                                                                      I lost a bunch of weight eating lots of pasta in a virtually fat free sauce I make, combined with exercise and lean proteins, plus copious amounts of avacados and salads. My doctor was very impressed, his only words being whatever you're doing, keep on doing it. Different strokes for different folks.

                                                                                                                                    3. re: MandalayVA

                                                                                                                                      This sounds like what's wrong with the American diet. You really think that red meat is better for you than beans and grains? Dream on.

                                                                                                                                2. re: MinkeyMonkey

                                                                                                                                  Thanks, Madalay, Nicole and Alan. He unfortunately is not good at stopping even though he knows when he should. And, for his arteries and brain veins, the docs told him no fat unless it is olive oil, He does what they say. I do wish he would stop with the high consumption and just enjoy the good things moderately!! And, alas, he will not stop the sugar-frees because he is not allowed any sugars, not even agave. And, since he let himself get so far, he is not allowed lots of exercise due to the fact that one brain blockage cannot be worked on, so he has a very limited amount of walking and light exercise he is allowed to do. Oy, vey!!

                                                                                                                                  I AM going to try the tallgrass hot dogs...I think. I get grossed out by meat from time to time but it could be fun to try.

                                                                                                                                  Thanks!!

                                                                                                                              2. When reading the posts I IMMEDIATELY thought of the Save A Lot grocery we used to have to shop at when I was very young. Money was tight to the point of snapping so my Mom did as much of her shopping as she could at Save A Lot. We all hated going because the store was pretty unkept and had a smell about it. The produce selection consisted of oranges, apples, and heads of iceberg. Most of it was bruised and damaged so you had to really pick through it to find good pieces, but we stopped getting it at all when we found a deposit of dead flies in the apples. We never got meat there because the case in which it was kept was clearly not cold enough and most of it was really fatty pork products and innards anyhow. You had to check the dates on EVERYTHING because so much of the stock was ancient. The only things we really got there was milk, eggs, flour, sugar, cereal and cleaning products. Most of the people that came in were unkept themselves and loaded up on canned meat and ramen, to which there was a whole aisle devoted. When my siblings and I got a little bit older we would really resist even going in with my Mom and beg to wait in the car. I remember once she teared uup and said, "Guys, I'm sorry. I don't want to shop here either, but I promise to be fast and I really don't want to go in by myself and leave you out here so please just come in." We felt so guilty because we hadn't realized she hated it just as much as we did, but was doing the best she could. I'm so glad she doesn't have to shop their anymore, but the idea that a lot of people do bums me out.

                                                                                                                                Arika
                                                                                                                                http://rawforamonth.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: ArikaDawn

                                                                                                                                  Arika,

                                                                                                                                  That is so sad. It mad me sad too.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: ArikaDawn

                                                                                                                                    I don't know how long it's been since you've been in a SaveALot but the one near me really isn't like that anymore. It's the only grocery store in town where I can get local grown veggies and fruits.......apples, watermelons, cantaloupes, tomatoes, etc. Their selection of produce is growing and the stuff really isn't bad. They also sell chicken, pork, and beef......same cuts as other stores. I don't buy their chicken because it looks freezer burned to me but other meats are fine. In the past year, I've noticed huge changes. They're even selling nationals brands of beer, wine, chips, etc. That's not my main store to shop in but just wanted to let you know that it's not as depressing to go into one as it used to be.......at least not the one in my area.

                                                                                                                                  2. Onions...they make me cry....

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. re: OCAnn

                                                                                                                                      LOL! Great answer.

                                                                                                                                    2. Soft drink and junk food vending machines in schools!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                                                                                      1. This is funny. While I agree about all the stuff about junk (and fakey low-fat foods) I thought the topic would be about foods evocative of sadness, such as food served at a funeral, or at a particularly dreary and fraught family holiday...

                                                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                          Hard-boiled eggs will always be a sad food for me - the first meal upon return from burying an immediate family member. I dread the day I am served a shiva egg.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: TampaAurora

                                                                                                                                            I fortunately have yet to bury an immediate family member. Maybe that's why I find shiva eggs -good term - with bagels and cream cheese or mayo very comforting after funerals. I just don't want to eat rich cake or cookies at a wake; the egg and bagel combo reminds me of my childhood, and the bland carbs are soothing.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gooseberry

                                                                                                                                              Sweets seem out of place for me too. At my grandmother's shiva, I cried into my plain bagel. My mom kept sneaking deviled eggs - commentary on her dead mother perhaps?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: TampaAurora

                                                                                                                                                devilled eggs, also very good funeral food. Just like death, these eternally retro appetizers are an unavoidable part of life. Not that I'd advoid them.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Gooseberry

                                                                                                                                                  When my Grandmother passed away in August, I insisted on making deviled eggs for the wake.They were one of her favorite snacks at holidays, she loved them. I cried into the egg mixture as I worked, the whole week's events finally hitting me like a brick to the head, as I made something she so loved.
                                                                                                                                                  It's going to be some time before I eat deviled eggs. It will just make me so sad, I know.

                                                                                                                                                  But, in a non-emotionally-attached way, I want to cry at wasted food. Since i'm in Vegas, i've seen first hand the sheer mindblowing amounts of food wasted at buffets. I know -some- hotels/casinos do sell food scraps to a local pig-farmer .(who was featured on the tv show Dirty Jobs, that he gets buffet scaps for his pigs)

                                                                                                                                                  I get sad that so many places cannot for health-reasons give food to homeless people at the end of the night. The businesses say it's for health-reasons, but to see -perfectly- good food go into a dumpster RATHER into a hungry belly..It really saddens me. (and if I have the incorrect info on this policy, i'd love to be corrected. This is something that's allways bugged me)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Honeychan

                                                                                                                                                    i am so with you on the wasted grocery store food. i think maybe breads are donate-able, but its when the roasted chickens and the like are dumped -- that makes me sad.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                      I thought the same thing that this would be about foods that remind you of a deceased relative, friend, etc. or something emotional along those lines.

                                                                                                                                                      Homemade wontons make me sad because my friend who taught me to make them was killed in a car accident last fall and left behind a pregnant 15 year old and a 9 year old son.

                                                                                                                                                      Working in a nursing home, seeing enough food to feed my family for a week or more thrown away in one night made me sad. It was against the rules for us to take it home and due to health dept. restrictions could not be donated. It was just tossed in the garbage disposal or trash every evening after meal service. Heartbreaking to think how many that could have helped. There were times my family would have been grateful as I was only making $5.50 per hour at the time and my husband had a hard time keeping a steady job.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: Gooseberry

                                                                                                                                                My wonderful M-I-L is very active in their church (Missouri Synod Lutheran). Being a Home Economics major, she was always involved in the food being served for whatever function was happening, be it happy or sad, or just Sunday after church. Whenever there was a funeral, somebody made a big batch of what they came to call "funeral meatballs", which was a big favorite culinary standard with the whole congregation, among other things. When her husband passed away (totally unfair, but that's another story), she made only one request to her fellow food-providers for the reception after the service- no meatballs.
                                                                                                                                                So in solidarity, funeral meatballs make me sad, because MIL should still hav FIL around. One day I'll ask her about that, why she didn't want them, etc., but wanted to give it ten years or so.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                              I had thought that too. And, before opening the link, my response that was forming in my head was:

                                                                                                                                              Torrone. Any fancy Italian nougat will no longer be thought of without sadness. My bestest friend ever loved that as a special treat and I often surprised her with a torrone at random. She committed suicide eight years ago and I still can't eat that stuff.

                                                                                                                                              I caught myself looking at the holiday collection in a local gourmand shop and felt pretty weird and tempted at the same time. Time heals all?

                                                                                                                                            3. Lots of good replies. This is a very sobering thread, but though-provoking. Every once in a while , we need to think about these things.

                                                                                                                                              Another thing that make me sad: hong o hwe, Korean raw seasoned skate. I love this dish, it is raw skate in a kochujang (red chile sauce) sauce. It makes me sad for several reasons. First reason: skate is now quite endangered. It makes me sad to think we may no longer have this wonderful thing. I have given up eating this dish, and fear I may never eat it again. I do fear that there will be many fish and seafood we will no longer eat in the future, and that makes me very sad. Second reason, I am now restricted to eating cooked food. Raw seafood, a big no-no. But on the bright side, I had already given up the skate, so really no change, I guess.

                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: moh

                                                                                                                                                May I ask why raw seafood is off limits?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Al_Pal

                                                                                                                                                  Risk of infections mostly. No raw seafood, no raw meat, no raw milk cheeses. But I am very lucky, I have many food loves, and so these restrictions are upsetting, but really quite a minor problem. Still, every once and a while, I can't resist and I sneak the odd bite at times when I know it is less risky. It is rare I do this, but sometimes...

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: moh

                                                                                                                                                    I used to eat small pieces of raw ground beef when my mom made burgers or meat sauce. SO bad! I'm not too much of a beef person, so that wasn't too hard to quit. Plus, I got pretty sick one time eating a medium-rare burger, so on the off chance I order a burger anywhere, it has to be medium now.

                                                                                                                                              2. Seeing the little "WIC Approved" signs hanging below some of the most processed crap products in the store makes me sad.

                                                                                                                                                "Steam-n-Mash" potatoes make me sad.

                                                                                                                                                Parents who freak out over plastic baby bottles but then feed their kids "Steam-n-Mash" potatoes.

                                                                                                                                                17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jen76

                                                                                                                                                  If it cheers you up, think of the Steam-n-Mash as pet food. My bird LOVES a few slivers of sweet potatoes microwaved:)

                                                                                                                                                  I'm with you on the junk that is WIC approved, and the other posters comments about school cafeterias. My son still can't find the fruit at his school. (Probably a basket somewhere with a few bad apples and bananas for 1200 kids.)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: turqmut

                                                                                                                                                    What are steam and mash potatoes?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                      I would hope that they are simply potatoes that are cooked by steaming rather than boiling or roasting, then mashed. I hate to think what they could be, and how that could same much time from actually preparing potatoes. Ideally, one cooks them whole, but if really in a hurry, you could cut them into smaller pieces. It isn't rocket science. They don't even have to be peeled, as long as you wash them thoroughly. I do peel older ones, but have been cooking this year's potatoes in their skins, scrubbing them well, and mashing them if that is what is decided. Most of the nutrients are just under the skin.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                        steam-n-mash potatoes are an ore-ida product. It is a bag of pealed and cut potatoes that you put in the microwave for 10 minutes. Then you add your own milk and butter and mash the microwave steamed potatoes yourself.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: keith2000

                                                                                                                                                          I had some little green beans like that a while back and they were quite tasty and just enough for two.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: keith2000

                                                                                                                                                            Thanks. Of course you know it is perfectly simple to microwave normal potatoes...

