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What non-food/non-traditional food items did you eat as a kid?

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I enjoyed a good Crayola crayon once in a while. My mother always told me I wanted dog food when we went down the pet food aisle in the supermarket. We didn't have a dog...or any pets. A friend of mine munched on sticks of butter now and then; sometimes dipped in cigarette ashes from a nearby ashtray. You?

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  1. Paste.

    It had not occurred to me to try it until Miss Cole, our preschool teacher, sternly instructed our class not to eat it.

    So we all had to try it. It was salty and strangely compelling. It's illicit nature surely added to the thrill!

    5 Replies
    1. re: meatn3

      "It had not occurred to me to try it until Miss Cole, our preschool teacher, sternly instructed our class not to eat it."

      Of course! Very funny.

      1. re: ttoommyy

        God lord, I remember all of us eating that paste! Was there something in there that made us crave it?

        I ate raw/dried pasta right out of the box, no idea why.

        Playdough, which has a salty taste.

        1. re: cleobeach

          "I ate raw/dried pasta right out of the box..."

          I still do at 51 years old! lol

          1. re: ttoommyy

            Well, I will nibble on a piece while cooking but back then I ate serious amounts of the stuff.

      2. re: meatn3

        LOL.

      3. my sister and i would unwrap the squares of kraft american cheese and "hide" the wrappers all over the house, but could never figure out how our mother knew we were eating them for breakfast!

        i was also known to take little bites out of the butter stick. again, clueless as to how my mom figured me out...

        1. Toothpaste. My parents were very stingy with the candy so this was the closest thing.

          I grew up in the era of butter is bad. So I munched on sticks of Parkay.

          I know somebody (adult) who eats pretty gross things. But at the risk of offending some of the more delicate posters, I'll refrain from posting.

          18 Replies
          1. re: Miss Needle

            Oh, c'mon. We can handle it, dontcha think?

            1. re: linguafood

              "Oh, c'mon. We can handle it, dontcha think?"

              If it comes out of the body, NO!

              1. re: linguafood

                Based on what ttoommyy wrote below, I think it's in the best interest of everybody that I remain mum on this topic.

                1. re: Miss Needle

                  lol Oh, go ahead and post it. I'll just over my eyes. :)

                  1. re: ttoommyy

                    OK, don't say that I didn't warn you. I've already been chastised by some of you in the past for making them lose their appetite. If you don't want to read it, just skip it.

                    WARNING!!! STOP READING IF YOU ARE EASILY GROSSED OUT...

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                    LAST WARNING!!! STOP READING IF YOU ARE EASILY GROSSED OUT!!!!
                    x
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                    This person likes to eat her toenails, feces and her menstrual blood. When she told me I was shocked. Her response was, "What's the big deal? It comes from my body." I guess I can understand that in some way as I'm a pro on the whole placenta eating issue. But at least placenta has some nutritional benefit. I think eating human feces (whether or not it is yours) can be very harmful.

                    1. re: Miss Needle

                      Ok. I went there. I read it. I've lived an interesting life so I am not so shocked by this. It does take all kinds.

                      1. re: ttoommyy

                        I also think it's weird is that she only said, ""What's the big deal? It comes from my body." instead of giving a lengthy explanation.

                        1. re: ttoommyy

                          You must lead a colorful life -- can't think of anything worse than eating your own excrement. Actually, I take that back. I guess if I had to choose, I would rather eat my own than somebody else's -- especially if they've been eating a super hot vindaloo a few hours before.

                          1. re: Miss Needle

                            "You must lead a colorful life"

                            I'm 51 years old, lived in the NYC metro area all my life, partied and played in NYC all during my late teens into my early 30s and work in NYC. There's not much I haven't seen, read or heard about at this point.

                            Do I find this behavior shocking? Of course I do. Does it shock me that there are people who do this? Not at all.

                            1. re: Miss Needle

                              How is this person still alive? Eating feces, doesn't that, uh you know, kill you? Fecal contaminated water kills countless people every year so I can't figure out how this person is telling the truth.

                              1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                Without getting into detail, there are many people who do this as part of a certain sexual activity and manage to stay alive. Go figure.

                                1. re: ttoommyy

                                  Please, please oh god can we please stop now.