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                              I'd thought that. I've never nuked potatoes. Rarely actually cook anything that way. How do they keep the potatoes from turning brown if they're peeled, etc.? I guess I lead a sheltered life :)

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                The same way all convenience food works. Magic. Evil magic. Minute rice scares me more.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                                Not that I really care what anyone thinks of me especially in the cybersphere but for one reason or another I want to say that I have and will never use this product. My knowledge of it comes from a commercial I saw and nothing more.

                                                                                                                                                              3. re: keith2000

                                                                                                                                                                That is an extremely depressing product.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: turqmut

                                                                                                                                                              turqmut, have you inquired about the fruit with school officials? if so, what did they say?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                My son has located the fruit! It's in tiny containers off in a corner and it tastes weird, according to him. I assume this means it's canned.

                                                                                                                                                                I never got involved since he's a high school freshman, and my mere existence is an embarrassment:)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: turqmut

                                                                                                                                                                  aaah, fruit in containers....... makes me imagine fruit cocktail!

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: turqmut

                                                                                                                                                                Probably a little off topic, but....I worked for state welfare for 27 years which included administering the Food Stamp program. My belief was that Wic was waaaay healthier than FS. With food stamps you could buy soda, sugary cereals and every sort of prepared crap (except prepared foods from the deli). I have always maintained that when I am queen, there will be changes

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nvcook

                                                                                                                                                                  and is it just me, or is it sad that the only wic approved bread is the no salt bread? how does that even taste good? Thats the bread that we always end up throwing out because it goes bad before it sells. Oh and canned juice is another. WIC approved, but ew! wic food in general (minus eggs and milk) makes me sad. Is that really what we want pregnant women to eat?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kubasd

                                                                                                                                                                    the new rules for wic are a huge improvement though! now many organic foods are available, frozen fruits, etc, and stores that accept wic must have a minimum selection of fresh produce available. it really opens up a lot more of the grocery store to families on wic.

                                                                                                                                                              3. re: Jen76

                                                                                                                                                                I think the WIC requirements have gotten better, though. The only WIC approved breads in my store are the no salt 100% wheat store brand breads, AND the stone ground breads from pepperidge farm and arnold. Juice has to be 100% (no longer canned), gallon milk, cheese from the deli (not velveeta crap), dozen eggs, etc. I think what makes me more sad is all the other processed crap I see being bought after the WIC checks have been used....

                                                                                                                                                              4. Southern banana pudding. I used to LOVE it when I was a kid--one of the first things I learned to make myself. Nilla wafers, jello vanilla pudding, and bananas. So yummy, so comforting. But now, both Nilla wafers and instant vanilla pudding have so much corn syrup in them, the dish is just cloyingly sweet. And if you do a "from scratch" version of the pudding or cookies, it doesn't taste the same at all. So bottom line, I will never be able to have one that tasted like it did when I was a kid again--just an overly sweet imitation.

                                                                                                                                                                1. Mall food courts make me sad. Ditto movie theatre foods (except for that one theatre in Ottawa that still uses real butter on popcorn).

                                                                                                                                                                  Meal replacement drinks. The idea that someone would rather not bother with real food bothers me. I understand that some people have no choice - like, they have their jaws wired shut. But most of the time, it's seniors in retirement homes where it's considered too expensive or time-consuming the actually feed them.

                                                                                                                                                                  Those supermarket sheet cakes people buy for office birthday parties. They taste like fluffy, sugary chemicals - especially the frosting.

                                                                                                                                                                  Starbucks coffee, because it's so invariably bitter. I don't care if it's a chain, as long as the product is good. It isn't.

                                                                                                                                                                  13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: piccola

                                                                                                                                                                    total agree with you about the starbuck's thing! What I particularly dislike about starbuck's is the way they offer all those additives - effectively sugar syrup - in an attempt to cover the inferior quality of their product

                                                                                                                                                                    The last time I went to one was when I was in Malaysia and desperately in need of a coffee that wasn't instant (as well as a place to sit in comfort while we sheltered from the rain) the coffee was terrible and with out asking they put whipped cream in it - it was undrinkable and discarded after one sip - at once too rich from the cream whilst the 'drink' was too thin and bitter. the only good thing about the experience was the comfy chairs that they didn't mind us sitting in whilst we read our books and wrote letters etc.

                                                                                                                                                                    I was quite pleased when that had to close down most of their franchises in Australia (although obviously have sympathy for the people that lost their jobs) I was also quite proud because although precipitated by financial worries, they never established any market dominance as by the time they opened up here (in Melbourne in particular) we already had a such strong cafe coffee culture as well as better quality chains established.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: piccola

                                                                                                                                                                      oh... you hit on a good one. meal replacement drinks do make me sad. they're not actually healthy and they taste like turd. boo hiss!! along similar lines, atkins bars are also depressing. a good friend of mine in grad school survived on them, despite my vociferous opposition, and now has cholesterol problems, i think as a result.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cimui

                                                                                                                                                                        Speaking of cholesterol, I'm pretty sure Dr. Atkins died of a heart attack. Not the best endorsement for his diet.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Al_Pal

                                                                                                                                                                          yes -- and so i kept telling my friend. he pooh poohed it as inconclusive and also noted that he'd rather be hot and die young than fat and long-lived, despite all the attempts of my SO and mine to feed him good, real, healthy food. ahh.... i do have my fingers crossed for him since he also drinks like a fish. wish i could tell his mother on him.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Al_Pal

                                                                                                                                                                            Dr. Atkins died when he fell down a flight of stairs going to a subway in NYC. HOWEVER, an autopsy showed he had myriad health problems blossoming at the time of his untimely demise due to his diet.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: goldendawn7

                                                                                                                                                                              I understand the autopsy found a 22 lb cheeseburger in his stomach.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Al_Pal

                                                                                                                                                                              He slipped on an icy sidewalk sustaining a fatal head injury.

                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: cimui

                                                                                                                                                                              I use meal replacement drinks and energy bars all the time when training for a marathon or an OLY Tri.

                                                                                                                                                                              It's a quick way to get sufficient calories and to make sure I'm not depriving my body of nutrients.

                                                                                                                                                                              For sure, I'm not eating those things for their culinary value, or taste factor necessarily (although Clif Bars are quite good).

                                                                                                                                                                            4. re: piccola

                                                                                                                                                                              The elderly usually don't eat very much as they generally have a much weaker appetite as they age. Meal replacements are usually on top of the meal in order to supply nutrition, or as a snack when they get hungry. Also, some have difficulty chewing and swallowing easily. Rather than choke or get frustrated or eat unappetizing pureed food, they can drink their meal and get on with their day. It serves a purpose.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: spellweaver16

                                                                                                                                                                                Not only the elderly - people with certain serious diseases such as AIDS and in some cases, cancer.

                                                                                                                                                                                What is strange is people using those replacement meals to diet, or worse still, to "save time"...

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: lagatta

                                                                                                                                                                                  They're also invaluable to people who have had gastric bypass surgery. It's incredibly hard for those patients to eat enough to get their nutrients. Once they're able to eat soft food, they eat only one ounce at a time and slowly go from there. I watched my uncle go through all that.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: piccola

                                                                                                                                                                                Why do mall food courts make you sad? I can count on less than one hand the number of times in a year that I go to a mall. But when I do it's usually with a list of must-haves. There's an Asian vendor that has just the best. I used to live in San Francisco so I'm not a pushover when it comes to Chinese food. They have a "senior special" of a really spicy pork served with some chow mein type noodles and cabbage and broccoli that is NEVER over-cooked. And, hey, don't let it make you sad what others choose to eat. I think we all have enough to watch over in our own lives :)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                  I meant more the food courts full of generic fast-food chains that look exactly the same as any other in the country. (Incidentally, that's also why I find malls depressing.)

                                                                                                                                                                              3. A customer of mine once told me that tomatoes made her "melancholy."

                                                                                                                                                                                1. I find circus peanuts incredibly depressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: corgette

                                                                                                                                                                                    i went through a period when i was obsessed with circus peanuts. they're like dried out marshmallows (which i also liked) except better. =) but to each her own!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: corgette

                                                                                                                                                                                      Make a reference to "satan's candy" in my house, and everyone will immediately know that you are talking about circus peanuts. My significant other loves them, the roommate and I think they are spawned in the pits of hades.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Twizzlers are also sad candy. HAPPY candy - is chocolate.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bonnie Celt

                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh Bonnie, your comment about Twizzlers just cut me like a knife. How can a candy that also functions as a straw not be happy?! Low in calories and fat free = happy. This is one instance where I don't even care what they're made of. Happy. Happy. Happy. =)

                                                                                                                                                                                        Arika
                                                                                                                                                                                        http://rawforamonth.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                                                                                        all tongue in cheek of course

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ArikaDawn

                                                                                                                                                                                          Arika - If it's any comfort to you, if there's ever a world wide Twizzler shortage, you won't have to deck me in the supermarket to get the last package.

                                                                                                                                                                                          They may be low in calories and fat free, but they taste like plastic as far as I'm concerned. Differences make life interesting, thank goodness we're not all the same or we'd have nothing to talk about.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bonnie Celt

                                                                                                                                                                                            ... and they're aren't necessarily low-cal.

                                                                                                                                                                                            By candy standards, Twizzlers might be low in calories, but not by normal food standards.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                              I was thinking more in terms of movie candy low in calories. That is when my husband and I generally get them and fortunately I do like them because every other offering is super high in fat and calories. We are so bad about time management and rushing to the evening movies without having a chance to eat dinner first. A few Twizzlers is perfect for a couple hours of tiding over. Most candy I could take or leave, but Twizzlers just do it for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ArikaDawn

                                                                                                                                                                                                lol I've loved the red twizzlers since I was a kid. I was in the feed store a while back, and they have a lot of old time candy as well as new candy at the check out... and lo and behold... a bag of Watermelon flavored twizzlers. So I bought it. (it was a good sized bag). My boyfriend was disgusted at the purchase. I ate a couple of pieces on the drive back to the farm. Delicious.
                                                                                                                                                                                                By the time we unloaded feed, fed the horses, did some mowing, and he headed back to town to his place... I realized I had left my watermelon twizzlers in the cab of his truck.
                                                                                                                                                                                                No worries. He HATES that stuff.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Saw him the next morning. Asked about said watermelon twizzlers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Apparently they ARE addictive. He ate the entire bag. And he's no candy eater.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. almost anything delicious i see on food network, since i'm not getting any of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                      also, i'm with sam fujisaka and the others re: waste. i hate seeing people throw out good food and it happens all the time at my office after meetings. perfectly good bagels, sandwiches, salads, all going straight to the bin. we're not allowed to give it to shelters because it's not wrapped and packaged. i always foist a bunch on my secretary and others i work with, but a lot still goes to waste.