                          2. re: Miss Needle

                            Does she just enjoy it or does she think it is beneficial in some way?

                            1. re: meatn3

                              She definitely doesn't do it for any benefits. I think she's a bit compulsive, especially as she likes to pull her hair out and rip her toenails with her mouth. A very nice person, but has some interesting habits.

                              Viperlush, it is a bit strange that she thought it was no big deal. After I gave her my look, she realized it was a bit odd and we just cracked up over it.

                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                Sounds more compulsive than anything else. That she thought it was no big deal is almost odder than the fact that she does it.

                                1. re: meatn3

                                  It's called 'pica', and, while I learned that it fell under the umbrella of the anxiety disorders, a quick search of Wikipedia shows that it can come under other mental issues as well. You'd be amazed what grown people will put in their mouths

                            2. re: Miss Needle

                              There's a mental disorder called "pica" that encompasses that--eating non-food items. Psychotherapy is generally useful in abating it.

                              Edited: didn't see that someone already addressed this. Mea culpa.

                      2. re: Miss Needle

                        Second on the toothpaste. We weren't allowed sweets, generally speaking, so sometimes toothpaste worked. I tried a bit of baker's chocolate once too. I ALMOST didn't even spit it out.

                      3. I was a big eater of plants. My mom taught me to suck the honey out of a honeysuckle flower. I also chewed on sour grass. And I ate each part of the begonia flowers seperately. I have a friend who liked to eat butter as a child. I wasn't into paste or crayons, but I certainly knew other kids who were. Our paste tasted (and smelled) vaguely minty.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Kathleen M

                          I also did the honeysuckle, sour grass, and other plants. I tried eating plastic untensils after a trip to the Guiness Book of World Records Museum. There was an exhibit on the person who ate the most nonfood (the prop. plane? truly impressed me) and I wanted to give it a go. I would also chew on rubber bands. And suck on pebbles/buttons because I read that they kept your mouth moist.

                          1. re: viperlush

                            My daughter was quite enchanted when I showed her how to get the nectar out of honeysuckle. Until she discovered she's allergic to it. Fortunately, the allergy is merely annoying, not life-threatening.

                        2. Candles, particularly delicious on one's own birthday. Iced, naturally-I'm not some kind of freak.

                          14 Replies
                          1. re: Brianne920

                            I may have thrown in a candle or two once in a while with my crayons. Gotta mix it up once in a while.

                            1. re: ttoommyy

                              Yeah, just one kind of wax would have made me a dull girl. Totally agree. I eventually graduated to wax lips and wax soda bottle candy from the Jersey boardwalk. Classy dame.

                              1. re: ttoommyy

                                This thread is starting to worry me a bit because now I remember eating birthday cake candles, one little mouse-sized nibble at a time. Ditto on the lips and those horrible soda bottles.

                                Maybe it was pica?

                                1. re: cleobeach

                                  Maybe! I'm also a pen/pencil/straw etc. chewer as an adult, so God knows what my malfunction is. Hahah.

                                  1. re: cleobeach

                                    Well, I also ate the lips and the soda bottles. But that is because they were advertised as candy. As children how were we to know that although they are safe to eat, that we weren't really suppose to eat them? Like those candy dots on paper. It got pretty hard to avoid eating the paper.

                                    1. re: viperlush

                                      My partner, 54 years old, still loves those wax lips and swallows the wax after chewing on it. He also swallows gum. I'm always yelling at him about this but he's done it all his life with no adverse effects. Well...so far.

                                      1. re: ttoommyy

                                        Ha-I do both of those things, too!

                                        1. re: Brianne920

                                          I knew I liked you for some reason Brianne! lol

                                          1. re: ttoommyy

                                            Because I swallow gum? That's a better a reason than some I've heard. High five.

                                            1. re: Brianne920

                                              "Because I swallow gum?"

                                              Because you admit it! High five back atcha!

                                              1. re: ttoommyy

                                                I still swallow gum, bit by bit, without even realizing it. It has never seemed weird to me even though I was warned repeatedly as a child that it was not digestible and would stay in my stomach for 70 years. (That was the rumor in my neck of the woods, apparently.)

                                              2. re: Brianne920

                                                When I was a kid (many moons ago), nothing was better than tiny bites of Bazooka bubble gum, eating till it was all gone. Come to think of it, at that time, I also liked to put an Alka Selzter on my tongue an enjoy the fizz (had to hide from Mom, of course), as well as eating raw oatmeal (still have a spoonful of the raw oatmeal, oh so many decades later).

                                                1. re: pine time

                                                  The Alka-Seltzer (and Fizzies) and the raw oatmeal, me too. I still like raw oatmeal.

                                          2. re: ttoommyy

                                            The gum. My mother told us, when we were younger, that if we swallowed gum, it would stay in our stomach and grow into a big ball and we would have to to to the hospital, have our belly cut opened and stitched back up--all because we swallowed Bazooka. I've never, ever swallowed gum. Wax lips--yes. Those orange wax halloween harmonicas or flutes or whatever they were? yes. Those disgusting soda bottles with the liquid gunk. yes. Wax mustaches. yes. But gum. Never!

                                  2. Play doh of course. And I think one of my little preschool friends may have actually had pica. She ate rocks all the time. But she was very discerning. She preferred smooth ones with stripes.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: silvergirl

                                      "And I think one of my little preschool friends may have actually had pica. She ate rocks all the time. But she was very discerning. She preferred smooth ones with stripes."

                                      Hahahah! Not the pica part, the "But she was very discerning. She preferred smooth ones with stripes" part.

                                      I'm glad I started this thread. I'm getting lots of laughs and good memories from it.

                                      1. re: silvergirl

                                        I definitely ate play doh. The mother of one of my friends once made play doh from scratch. It was even better tasting than the commercial stuff.

                                        I chewed on pencils and their little erasers, but I'm not sure I actually ate them. As a nail biter, I'm sure I ate a lot of those nail bits. No toenails, though.

                                        I wonder if the menstrual blood and feces eater suffers from some major mineral deficiencies that cause her to crave those two items. The smell and sight would turn me off no matter how hungry I was.

                                      2. My brother ate paper.

                                        It started when he didn't want to share his fortune from a fortune cookie at dinner, so he ate it. After that he started nibbling on notebook paper, comic books and news print. He didn't like slick paper like gift wrap.

                                        My mother was concerned. My father said if the habit grew to include chewing on the furniture then there would be cause for worry. My sisters and I hoped perhaps he would turn into a beaver.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: meatn3

                                          One of my favorite candies when I was very young was turron de Alicante, which consists of nougat lined with rice paper, which I always thought was the same as printing paper. I found out the hard way that I was wrong.

                                          1. re: meatn3

                                            I ate paper all the time. Especially straw wrappers. This is a tame confession compared to what I read above. I knew others who ate paper.

                                            1. re: Willa

                                              And then there is all that paper ingested along with the candy dots that are sold on long strips of paper!

                                               
                                              1. re: ttoommyy

                                                Oh yes, a lot of that paper has been through my digestive system. Also strands of the string on the candy necklace.

                                            2. re: meatn3

                                              As a 2nd grader we once convinced the little kids that paper was edible. We ate rice paper and feed them note paper. The teachers weren't amused.

                                            3. my dad had a farm and as a kid I liked to nibble on the chicken and cow grain. chicken grain only when I was really little as it was just re-constituted pellets, the cow's grain was sticky and had corn in it. I'm not sure how it compares to modern cow feed.
                                              I also liked raw pasta, as does my 3yo today.
                                              there's a story about me climbing onto the table and eating a stick of butter, but i also remember being really averse to meat fat, something that has changed.

                                              1. Big, big fan of cat biscuits

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: verysimple

                                                  Your mention of cat biscuits reminded me of a funny story of a friend who ate dog biscuits. We were waiting to check in at a hotel and there was a bowl of treats on the desk, so for the 15 minutes or so while I was checking in he decided to have a snack. As we walked away he happened to mention "these are really good." The bellhop gracefully informed him that they were dog treats. I guess it's a very dog-friendly hotel and only provide snacks for canines. I can't remember if they were shaped like a dog bone or not though I imagine not since I think that would have clued him in or else he was just really hungry. Also, there was no sign which I find interesting. We have returned to the same hotel many times and he is now known as the "dog biscuit guy."