                                                                                                                                                                                      i've never eaten at an olive garden before, but i actually remember big boy making me pretty darn happy as a kid!

                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cimui

                                                                                                                                                                                        We were not allowed to take a CHEESE PLATE to a homeless shelter or simply to a place where homeless people congregate, after a conference in Québec City. We all wound up taking copious amounts of cheese home, but I'd have preferred to have given it to hungry people. Sure, food safety is important, but cheese doesn't readily go bad, and is a hell of a lot safer than rifling through rubbish containers for food...

                                                                                                                                                                                        i was also very sad when some ijut left a roast chicken in a basket by the cash at a local supermarket, rather than taking it back to the coutner. Of course the supermarket had to throw it away, although it was still warm. That was a living being. I'm not vegetarian, but the thought of a creature being slaughtered and not even eaten just made my eyes well up with tears.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cimui

                                                                                                                                                                                          Almost everything broadcast on the Food Network makes sad. The "chefs" aren't chefs, the food is rarely food, and everything is a promotion or a competition. I just loathe it now. What a sad statement on American food culture that this network dominates.

                                                                                                                                                                                          PBS has some decent cooking shows.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JudiAU

                                                                                                                                                                                            I would use the term "food personality" to describe at least two of the "chefs" on the Food Network. Sad, indeed.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Sugar-free Peeps ... not only makes me sad, but scares me a little, ok actually scares me alot.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Steamed lobster ... there are so many better ways to prepare lobster than just steam and butter.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Soy sauce by itself on white rice ... two wonderful ingredients, wasted so pitifully on each other.

                                                                                                                                                                                          A dish of soy sauce mixed with wasabi. 'Nuff said.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                            "A dish of soy sauce mixed with wasabi. 'Nuff said."

                                                                                                                                                                                            Been to Pf Changs recently? =)

                                                                                                                                                                                            Arika
                                                                                                                                                                                            http://rawforamonth.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                              I love soy sauce on sticky rice (often mixed with the gloppy duck sauce) and almost always dunk my sushi in soy and wasabi (even the spicy tuna rolls). I'm guessing your sadness stems from the idea that the soy takes away from the quality of the food? I can understand that view (having watched my ex douse anything I cooked with condiments, almost halfhazardly ) which made me feel my expertly marinated chicken may as well have been a block of tasteless tofu. At the same time, we should all think about the purpose behind eating besides for nutrition. At the top of the list? Pleasure. If you enjoy it, why not eat it? And if someone is enjoying food, why should that make anyone sad?

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I work in a restaurant, and there are a lot of foods that make me sad. I'll list a few;

                                                                                                                                                                                              1) Industrial grade demi-glace from a bucket: It's nothing more then an artificially flavored chemical cocktail of preservatives, trans fats, and other unpronounceables. Real demi is expensive and time consuming to make. I know this, but as a chef at a high end restaurant, thats your job. To make something I cant or don't want to make at home.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2) Pie crust from a box. It's not that hard to scratch it.

                                                                                                                                                                                              3) Any of those $#^@&#% Bertolli bagged concoctions that claim to be better then the creations of Gambero Rosso decorated chefs.

                                                                                                                                                                                              4) Almost anything in a box with a packet enclosed.

                                                                                                                                                                                              5) Any chain Italian restaurant

                                                                                                                                                                                              6) Any independently owned Italian restaurant with a menu similar to Olive Garden. Italian cuisine is so much more then 'red sauce' this and 'Whatever parmesan' that.

                                                                                                                                                                                              7) Bisquick. Is it that hard to mix flour, baking powder, and eggs for your pancakes? Do you really need to buy it in a pre-mixed form?

                                                                                                                                                                                              8) Margarine. Science has already proved its more detrimental to your health then butter, even for those with high-cholesterol, and if you have any kind of palate at all, it tastes rancid. It's one benefit? It's cheaper then butter. You get what you pay for.

                                                                                                                                                                                              9) Cheap steak sauce. The fact that I prefer some sort of condiment on my steak, such as Hollandaise, Matre-d butter, or Bordelaise, has led to a lot of inner dialog as to why thats O.K. but A-1 isn't, until it occurred to me; All those above mentioned condiments have more to offer to the flavor then just super salty and super sweet. Why are you going to pay for a $30 steak just to drown out the flavor with a $2 steak sauce? Why did that animal give it's life to be on your plate, when you wouldn't be able to discern that Sirloin from a piece of firm tofu after drenching it in salty-sweet Heinz-57? That makes me very sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                              10) Most buffets and the morbidly obese people that frequent them. Does any food out there taste better after 2-3 hours under a heat lamp? Why is quantity instead of quality more important to people when it comes to food?

                                                                                                                                                                                              11) Foie Gras- Not because of any creulty, but because it's so expensive and fattening I cant eat it on a regular basis. THAT makes me want to cry.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Theres a LOT more, but I could be here all night. I guess I'm too passionate about my food.....

                                                                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: goldendawn7

                                                                                                                                                                                                Goldendawn, Margarine is the only "food" that a cockroach will not eat...

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: goldendawn7

                                                                                                                                                                                                  A-1 is the only condiment from my childhood I still love. But I would never sully a good piece of meat with it. I just like a bit with a baked potato sometimes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  My mom made steaks all the time when I was a kid but they were cooked to death and greyish. The meal always included baked potato and a salad (iceburg, out of season tomato, and green onion).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JudiAU

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I also admit to still harboring a partiality for A-1. I also admit I'd never be caught dead putting it on a gorgeous steak in a restaurant and would never ask for steak sauce if eating at someone else's home..... but if I'm home alone.... with the grill.... and some on-sale rib eye..... well what other people don't know won't hurt them. I also agree that it is kind of tasty on baked potatoes as well... and not bad at all on a burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: goldendawn7

                                                                                                                                                                                                    While I detest margarine, the kosher community is very thankful for its existence. Though I have always wondered if down the road it may have its kosher status removed due to its unhealthiness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: NicoleFriedman

                                                                                                                                                                                                      do you ever use Earth Balance? it's a vegan butter substitute... that's also kosher...

                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. there will always be melancholic items to list, but only when the makers are no longer with me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    enjoy the food you have! food may remind, but let it remind you of the good moments. yeah, that casserole always sucked, but it was made with careful (if rote) thought.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    no one burns X like so and so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    and no one else ever will.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I'm so onboard with chain Italian! Also, McDonald's, non-dairy creamer, sodas (w/HFCS), commercial chocolate, energy drinks, commercial cookies and bread.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also, coffee makes me sad because people are addicted to caffine and usually to ignorant to realize it or change it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: stricken

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hey now...non-dairy creamer is a welcome sight to my eyes when its either that or milk in my coffee (which would make me ill). I see your point, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. 1) Chain restaurants - no explanation needed

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2) Whole Foods / Trader Joe's - gimmicky, overpriced.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3) Highly processed prepared foods at the grocery store - and people wonder why they are overweight, and get sick

                                                                                                                                                                                                        4) Over cooked meat/seafood - cooking the taste/texture out of items makes me sad

                                                                                                                                                                                                        5) buffets

                                                                                                                                                                                                        6) fake (aka. Krab) - disgusting

                                                                                                                                                                                                        7) vegetarian bacon, vegetarian hotdogs, and any faux meat/veggie version of anything - ridiculous

                                                                                                                                                                                                        8) Boiled ribs(aka meat jello) - its just not right, It makes me cry to hear these referred to as bbq. ;-D

                                                                                                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Total agreement!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I know what I'm about to say might be slightly inflammatory, but I just don't think it's fair to lump ALL chain restaurants into one big horrible category. I'm in agreement that probably 80% of them are total crap, but I think some of the higher-end ones do a good job. I don't see anything bad about a chain restaurant that uses fresh ingredients and makes all its food from scratch. I think chains start to go downhill when the company expands and starts to lose sight of why it's in the business to begin with. When a company becomes more concerned with making money than it is about quality food and guest appreciation, I think that's where it runs into trouble.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Case in point: Chili's. When I was a little girl, my parents and I used to eat at the original Chili's. This was at a time when there were maybe only one or two other locations. It was one of my favorite restaurants, and I absolutely LOVED the burgers. They were huge, cooked to order, and the bun was incredible. Unfortunately, the whole concept has gone pretty far downhill. I was there recently with a friend who had some BOG's, and I ordered a burger. It didn't even come close to what I remember.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Al_Pal

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think what was meant was (Inter)national chains, not local ones. I enjoy a local chain, Pat's Pizza, nine locations in Maine, Cappy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I miss Pat's Pizza! They were a formative part of my college years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: corgette

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Go Black Bears! Can you sing the Maine Stein song? The Ninja Turtles are really Black Bears.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The student union still makes sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, sorry, I was an interloper from NH. We had to cross state lines to get good pizza though, if it makes up for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ahh Pats. How I miss it. The DH doesn't get it.... ah well his loss.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Actually, where I live shopping at Trader Joe's is much cheaper than shopping at any of the big super markets and I'm not talking about prepared foods, which I very rarely buy. I'm with you on Whole Foods, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. foods on a revolving buffet shaped like a trough.....THAT makes me sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                i like some quality buffets because i like the variety -- esp. really nice salad bars. and i like some chains in a pinch -- i'm thinking carrabas, macaroni grill, applebee's, chili's...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                and i'm not too good for a big gulp. hey, i'm thirsty, ok? but the baseball hat with straws to the mouth? naaah, i'd only wear one if it had the beer can on each side! ;-D http://www.drinkingstuff.com/drinking...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                but the revolving trough with overcooked, oversalted, oversugared, over-guar-gummed foods? i mean, why have tables? just gather and drop your head to feed!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                oh, non-dairy creamers make me sad. i mean, half-n-half is half the fun of coffee!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ew..... and what do they call that place? The Spinning Swine?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    firegoat, i think its called "buddy freddy's country buffet." ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    might as well be "the spinning swine", though! LOL.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. PUBLIC SCHOOL LUNCHES!!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pre-packaged over processed foods
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Fake crab
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sugar free and low fat foods
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It makes me sad (mad) when people salt and pepper their food before tasting it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Overcooked dry meat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Overweight people drinking a massive sized diet soda

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  15 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    What's wrong with low-fat foods? I see nothing wrong with low-fat alternatives when you have such issues as obesity and high cholesterol to worry about. My family naturally has higher cholesterol, so I really have to watch my saturated fat intake. I had 2 years where I couldn't watch it (in a foreign country where I couldn't read product labels) and my cholesterol shot up. You can bet when I found out, I switched back to low-fat options.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: queencru

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There isn't anything wrong with low fat foods. I don't care for them, but that's just me. I prefer the full fat in moderation!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        they make em sad as well...,simply because they taste so awful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Me too. Low fat = low flavour; fat free = flavour free.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: OCAnn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            'fat free' and 'low fat' also tends to result in the addition of extra sugar to compensate for the loss of flavour - which only further distorts the original flavour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As chef Kylie Kwong has oft said 'fat is flavour'

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Not only this but there have been some studies which have suggested that there is a causal link between eating full fat dairy and actually maintaining a lower weight. The suggestion is that people who regularly consume full fat dairy subconsciously compensate by implementing moderation policies in their diet. Also it seemed that many people who routinely consumed low fat/no fat dairy seemed to feel that these calories 'saved' gave them leeway to eat more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Anecdotally I can't count the number of times I've been in a cafe ordering my regular caffe latte and then watched a largish individual order a 'skinny' caffe latte and then order a muffin the size of their head!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Actually that brings me to another food that makes me sad muffins - they're just giant slices of cake in disguise!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: irisav

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hmm, I had heard that full fat was better than no fat because there were less enzymes in the non-fat items and therefore they did not digest well. But, I just heard that from a friend studying nutrition, I didn't find out for myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well its better than a massive sized regular soda.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Cachetes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I kinda understand what J is saying; it's the juxtaposition & irony of the big guy w/the diet drink. Is it truly judgment? Who knows...I just find it funny.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: OCAnn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But, putting aside the contention of some that diet sodas lead to weight gain, that person is ingesting fewer calories than if he or she were drinking a 'real' soda. Would one have the same reaction if that person were drinking water?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "Would one have the same reaction if that person were drinking water?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Interesting Q. Probably not. But that probably doesn't hold water coming from someone who used to skip dinner, have a couple beers and then go for a run. (that's to say I didn't always make chowish choices....)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Cachetes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I"m absolutely not judging people. I didn't mean it that way at all. I don't care how much they weigh. I just think it's a little off for people who eat so much junk to make sure their soda is diet. (I'm talking about actually seeing somebody eat the junk, not assuming that's what they do, just because they're overweight) I should've left the overweight out, but that's usually who I see doing it. Seems to defeat the purpose doesn't it? It just seems like because it's diet, people think they can have more. Me, no way I don't drink diet, hate the way it tastes, like my low fat comment, Id' rather have the real thing in moderation. Sorry if I offended anyone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Well I like to smile when I see it. Perhaps they just recently took a step to be healthier, and that is one small step for them. Caffeine in soft drinks can be very addictive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'll grant you that it does seem ironic (that, I think was OCAnn's word). I was just being persnickety b/c I've seen a few fattest comments on CH that seem to pass by w/o comment. And I think we (and I'll include myself in this) notice overweight people drinking diet big gulps simply b/c it is ironic, not because they do it more than slender folks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Like you - give me the real thing in moderation (which usually means no soda, b/c I'd rather eat my sugar in other forms!).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sorry for unfairly giving you a hard time...I'll be more patient with my responses in the future.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Cachetes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No worries!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Cachetes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    ...ironic or just plain funny. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Oh I forgot one.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                High fructose corn syrup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I want the real stuff!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Produce in New York makes me sad, because I know what I am missing out on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pecan sandies make me sad because they remind me of my grandmother and a past era.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Olallieberry

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Are you in Manhattan? I'm sure there are places with even better produce, but I love what I buy at the Union Square farmer's market.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I live in Brooklyn but work in the Flatiron; I do try to buy produce from the US farmer's market but it's often closing up or very picked over by 6 when I get off. But you're right, the produce that I do buy there is usually excellent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Whole Foods not bad either, but so expensive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Certainly there is good produce to be had, but much more expensive and difficult to come by than in California, unfortunately.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Olallieberry

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You definitely have a point about the California produce, especially the fruit. I've really been blown away by some of the fruits I've purchased from farmers markets in California. So good that I'd rather have fruit for dessert than chocolate!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Olallieberry

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In that area, if you are looking for something in particular, Garden of Eden on 14th St. may well have it, though they are expensive. I've never lived in CA, but have always been so impressed w/ produce in Northern CA and in Vancouver, so I do sympathize.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And as you live in Brooklyn, you should check out Orchard in Midwood. But prices are really steep, much steeper than Garden of Eden, I'm afraid. But it's been the best fruit I've found in NYC. I'd probably be getting all of my fruit there if I lived in Brooklyn and was richer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Lol-funny you mentioned Olive Garden. I was checking out a few new blogs today, and ran across this: http://www.starrydream.com/blog/archi...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: madgreek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This is an interesting thread as there are several ways to look it it......
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Things that make me sad to look at: Quails, (so tiny...bums me out), Frog legs & Pig's feet....still eat them mind you but they make me pout or say, "awww poor yummy little thing".
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Things that make me sad that they exist: Those meal in a box thingies where everything you need is in the box...even meat and it fis shelf stable...eekk, Cereal Straws or whatever they are called, it is really just a twisted up cookie that you give your kids so they can slurp up the sugary milk from their cereal...ADD or spun out on sugar? Those new micro tater jobbies....you know because peeling and boiling potatoes is soooo hard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Things that make me sad becuase they remind me of people who have passed:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Prime Rib with all the fixings...reminds me of my Mother she loved it more than anything.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Frozen Chocolate Dipped Bananas, reminds me of my husbands uncle, sweetest man and the first of his family to welcome me, (he worked at the frozen banana shop at the Orange County Fair Grounds)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Shake and Bake Chicken, reminds me of the rare dinners at my Grandparents.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: madgreek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Holy #@*^. Thos epictures look really good, especially that garlic. It's all a bit greasy and the shrimp with melted mozz made me throw up in my mouth, but everything else looked okay. I am also really, really hungry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: southernitalian

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I actually enjoy the calamari and dip. The pasta wouldn't be half bad as well if the sauce didn't consist entirely of cream and butter...possibly xantham gum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: madgreek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Best part:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "The salad tastes all right, not sure what kind of dressing they serve but it was a bit zesty. Italian dressing perhaps?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kiwi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This is a bit mean spirited.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kiwi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                LOLL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Bologna..........baloney.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              When I was growing up in the midwest, all our butchers were bohemians, ditto the bakeries. When we got a nickel, which was VERY seldom, I always spent mine on a hunk of baloney(instead of candy) that I minced on for about 30 minutes. I forget when that great stuff was no longer available. When I was grown it was the bag of smoked sea bass my father used to catch and had waiting for me whenever I visited them in Baja. Of course, I had to swap him for a box of Cuban cigars.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My father is gone and so is the sea bass. So sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. The pathetic excuse for a patty melt I'm eating from our cafeteria. Blech. I'm bringing my lunch tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. When people I love/care about can't tell the difference between ok food and inspired magnificent food - or don't care about the difference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Similarly, when people I care about who DO appreciate good food choose not to eat it because they are on restrictive diets to lose weight they do not need to lose.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Good food is for sharing, and most of my happiest meals have been as much about the people as about the food. So the two circumstances above really depress me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gooseberry

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Frozen Burritos, how sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Frozen burritos in vending machines ... sadder.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What about vending machines that actually heat up the frozen/refrigerated food? That's even sadder- and much, much grosser.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Gooseberry- is it possible people are going on restrictive diets for reasons you don't know? High cholesterol runs in my family, so I have to watch what I eat even though I am relatively thin. I also have problems eating saturated fat, so I tend to stick to lower-fat options because I don't want to get sick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: queencru

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          On a slight contrarian note, those MooBella ice cream vending machines that make your ice cream on the spot when you insert your money actually make me happy ....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.moobella.com/index.php

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Beer vending machines in other countries makes me happy. Lite beer makes me sad. Like making love w/ ones clothes on. What's the point?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: queencru

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hi Queencru.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I can respect and sympathise with people who have restricted diets for medical reasons (my partner is diabetic, for example). But quite a couple women in my family are a bit health-obsessed. If I exercised every single day, I'd consider it fine to eat whatever I wanted in moderation, but a lot of them avoid carbs like the devil, are frightened of fats (including olive oil) and follow the general trend that lactose and gluten are the devil. Not sure why, since none of them are intolerant when it suits them. And it all makes me sad!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gooseberry

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think I know what you mean, Gooseberry. The overly health conscious and the folks who have to eat or not eat following the latest trend or health discovery.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And, on the other hand, it is easy to get scared when family members fall ill. After my father's stroke, I watched everything I ate. Three years later I still only butter my toast a few times a year. Can't help it, some things make us overly health conscious. Oh, but I do love my olive oil!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. My top 5:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ice cream made with Splenda
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The fake pasta/sauce concoctions that come in the bag(Lipton or something like that)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Instant mashed potatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pig feet in giant jars suspended in pink liquid-not so much sad, but nauseous
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Last but not least- Prime rib(made by moi), perfectly cooked, nuked by relatives because it wasn't "done enough". I'm getting verklempt just thinking about it...talk amongst yourselves!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Luvfriedokra

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pop Tarts and Chocolate Covered Sugar Bombs (Calvin & Hobbs) for breakfast. Coca Cola bottle with a nipple for toddlers. Down right depressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Luvfriedokra