                                                2. Paste, erasers, suck the nectar from violets, play doh, birthday candles, and my sister used to make me eat dog biscuits, we didn't have a dog, she had to get them from the neighbor!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: jacquelyncoffey

                                                    I forgot about dog biscuits. I used to look forward to eating those at my cousin's house. We also tasted the canned dog food once. In a blind taste test, I'm not sure I could have told you which was dog food and which was Spam.

                                                  2. Playdough and paste. That paste smelled really good. It didn't taste that great, but for some reason, kids seem to crave it. My daughter, now 16, remembers being told by her kindergarten teacher not to lick the scented markers, something she had no intention of doing until the teacher mentioned it. Then, of course, she and the rest of the class had to try them.

                                                    1. The fried tail fins on bluegills. Only other place I found that felt they were a treat was in Northern Bavaria, eating carp.

                                                      1. Daisies. I'd bite off the yellow part. It was sweet.

                                                        I also always was very tempted to pluck a lot of fantastically green, juicy looking grass near our house and making my mom toss it with her wonderful salad dressing. I always said I'd eat damn near anything with that salad dressing.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                          Oh, come on! After that, you're not going to post your mom's salad dressing recipe???

                                                          1. re: Isolda

                                                            Haha. It's not all *that* fascinating, really. Oil, lemon juice, garlic, parsley & dill, s&p, sour cream.

                                                            I just thought that grass looked so delish, and would be the perfect match for that dressing.

                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                              Replace the sour cream with Greek yogurt and add a pinch of, dare I say it? sugar, and your mom's dressing comes very close to one I make. And it is also delicious, kind of a tzatziki without the cukes.

                                                              1. re: Isolda

                                                                Ya know what, I think there was a pinch (but really just a tiny one) of sugar involved, too.

                                                                It's really great with lettuces, tomatoes & cukes.

                                                        2. Hair.

                                                          Just my own, of course.

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: violin

                                                            Gulp! I mean, gag. You win.

                                                            1. re: Isolda

                                                              Really Isolda? I spent 8 years of grammar school with girls who chewed on their hair!

                                                              1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                Ah, but chewing on it is far different than actually ingesting it. I remember trying to suck peanut butter off my hair when I was at camp, but didn't actually pull out the hair and eat it. I did, however, eat an ant during that same camp session. It was very sweet.

                                                            2. re: violin

                                                              In psych nomenclature (I'm in the biz), it's called trichophagia and not all that uncommon. Can result in hairballs (just like your cat), called bezoar. There's a related disorder called trichotillomania, compulsive pulling out of clumps of hair. And there's your useless bit of trivia for today.

                                                            3. I confess after many years of soul searching that I ate the cupcake paper. First I would scrape off the excess crumbs with my teeth and then I would lick the paper clean and then one day the inevitable happened. I ate the paper. As a respectable adult I have to remind myself not to do do this........but it's hard. I have issues.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: crispy1

                                                                Yep, guilty

                                                                1. re: cleobeach

                                                                  Oh yes! How quickly we forget. I definitely ate cupcake papers, but only if they had a cupcake baked in them that I had also just eaten. I did not eat new and unused papers or those from other peoples' cupcakes. Only my own. How discerning! LOL.

                                                              2. Raw dry oatmeal. Try it sometime. Quite entertaining to eat.

                                                                5 Replies
                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                  I used to eat that! I'd nibble on it while my mother and I made oatmeal raisin cookies! I'd pretend to be a horse.

                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                    Wow--I'm not alone (just posted this upthread, which goes to show I need to read a whole posting before replying!). Not only is it delicious, I whinny like a horse while doing it!

                                                                    1. re: pine time

                                                                      I just saw this too :)

                                                                    2. re: buttertart

                                                                      Oh, I do this all the time. It really doesn't seem to be all that weird to me.

                                                                      Am I weird?

                                                                      1. re: IndyGirl

                                                                        Of course not!

                                                                    3. I enjoyed chewing wax, weird as that is. But the best is darling baby sister, who is famous family-wide for eating an entire patchwork blanket over the course of a year. She dragged her blankie around on her shoulder, and chewed on the end of it and because it was flannel it eventually tore, and she'd chew the piece. Then she'd get going on the next piece. It took her awhile, but it got smaller and smaller and smaller until she was walking around with the equivalent of a hankie on her shoulder, and she ate that too.