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I totally agree with the instant potatoes, and I wanted to strangle my mother for adding Ragu to my homemade spaghetti marinara and meatballs. She said it needed more sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I had a conversation about food with a girlfriend the other night that made me very sad. My friend is very overweight (morbidly obese) as a result of binge-eating disorder. She has it more or less under control now and is losing weight slowly but any attempt to "diet" tends to set it off again. So while for me food is a joy and a pleasure, for her it's the enemy. She said she would prefer not to have to eat at all. :-(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I can't find the words to express the empathy I feel for your friend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's so easy, particularly amongst chowhounders, to forget that so many people don't have the positive relationship to food that I take for granted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The best of luck to your friend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              GreedyGirl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm sorry to hear your friend is going through that. It's tough. I deal, and have dealt with a compulsive binge eating disorder that also resulted in anorexic tendencies all primarily as a response to BDD. One thing that has REALLY helped me is actually getting very involved with food, one of the reasons I am active on these boards.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Previously, I didn't know anything about food preparation and I would do my best to avoid it, all the while wishing I did not have to eat at all, much like your friend. Avoidance most of the day would lead to secretive binges of the worst processed fast food crap I could find. I'd then do my best to starve for as long as possible before beginning again. Once I started working with professionals I was taught about changing my view of food as something negative, an enemy, to something that was nourishing and could restore my health. It's still a struggle to maintain a healthy mindset, and probably always will be, but I LOVE to cook now and learn about food, I relish going to the farmers market and loading up on produce, I even have a food blog which is an active way to remind me that food is in fact a good thing, a way to bring people together.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I really hope your friend is working with professionals. I am sure she is if she has been diagnosed. I'd just be careful with the mindset of preferring not to eat at all because that can get out of control fast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As irisav said, it's sad that not every person naturally has a healthy relationship with food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Arika
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://rawforamonth.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: ArikaDawn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for your thoughtful response. Yes, she has had therapy, and her doctor recently said he would put her forward for the same programme which another friend (who is bulimic) is following.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have known far too many women in my time with eating disorders, including two with very severe anorexia. My old flatmate also had anorexic tendencies, and for a time survived on rice and peas. Ironically, her husband is a chef! I don't think I am particularly unusual - sadly a disfunctional relationship with food is all too common.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. A previous roommate of mine would often go out of way to say that he hated food. Now I can understand not caring about food, but actively hating it?? To him the need to eat was this constant annoying drain on his wallet that he wished he could get rid of. Even more irritating would be when I would cook for the both of us, and he would let the food get cold before shoveling it down as fast as possible so as not to interrupt his video games. Or when he used to eat tuna out of the can not because he liked it, but because he was too lazy to drain the water and add mayo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hmm, now that I think of it that made me more angry than sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                realmenjulienne, i think that behavior would sorta scare me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mind cannot compute...such...illogical behavior. Hating FOOD? Are you sure your roommate wasn't a cyborg?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: takadi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In rare defense of buffet's my all time favorite fried calamari in NYC comes off of the buffet table of a certain deli . You just have to learn to be selective, time well, not make a pig of yourself, and to say "no" and walk out to somewhere else if they dont have what you wanted rather than filling your plate with glop "because you're there"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: takadi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well I am pretty sure his girlfriend would have noticed if he was a cyborg, so I'm gonna have to say "no", but it's not a bad guess. For example, he seemed to be able to draw at least partial sustenance from electronic media like Playstation 3 and online poker.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Your roommate actually reminds me of a college roommate that I had.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Instead of making mac 'n cheese from the box in the normal way, he'd simply pour boiling water on it, cover, and then eat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        damn. that guy must've had strong teeth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        *your* roommate reminds me of a girl i knew in elementary school who, after the class made dried pasta mosaics and jewelry, ate her way through all our creations -- first the penne necklaces and then the macaroni glued to construction paper. she also ate glue, straight. an amazing child.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cimui

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cimui, this almost sounds like pica:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pica_(di...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I, like many other children, loved to play with glue, but eating it? Oh dear.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: moh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            yes, it does sound like pica. i do remember a lot of kids -- mostly boys -- eating glue our class, but i'm not sure how much of it was just for show, to gross the girls out. i don't think this girl was doing it to be funny. it was kind of a fad to take the spongy inky middles out of crayola markers, and to stick them in bottles of elmer's to color the glue. she'd even eat the colored glue, which couldn't have been all that great for her. for the record, she's still alive. and no longer eating glue as far as i know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cimui

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              But you never know!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                true, true. for the record, she's still alive!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cimui

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  yes, yes, but she still may be eating glue!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ha! Gross. My roommate would go to the opposite extreme with frozen Chinese dumplings. He would leave them in the hot water and forget about them while doing computer stuff, and when he finally got to them they could be ingested without chewing. The sight of those pale soggy dumplings floating in the pot inspired many emotions in me, maybe one of which was sadness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Other people's food choices don't make me sad. Chains don't make me sad. Yes, I think it would be great if we didn't treat food (particularly meat) disrespectfully. And it would be great if we didn't act like it's our god-given right to consume as though we had 4 planets' worth of resources and as though our choices didn't affect others. But that's not sad. A bit frustrating, maybe...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sad to me is people who eat substandard food (or even nothing at all) through no choice of their own (see ArikaDawn's story). Sad is an obese child who has/will have health and possibly social problems because his parents don't know or care to feed him properly (see jfood). And yes, sad is a meal eaten when you're lonely (Emme).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Salsa in a bag.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I was in the produce section of the grocery store this morning and noticed a new display. "Salsa In A Bag" the packaging proclaimed. It was simply a plastic bag containing a couple of tomatoes, an onion, a jalapeno your basic salsa ingredients. It was priced at $5 and half of them were gone! If you were to simply turn around all of the items in the bag were available for sale at half the cost and yet people were clearly still buying them. Why?! This is not a case of it being more convenient as all the contents were RIGHT THERE. It was just more expensive AND more wasteful packaging.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh, and $3 red bell peppers bum me out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ArikaDawn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Okay, lightning is going to probably strike me... but... I am going to say something sort of nice about RAchael Ray.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If the Salsa in a bag, gets someone who would never do more than buy a jar of Pace Picante Sauce off the shelf to actually chop up real vegetables and have a sense of achievement of doing something.... then I consider it a win, despite the waste of packaging and general silliness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I liken it to Rachael Ray. As much as I can't stand her, maybe there are some people out there who are so cooking challenged that they need her craziness to make macaroni and cheese and hamburgers at home. I find it hard to believe... but then again apparently there is a market for salsa kits, so who am I to disbelieve.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I agree - I occasionally also come to RR's defense, and for the same reason. Though this reminds me of the time that we were invited to a cocktail party, the hostess, who was married to a work colleague of mine, poured out a jar of Pace's into a bowl, and my husband decided this was a good time to tell her how easy it is to make salsa from scratch!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh dear. Husband's are wonderful, but goodnes if sometimes even the best of them don't need a mute button of some sort =)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't have any issue with Rachel Ray. I have a soft spot for bumpkin gone famous types actually. As someone who has been watching my grocery bill slowly creep up for months, it's the needless expense that really got my attention. I had half a cart of primarily produce and my total was just over $100 dollars. I just cannot imagine spending something like 30% more just to have a few pieces of produce already tossed in a bag for me. I suppose it is good if it encourages some people to try making homemade salsa a shot, but still...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  gaaah. RR "stock-in-a-box" saddens me. immensely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Any food made with love and then not appreciated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree with that sam

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Food Zen?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm sad to say that I've had my share of food made with love that was inedible. Jello/mayo/canned fruit salads spring to mind. I might force myself to eat it in order to spare the feelings of loved ones, but it's still bad food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. interesting that you mention the kid lunchbox menus....while I was reading all these posts on sadness, the one thing that came to my mind was the food some children eat at school. As a mom of two I make sure to cook and prepare food for them daily. I want to make sure that their diet is complete and that it doesn't get boring. I have prepared all kind of paninis including all kinds of fish and vegetables. I peel and cut fresh fruit for them, wouldn't you want that too? I looked at the cafeteria option, and I almost got sick.....why do they insist in non-educating our children when it comes to food and diet??? haven't we learnt that we are what we eat, it is a lifestyle it is who we are. I am proud to be able to take my kids even to fine dining restaurants and they have seen and tasted the food....I also get sick by looking at most of the children "options" in any restaurant.....simply depressing....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I was embarrased once when my daughter went to a sleepover party and when they were offered mac and cheese for dinner she didn't know what that was and found it repulsive...we make pasta with cheese at home, but it doesnt look or taste like that at all.....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It really doesn't take too much time to prepare lunch for the kids, and it saves you big too....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Do us a favor and take a little bit of time in educating our kids, we dont want or like an obese next generation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: xocolatt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Who were you embarassed for? Your daughter? Because she was repulsed? Hopefully she showed good manners and didn't show her repulsion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You fix fish and vegetable paninis for them to take to school? And do they then eat them cold? Eeewww. I absolutely do believe that schools do a terrible job in feeding children. But I really don't think I'd want to eat a cold fish and veggie panini. Bleh. IMHO - or course :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Perhaps the children actually request fish and vegetable panini - and there are plenty of fish that are eaten cold such as smoked salmon or trout, tuna, sardines, smoked kippers the list goes on - all of these can be eaten in panini's particularly accompanied by salad. Not only that all of these options must be better than what might be available.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: irisav

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah absolutely - the various cold fish brotchen in Germany were so excellent - especially the fiorellen (trout). But still - a grilled sandwich after a few hours in the lunch box can't be the most appetizing thing in the world.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: applehome

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Agreed - but they didn't say whether they actually did grill it (I know with panini that is what is expected).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: xocolatt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Actually, preparing lunch for the kids doesn't save you big if your child is on a free or reduced meal plan. For many children, the meals they get at school are the only meals they get all day. Their parents don't have the money to feed them at home. That makes the school menu selection that much sadder. I think part of the reason the meals have become so processed is to keep costs low. Once you start adding in fresh ingredients that take longer to prepare, you have to hire more staff. I think the choice is often between feeding as many needy children as they can and having a healthier meal at a higher price that would also force more children onto free/reduced meal plans. I think the real issue is that food providers need to step forward and offer to provide healthier options at a lower price. There are some companies doing this on a small scale, but it needs to get bigger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: queencru

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've never trusted "food providers" to feed my children. I've always made grain/bean/pasta dishes that would keep well and taste good at room temp for the kids and my/my husband's lunches. This is cheap, easy, quick, and tasty. Give up some TV time and get in the kitchen and cook for your kids.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'd appreciate some specifics regarding grain/bean/pasta dishes that taste good at room temp and don't have things like mayo that can be dangerous. Our children are grown but we travel by car alot and some things like that could work for us when we're on the road.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My son wouldn't eat it, but I like orzo tossed with olive oil, halved cherry tomatoes feta, lemon zest and dill. It once made a four hour round trip in a hot car to a picnic that wasn't and still tasted great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "Give up some TV time and get in the kitchen and cook for your kids" seems a bit harsh.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A quote from the article below: "Despite its reputation, mayonnaise can reduce food spoilage." With vinegar (making it acidic) and pasteurized eggs, commercial mayo spoiling is a myth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Here's the article from the NYT:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/01/hea...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Being Japanese, I like to make nigiri - rice balls - for the road. I use the plastic forms you can get in Japanese food stores, and use all kinds of filling, from poached salmon to the salty pickled plums (umeboshi), and toast and cut nori into long slices and keep them in a separate baggie. The nigiri will hold together for a long time if squished really tightly, and then wrapped in plastic. The nori keeps you from making a mess when eating.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sticking with the Japanese theme, if you have a good bento box, you can seal it up so that the rice (or pasta or whatever you use) will stay moist, if not necessarily hot. The multiple chambers allow you to pack a lot of different things - sides, salads, condiments, or of course, tsukemono. Even pasta salad with mayo! Here's a stacking kind from Amazon:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also - just to comment on the school lunch issue - many folks dont have the choice of making lunch for the kids. As queencru says, it's often an economic issue - get free lunch for the kids, or they don't eat. The question is why shouldn't we trust our government to provide healthy lunches? Part of the issue, of course, is that they (the providers) have a limited budget too, and HFCS is in a lot more cheaper foods than not. It's ok for us to excoriate ourselves for not making our kids lunches - but perhaps our efforts would be better spent insuring that everyone's lunches, as provided by our governments, were actually healthy. Lots has been done in this area by people like Alice Waters and individuals and groups in many different parts of the country.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: applehome

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm amazed by the mayo article. I have a good bit of medical background and have always heard that mayo was the "perfect medium." That article seems well documented and I really appreciate your sharing it. Also --- boy, are we getting off-thread --- I agree about the school lunch comments you made. Alot of people have a hard time putting two meals on the table a day, much less three. There do seem to be alot of judgmental comments here. I haven't walked in those shoes but appreciate how hard it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      School food is better than no food. It may not be the best nutrition, but it is nutrition. Coming from someone who was on free lunch/breakfast as a kid :) It's hard to imagine how hard school would be if your stomach was empty all day. I wonder if the people who judge so harshly have thought of that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: spellweaver16

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If you mean Jamie, he has written extensively on food and poverty. He's not blaming poor parents.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        He did go through a bout of blaming the bad food culture in the English working class (not people so poor as to not be able to afford any food) but that is rather typical of someone like him who is from a far from posh background but did manage to make his way in life... He is much more empathetic now as to other demands on parents, but adamant the school dinners should not be composed of cheap crap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        After all, they aren't in France, and not even the conservative Sarkozy would dare touch that institution.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Use any grain, small pasta shape, or legume as a base. Add roasted veggies, sun-dried tomatoes, pinenuts, olives, green onions, baby arugula, chopped radicchio, whatever of these you have on hand. Make a tasty vinaigrette and toss it all together. Add some chopped fresh herbs, if you've got them. I like to make ethnic-type vinaigrettes (e.g., Mexican, Greek, Indian) by varying the spices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I hesitate to reply, since this section of the thread is so old. What makes you think that anyone who's children have free or reduced school lunch could afford ANY of the ingredients you mention (other than the base grains/legumes). All of these are a luxury; extremely expensive. You are coming from a position of privilege. Yes, I know that c_oliver asked for this for car travel, and it does sound lovely, but it is extremely insulting in the context of the rest of the conversation.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: evewitch

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        evewitch, i think you are unfair to pikawicca. you don't know what "position" pika comes from. and for you to use the term "extremely insulting" is a bit overboard, in my opinion. plus, the "context" of the conversation was for a grain-based salad that travels well, in response to c oliver.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        but to the substance of your argument, i say this:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        one doesn't have to have lots of money to prepare grain-based salads with affordable fresh seasonal veggies.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        no sun-dried tomatoes? use fresh tomatoes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        no pine-nuts? use peanuts.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        olives? (well, they're sui generis, but i daresay not a "luxury").
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        green onions are a luxury? ok, use plain old onions.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        arugula? use kale or collards or spinach.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        radicchio? how about cabbage, instead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        it's not quite the same, but it's nutritious and tasty -- esp. with a vinaigrette (again, not a luxury).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        finally, if kids are on free lunch, their home is getting food assistance, too -- not only vouchers, but in all likelihood actual government-provided food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        so, pika is not insulting at all. i don't think it's right to jump all over her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ~~~~~~~
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        edit: evewitch, i'm sorry to learn you are on food stamps right now due to unemployment. i hope you get another (and even better) job soon! best wishes, truly!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Alkapal, a well-stated, insightful, non-inflammatory reply. I love that you put thought into what you said rather than just flew off the keyboard. Another food that makes me sad: kids' school lunches, not only what they get from the schools but what many of them bring from home. For some reason we seem to think that processed = less expensive. Not only is that a false perception, but when you add on all the health consequences that come from eating such garbage (along with the accompanying medical costs for treating said consequences) it really becomes expensive. I'd rather my kid eat PB and Js with a piece of fruit every day and be a little bit hungry than fill up on the ersatz "food" targeted at school lunches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: SDgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            thank you sd girl. processed food is always more expensive than the basics, and i hate to see the overwhelming dominance of junky, processed foods in the carts of the food assistance program folks (well, in the cart of *anyone,* in fact -- esp. with children). i know also that the food assistance program has **all sorts** of info http://www.fns.usda.gov/fns/ to help people make nutritious menus on a budget, and the program provides nutritional information and educational community outreach. http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/outreach/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            bad choices have consequences, including bad food choices, but people (for now) have liberty in making those choices.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: SDgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              need is a poor guide for life. we do not need cuisinarts, or le crusets. we do not need airplanes, air conditioners, telephones or computers. we do need ore than one pair of pants, if even that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: evewitch

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If you think my suggestions are "extremely insulting," you've led a sheltered existence.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't know where you live that roasted vegetables and green onions are extremely expensive, but they are not here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I grow my own cherry tomatoes and dry them in the oven, rather than using pricey jarred dried tomatoes. A large bag of pine nuts costs about $12 at Sam's Club, and they last forever in the freezer. A handful, toasted in a skillet, will jazz up enough salad for 4 people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          None of these ingredients is as expensive as the massive amounts of junk food I see people of every socio-economic level consuming.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Conspicuous overconsumption and waste of food
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                For example, an upcoming "Burger Bash" in New York is on the offing (I guess as part of NYC's Food and Wine festiva) .... where for $200 participants can come and eat from a selection of some 20 or so restaurant's burgers. Well. Okay. A recent story came out on "how to negotiate the festival" or I guess get the most bite for the buck. Regarding the burger festival, this was the advice.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "4) Or, take the tip that he's learned from watching Burger Bash hostess Rachel Ray: "Take a bite and throw it away," he says. "Or pass it along to the security guard so you're not wasting it."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That waste of good food makes me sad. And the fact that people don't see that as wrong makes me sad.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://newyork.metromix.com/restauran...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wow. Wow. $200 for all-you-can-eat burgers ( I mean really, how many can you actually eat?) seems like several different kinds of ridiculous.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also, how charming to assume that the lowly security guard would want your partially-eaten burger. The privileged certainly are different!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. It makes me sad when people eat Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I don't want to think about the ramifications.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chew on That

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    gee chew, you must have a low "sad" threshold....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chew on That

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What makes me sad? Toast at breakfast that isn't brown. What makes me annoyed is the holier-than-thou attitude of those who judge others rather than looking within. I grew up decades ago in the south where Krispy Kreme donuts were IT. I've had perhaps three in 20 years and loved each one. Don't worry about others "ramifications." It's not your job. What do YOU eat or no longer eat that makes you sad?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the only people who say bad things about KK are people who got them at the gas station...a true KK that is still hot is heaven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: LaLa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Actually, my husband pretty much hates them! He had one about ten years ago, still wet with "molten" sugar, and that was it for him. TOO SWEET. But neither of us likes desserts. But, for me, it's a childhood thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Chew on That

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm sad too...but because I covet their Krispy Kreme doughnuts, I don't live near one...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. a perfect beef cut cooked well-done, over cooked pasta, over cooked eggs, coffee that when added milk or cream turns gray....(it´s not really coffee). lemonade made with powders, fruit at fridge temperature,"Mexican" salsa with lime juice, cumin and bell peppers, lobster with Mexican salsa (no! that´s mean) a perfect croissant filled or spread with something and then toast or fridge cooled. I rich broth that is spoiled adding lime juice, pizza crust colored with some spray (i´ve seen how they do it, terrible)......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Xacinta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree. When you have a food that has the potential to be so perfect that it makes life better, i like the list you mention, and it is prepared badly it is sad. I don't really understand the lime juice thing. Is salsa not supposed to have lime juice?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: keith2000

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            it is the combination of those ingredients that makes it taste like fake salsa....however, i don´t add lime juice to any Mexican salsa or guacamole.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Xacinta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            skim milk in coffee makes me very sad..... ;-(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have no problem with any variety of milk, but non-dairy creamers? EW. I don't get how it's any better to stick tons of chemicals in coffee instead of using skim or low-fat milk. Every time I try a non-dairy creamer because that's all that's offered (especially the powder variety), it just tastes like chemicals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: queencru

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Regarding the non-dairy creamer, I completely agreed with you until I read the obituary of the guy who invented it. The main reason for it and Cool Whip (another non-dairy faux food) was for people keeping kosher to have coffe or dessert with a meal that contained meat. It made me realize that I didn't have all the information. Like the families I grew up with who had Hawaiian Punch or Hi-C with dinner (both verboten in my family where the dinner drink was ALWAYS milk, reflecting the German-Norwegian background I had.) Being a judgemental kid, I thought they just didn't eat very healthy to miss their milk like that .... with their pot roast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Another thing that makes me sad is not getting to all the stuff in my CSA box before it starts to go. Sometimes I can't cook the greens fast enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: thinks too much

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Much as I hate non-dairy creamer and Cool Whip etc, when I was little it was a treat for me as I had a severe milk allergy, and in the postwar era there weren't all the non-cow-milk options there are now. Indeed it was a Jewish family my familiy were friends with who informed my parents that anything kosher parve or meat-containing would not contain any milk. There weren't the labelling laws there are now, either, so it was not just a matter of avoiding obvious dairy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nowadays, kids who can't drink milk can even have ersatz ice cream!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: queencru

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If you get your hands dirty unjamming the photocopier, put some coffeemate on your hands and a little water and presto zamo you have a great hand cleaner. Honest. Try it. Never in my belly again, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, I am so with you on the skim milk in coffee. Blech...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4. re: Xacinta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I would add, also, salsa with black pepper...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5. Boiled or baked potatoes; an elderly relative told me that they remind her of the only food they had (on days they had food) during the the second great war. She won't eat baked/boiled potatoes to this day....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: OCAnn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As a child in France during WWII, my father in law collected potatoes that fell off the train as it rumbled along. His father was in a prison camp and the whole family nearly starved. I honestly don't know if potatoes still make him sad, but the story makes me sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. vegetable gums in food products make me sad -- they also make me mrs. burpy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Anything from my grandmother's house. Guaranteed food poisoning.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fazolli's--they always overcook the pasta.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Any food that begins with the syllables "Mc" "Del" or "Bell." (there are both in my town within a block of each other. Since they're so close, both in location and menu, I have given them the combined name of "DelBell")
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      IHOP--too greasy. not a lot of real flavor
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thin-sliced bacon. Need I say more?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: beth1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Anything from my grandmother's house. Guaranteed food poisoning. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hahaha!! Oh, too funny. My grannie was a depression era gal and was uncontrollably obsessed with food stocking-up. She bought canned food by the bazzillions and often forgot about it. We regularly checked and, sadly, chucked the old cans. Once, we must have missed this, she tried to serve canned asparagus that was a decade old. We barely escaped that one. And, one other time, we realized there was a cabinet we had not examined thoroughly and found three exploded cans. man, that was not fun to clean.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Hot food that's not hot. Cold food that's not cold. Undercooked bacon, overcooked sausage, non-crispy hashbrowns (breakfast). Coffee that's too strong or weak. Soggy pizza. Olive drab broccoli. Baked potato cooked in foil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Boiled ribs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Pineapple turnovers that I made once when I was a girl. I loved to bake and try new recipes. My kid brother loved the turnovers so much, he even complimented me on them. For some reason I never made them again. After college my kid brother, who was always mentally unbalanced, had a nervous breakdown. It's been 17 years since his breakdown, and he's never gotten back on his feet again. Now I feel sad when I think of the pineapple turnovers. I don't think I could bring myself to make them again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: browniebaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              this makes me sad.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              maybe it would make you feel better to make them again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: dimsum41

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ......And share them with him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Bagels outside of Brooklyn. Makes me cry for the good old days when I used to get my Iron Man comic book next to the bagel place on Coney Island Avenue just north of Avenue K. Can't get bagels like that in Jersey. Or anywhere else (I also lived in Canarsie when you always got fresh bialies and bagels on Flatlands Ave by 80th St.).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Energy drinks.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Powdered "smoothie" drinks, like a 'taro' or 'mango' flavoured bubble tea.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Burgers that come out of those plain white boxes. C'mon! It's not that difficult to make a burger!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Eating with people who have food allergies to the items I'm eating (and enjoying immensely). Hmm, more guilty than sad, I guess.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's usually fast food, but when there is more packaging than food, that makes me sad (ie. husband had Taco Bell the other day - what the??)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Tortilla Soup that is not made with ONLY these ingredients: chicken broth, tomatoes, salt, epazote, fried totilla strips, farmer´s cheese, whole cream, lime juice, pork rinds, chile pasilla, avocado........that´s it. Don´t spoil it using corn kernels, cumin, monterrey jack, celery, can of.......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Xacinta

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wow! recipe please?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: takadi

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 quart chicken broth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 tomatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 large cloves garlic, peeled
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 small white onion, peeled and chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 epazote leaves
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 tablespoon corn oil, plus enough to fry the tortillas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 corn tortillas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      crumbled queso fresco, panela, farmers´cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      sliced avocado
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mexican crema or crême fraiche, whole cream
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chicharron (pork rinds)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Strips or rings of pasilla chile
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Preparation:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In a large saucepan add oil and fry tomatoes, garlic, onion, and epazote until tender, remove and puree in a blender. Return this mixture to pan and add chicken broth, let it start to boil and then lower temp and simmer some 5 min. Add salt to taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cut the tortillas into strips (julianne), fry in hot oil until crispy, and drain well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Serve the soup with the tortilla strips in the broth and pass the cheese, avocado, cream, chile strips and chicharrón, lime juice to be added by each diner. *What´s interesting about tortilla soup are the toppings, the same happens with pozole (tostadas, lime juice, orégano, radishes, onion, chile piquín, lettuce, cabbage)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Serves 4.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Recently a German friend came to visit here in Northern Virgina and we decided to go out to dinner. I was pretty excited because I'm still new to the area and there are a ton of great places I wanted to try. I asked if she had a preference and she absolutely insisted we go to the Cheesecake Factory. Well, she'd crossed the Atlantic, I could hardly say no. But still, that meal, to this day, was one of the saddest of my life. What horrible food. It took me over twenty minutes to get through the menu and at the end still couldn't find anything I wanted. Sad times. I may have actually cried at dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Must confess though - the cheesecake at the end did perk me up. There I said it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mjhals

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That's my reaction to Cheesecake Factory. I never go there of my own volition, only for some work-related function. So much on the menu, so little to choose from. When I finally get my food, usually cold, I don't enjoy it. I eat the cheesecake at home. I guess it makes me feel a little better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mjhals

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What I really want is for the Cheesecake factory to have nothing but cheesecake. They can still have a full menu but only in cheesecake form. Order the Philly Cheesecake or the New York Strip Cake. Macaroni and cheesecake. Cheesecake fries. Savory or sweet it doesn't matter if you want to call your restaurant "Cheesecake Factory" everything should be cheesecake! Darn it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: keith2000

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wow, I don't like Cheesecake Factory cheesecake. It doesn't taste like it is made with cream cheese, but with some low-fat, gum-infused calf slobber.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I like the chicken madeira, however. It appears to be real chicken, real cheese, and a sauce made with real stock. What's not to like?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: vtnewbie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fact is I have never been to a cheesecake factory. Doubt I ever will. And strangly cheesecake is one of my least favorite desserts. I still think the post was funny.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: keith2000

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              cheesecake (savoury or sweet) based on ricotta is a whole other animal. I can't stand the creamcheese-based stuff either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Ground beef in a 5 lb chub at Walmart.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My 350 pound aunt's shopping cart when I take her shopping because she is to big to ambulate on her own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I'm always surprised by the school lunch posts, because compared to what I got for a school lunch in the 70s and 80s, kids today have incredible choices. Salad bars, multiple entree options.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Back then it was here it is, take it or leave it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It all depends on the individual school district and the state education system... Some schools have great options health wise, but many are still abysmal. The food may "taste" better by kid standards (no more mystery meat), but it's still pretty grim. From what I've read/heard in my area, the improvements are things like baking chicken nuggets and french fries instead of deep frying them - an improvement for sure, but it's still chopped/formed/breaded "chicken." My mom used to work in a school where the cafeteria routinely ran out of food, the kids at the end of the lunch line would end up with peanut butter on a hot dog roll with a box of raisins. Most of the kids were on free/reduced lunch, so that was probably the only real meal they had all day. That makes me sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As a side note, I use to LOVE school lunches as a kid, especially the formed/breaded "pork chops." I always dreaded "manager's special" days, even as a first grader I knew that meant clean out the freezer day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              when I was growing up (70's) the food was actually cooked on site and yes it was crap, but crap we usually liked. now most school lunches are cooked off-site and reheated like airplane food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yesterday, wifey and I saw a pack of hot dogs already nestled in the buns and ready to nuke. How lazy, how sad.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Drove around Logan Airport for nearly 20 mi. on rt 1 looking for a diner for his last US breakfast. All we found were 20 kajillion Dunkin' Donuts for his last brekkie. Sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  some places may do this but not most.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: LaLa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    LaLa: I hope I'm wrong, but in most contemporary new schools rarely is there an actual kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I teach in a small, very poor Downeast high school (200), I take a short cut through the kitchen from the parking lot every morning. Was handed a hunk of fresh baked apple crisp yesterday and a home made birthday cake at lunch. A lot of fresh made food, but Pizza, though, is still king.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In 1990 the price of lobster was also very low; we had lobster stew in a school cafeteria!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Red Lobster, that makes me angry, not sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. It makes me sad when I 're-find' a food that I used to love in my childhood, but when I eat it, I find it awful and can't understand why I ever liked it. This makes me sad for 2 reasons: [1] I guess I'm really an adult now; [2] the food may have changed in its formulation over the years, meaning it's incrementally less healthy for the new generation scarfing it down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Another thing that makes me really sad is being too full for dessert after eating a delicious meal at a restaurant, or the many courses at a wedding [the sweet table is usually so tempting!]. It's really the only time I really want the dessert, usually because of all the choice. I'm sure that says a lot about my psyche...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Smorgasbord

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  if the food hasn't changed (and it has) the prep has definitely. schools aren't designed with kitchens any more, just "serverys"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I romanticize the junky stuff, but it was fresh junky.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hard to believe that only 19 years ago both Pemetic and Tremont elementary schools on MDI in Maine both served lobster stew in their school cafeterias. The kids dumped it
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's really sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      the Lunch Lady reference will pass with us...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      bless their hairnets and scary moles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Two people I work with. One eats two hot pockets for lunch everyday. EVERYDAY. For about two years now. The other is always "in a hurry" so she takes her two young daughters to McDonalds for breakfast and lunch at least three to four times a week. That's like 33% McDonalds for their diet. Another lady says she doesn't like avocado or mango, but she has never tried either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gustavno Rivera

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    maybe this thread should morph into "food that really just pisses one off"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    it's a fine line. "steam and mash potaoes" "microwave bacon" "toaster pancakes"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    hrumph. (end rant) ok toaster waffles I get.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gustavno Rivera

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      to reply more directly, sometimes I think there should be a feedbag option. I'd prob. make use on occasion, although usually I just call it soup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gustavno Rivera

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        did you call dcfs (dept of child and family services) on the woman who feeds her kids all tha McDonalds. If that isnt child abuse, I dont know what is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        that is really sad. :-(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I went to my neighborhood grocery store one night close to closing. A worker was removing all the day's unsold roasted chickens and putting them on a cart -- probably pretty dried out after a couple hours in the warmer. I asked what they do with them. He said they save the breast meat from some of them and use it to make the next days chicken salad for the deli. But all the legs and thighs are thrown away. I really felt sad that the chickens died only to be thrown away. And the legs and thighs are my favorite part of the chicken. They could at least donate the unsold chickens to a local shelter (several exist in close proximity to the store) but I wonder if there are health department restrictions in the District of Columbia where I live.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MartinDC

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          in DC I think Martha's Table will accept such, but they have odd hours and won't pick up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.marthastable.org/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          given today's litigious atmosphere, management is prob. wary of liability - indeed sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I volunteered at a fundraiser this Spring and we had platters of food leftover and after Martha's seemed lackadaisical about it we finally called 311 (non-emergency police line) and the cops picked it up to take back to the station. beats throwing it out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MartinDC

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I was at a red light at a freeway overpass about a week before Christmas last year. A woman gave a homeless guy working his corner a roasted chicken and he took off about ninety miles an hour to devour that baby.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Gift cards for fast food places work too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I usu. take leftovers, but if I'm not particularly married to them I'll pass them on. I'm a total cheapskate and hoarder, and as such I hate waste. maybe I don't have it, but someone should.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In DC and SF I've noticed there's sort of an unspoken practice of putting such edibles on top of the trashcan. or on occasion as James mentions handing directly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                sad, but if one is desperate, one is spared the indignity of digging.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A few months ago we were in SF. Had leftovers of Chinese dinner with us and were walking home. There was a homeless man just bedding down for the night in a doorway. I offered him the Chinese food. He was really happy and I enjoyed that food again in a different way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I was in DC w/ family last weekend. We ordered too much for dinner but didn't have a fridge in the hotel. I asked for boxes anyway, planning to give it to the first homeless person we saw. Well, between the restaurant-metro, and metro-hotel we didn't see anyone who could have used the food. I'm torn between happiness that there just weren't any people in need at that time/place, and sadness at what could possibly be going on to keep those in need "out of sight."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've heard about the leftovers on trashcans practice in SF, didn't know it worked in DC though. I wish I had known... I thought about just leaving it on a trashcan, but given security stuff was afraid the bomb squad might be called out (paranoid, I know...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mpjmph

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      but you thought.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Yoshinoya: Just a big bowl of depressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I think what would make me sad is a dish, or a place, with a strong personal connection that now makes me sad. What I think of at the moment are a few restaurants that my father spoke of that I never got to go to with him, and probably a couple of other places that I've been to in my past.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I don't know if this was mentioned yet, but what about those Smuckers premade frozen PB&J sandwiches that people feed their kids and that are served in schools for lunch. I mean how freakin hard is it to make a PB&j sandwich! Something else that makes me really sad...my kids' school has a lunch choice that includes Trix yogurt, peanut butter and graham crackers. they actually call this lunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: christie21

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Regarding those Smuckers frozen PB&J things, I used to feel the same way, but not everyone relies on them completely. i was in IN visiting family last week and stayed with my grandparents. My grandma takes care of my 3 yr old cousin during the week and keeps the frozen PB&J things on hand for her. My Grandpa is diabetic and my Grandma just doesn't eat that stuff so there's no reason to keep white bread, grape jelly, and peanut butter on hand and little Carly would never finish them on her own. My grandma keeps the frozen ones, and on the days Carly's two storytimes overlap, my Grandma will take one of those with them to have as a little snack in between to tide Carly over until lunch. Generally I thumb my nose at those things, but I can see where they're useful in some situations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Arika
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://rawforamonth.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. A friend brought back chocolates from Italy; six lovely violins in white, milk and dark chocolate, in a box papered with gilt sheet music. So beautiful, but they tasted like the worst generic American chocolate. Sad. Even Italians can make bad chocolate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Anything cooked by my mother-in-law. Ew.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Seriously, I always get weepy when I have good fried chicken. It was ont of my favorite meals my mother made. And her mother as well. I make pretty good fried chicken, but I am not fit to melt their Crisco.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. When I see a mom with a child or two in tow buying hard, green-tinged peaches in the supermarket. I know these will never ripen but apparently she does not, and if her kids grow up averse to fresh fruits and vegetables, it won't be a surprise. I have the knowledge necessary to choose a good piece of fruit, and on occasion, when I see someone making a bad pick I will smile and politely show them a good one. Usually I get a blank stare and a no thank you. That makes me even sadder.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh I'm so with you on that. Unsolicited advice in the food aisle is so frowned upon. I guess it's just part of human nature. It's difficult enough here. Out there it's positively dangerous!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Baby carrots. I found their homogeneity, their lack of any green tops, and their lack of bumpy surfaces so removed from the essence of carrotness depressing. why would someone want to distort a carrot so?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: benkadoshim

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And then you find out that they're not "baby" carrots at all but rather "trimmed."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: benkadoshim

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ...and they're so freakin' expensive compared to whole carrots, even accounting for weight lost to peels/trimmings (which don't have to be "lost" if you have the time/storage to save for stock). And they get dried out or slimy over time. Plus my mom is allergic to something they spray/wash them with in processing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It especially makes me sad to see friends trying to dice baby carrots for use in soups/stews...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: benkadoshim

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And baby carrots are so bland to me! When i want a carrot to eat out of hand, I just wash one off and start gnawing. Much better flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: benkadoshim

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    REAL baby carrots - tiny whole carrots - are wonderful though. A springtime pleasure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I remember sitting in a Friendly’s Restaurant having breakfast while on vacation and at the next table were four parents and three children all under the age of five. The children were running around like Disney characters on meth because their parents had insisted on feeding them Fribbles (milkshakes with whipped cream) at 8 a.m. Even the baby in a carrier got some and was soon frantically kicking its little arms and legs. When their food order came the children had chocolate chip pancakes (with whipped cream and syrup) for breakfast while Mom had a vegetable omelet. After eating a few bites of her pancakes, smacking her little sister upside the head, kissing her brother in the carrier and literally moonwalking across the table in her bare feet within the space of a minute, the oldest child came in for a landing next to her mother and asked her for a bite of her vegetable omelet. The mother screwed up her face and replied, “Oh honey you don’t want that. It’s vegetables.” Imagine trying to grow on that stuff.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That makes me sad because these parents actually think that this abuse of nutrition is actually fun for their kids!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: deebum25

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, for crying in Manhattan! Way for that lady to turn her daughter off nutritious foods for life!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If the little girl wanted to taste veggies, of her own accord, the mom should have gladly honored that request.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      When I was little, trying fruits and veggies was presented to me as an adventure in yumminess rather than as a health duty, and though I liked my sweets and "snack foods" as much as the next kid, I found vegetables and fruits (with the exception of iceberg lettuce and cucumbers, the only two items of produce I cannot stand) quite tasty, and even now, as an adult, I find that I crave figs or berries or persimmons or grape tomatoes as much as or more than I find myself craving chocolate or potato chips.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: deebum25

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        oh that is horrible! Teaching your children good nutrition is something they can take with them the rest of their lives. I've seen it way too much, the overweight parents who are unhappy that go to fast food places like subway thinking that it is eating healthy and then letting there kids eat mcdonalds. Don't they realize what they are doing to their kids.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Sad food = anything eaten without enjoyment, especially accompanied by guilt. Seems to me that this happens to someone with an eating disorder.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I'll echo a lot of prior sentiments.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Casual dining chain food (my one visit to The Cheesecake Factory exactly mirrored a prior poster: so many options, aboslutely nothing that appealed to me, an appallingly oversized portion of what I did choose).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A quality steak cooked well-done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So-called barbecue in the form of parboiled meats, grilled, with a finishing sauce burnt on at the end (as at the Boston-area Village Smokehouse).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          American Chinese food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Most so-called Tex-Mex, where every dish has a thick blanket of cheap melted Jack.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hard Rock Cafes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Most canned vegetables, but especially canned peas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The frozen food aisle, but especially frozen pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The popular restaurant in my neighborhood whose larder the owner stocks with regular Sysco deliveries and well-past-its-prime produce from the weekend Haymarket; it replaced a wonderful chef-owned neighborhood restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          HFCS-sweetened soft drinks, especially anything called a "sports" drink. As if.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Vending-machine Danish pastry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The hot dog roller at 7-Eleven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Breaded so-called Buffalo wings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The hamburgers at Fenway Park, and the kosher hot dogs sold from a vending machine there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Buffet restaurants (unless it's an Indian lunch buffet).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Burger places that automatically assume that everyone wants ketchup and mustard on thier burger. This one leaves two sides unhappy, me, when I bump into a place that does and forget to tell them "no mustard" and the staff when I do remember to specify and it turns out that that particular resturant doesn't automatically puct condiments on and is offended at me for wasting thier time. in a similar vein any Italian Pizzaria/resturant that beives that a susage and peppers hero MUST be drowned in red sauce. A good sausage hero, like a good Philly Cheesesteak needs no more addional seasoning than maybe a little salt and pepper. Most places will leave off the sauce if you remember to ask, but it should be the other way around (leave the sauce off unless you ask for it.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I agree with most all of this... I'll put in a good word for frozen pizza. When I was a kid I began my cooking career modifying Geno's pizzas -- add oil, add salami, etc.... I have a sentimental appreciation of those silly frozen pizzas for this reason.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Breaded wings are always terrible (Deep Ellum in Boston), cheesy overload is terrible (Sunset Grill), but there are good Indian buffets (Kebab Factory for instance), Chinese buffets can also be very good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. It makes me sad when I cook something and it tastes like c**p! I had bought some "wild ahi tuna" the other day. I cooked it, took one bite, spit it out and threw the rest in the garbage. It was SO strong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I'm saddened by the first snack I made my then-boyfriend, now-husband: a tortilla that I smeared with black bean dip and topped with a mound of Kraft shredded cheddar cheese before popping it in the microwave for 30 seconds. I'm especially shamed after reading about the lovely Parmesan sandwich Amanda Hesser cooked as a first snack (in Cooking for Mr. Latte). I can't go back, but at least I'm making better snacks these days. And, he married me anyways.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Like another poster, when I clicked on this link I thought it was about food eaten when feeling sad. My mom used to make tomato soup and grilled cheese on dreary days, so I always have that association. I hated that meal as a kid, but it's strangely comforting to me now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: tapas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  tapas: strange? - it's a classic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, I agree that it's a classic combo ... it's not a strange meal, but rather it's strange that a meal I used to dread like the sad, rainy days I associated with them is now a comfort to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tapas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      yeah I feel that way about liverwurst and onions right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      or my sister's ketchup and hotdog "soup" RIP and that's definitely best left behind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Liverwurst and red onions on a "hard roll "(NJ) was my father's favorite weekend sandwich... so that would qualify as a sentimental/sad food for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: steinpilz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My NJ dad's fav Sunday night sandwich. I'm gettin' into them now to. Good w/ scallion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What are you doing for hard rolls? Sometimes I think it would be worthwhile to open a hard roll company.