                                                                      11 Replies
                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                        Mamachef: Your post begs the question...why did our parents allow ust to eat all of these things???

                                                                        1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                          Great question, ttoommyy. As far as the wax, I had candles in my room, so that wasn't a problem and they never knew. But the blankie is another story. I suppose my mom felt she couldn't take blankie away, because it was a security blankie as well as a snack. She was subtle with it, and babyish, and that's why she got away with it, no doubt. :)

                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                            Mamachef - Thank you for making me laugh this morning, I really needed it.

                                                                            I think the prior generations of parents were less concerned about such things. They probably just rolled their eyes.

                                                                          2. re: ttoommyy

                                                                            The real question is: where were our parents???? They did not hover like they do now. They did not accompany us to travel sports away games because these activities did not exist. They let us play outside for hours because it was another era and for the most part; safer.

                                                                            And that is why my parents never knew that I used to pry flattened gum off of the sidewalk and chew it.

                                                                          3. re: mamachef

                                                                            What did baby sister do after that last bite? Was there a moment of wavering -snack or security-being pulled in both directions?

                                                                            1. re: meatn3

                                                                              Ah, the age-old dilemma of not being able to have one's blankie and eat it too.

                                                                              1. re: Manybears

                                                                                Ah but that was the beauty of the situation! She could have both........at least for awhile.

                                                                              2. re: meatn3

                                                                                I'm sure she was horribly conflicted, but the fact that she had "other blankie" which was bite free prolly helped her decide on the last delicious bite. I'll need to ask her.

                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                  The blankie story reminds me of an excellent Stephen King short story. A doctor was flying a small plane over the Pacific and crashed on a desert island. On the plane were pharmaceuticals. He had broken legs. Could not move. No food. Began to take the drugs for pain. After a while, took a bite of his toe. More drugs. Another toe. More drugs. And more flesh....... Great story. Exceptionally well told and horrifying.

                                                                                  1. re: Willa

                                                                                    Oh, oh my GAWD. I remember! "The right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing...he had scalpels, and he used the heroin he was smuggling!!
                                                                                    Ack ack ack!!

                                                                              3. re: mamachef

                                                                                I know a few people who inevitably end up chewing on the Babybel cheese wax after they are done eating it. I think they are just bored and not paying attention, but at least 5 people I know routinely do it. I'll mention it and they seem unaware.

                                                                              4. When I was young, we had a wild cherry tree in our front yard. I am probably the only person on CH who has eaten actual American wild cherries. They are tart, skin and seed. We ate them with abandon, and I don't know why we did. My dad cut the tree down and planted a sweet gum I believe. He also cut down a persimmon tree. I never had the urge to eat persimmons, although I understand they are palatable after a first freeze.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                  Hachiya persimmons (soft pulp) are delicious after a freeze. You do need to peel them, or at least spoon the pulp out of the peel, as it is very astringent. Fuyu persimmons, the crisp kind, are better, IMO--the peel is very stiff, but is edible and probably gives you quite a bit of fiber. I buy these by the case from Asian markets when they are in season (winter).

                                                                                  1. re: Isolda

                                                                                    The persimmons of my youth were not Asian persimmons.

                                                                                2. Catkins.

                                                                                  Once.

                                                                                   
                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: Kholvaitar

                                                                                    we called those pussy willow

                                                                                  2. I used to suck and chew on the headboard of my bunk bed, kind of the way a horse does in its stall. Causing the same kind of divot.
                                                                                    .

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                                                      I totally did that as a kid. I also bit the dashboard of my dad's jeep.

                                                                                      Both had teethmarks... my childhood furniture still has teethmarks in it. The jeep is long gone, but he drove it around with teethmarks in the dashboard for years.

                                                                                      I was probably, I don't know, somewhere between 5 and 9.

                                                                                      1. re: IndyGirl

                                                                                        I would say between five and nine would be my chawing years as well - although to be honest I don't quite remember. Nine might be a little old and I'd bet I started the chewing a little younger, but there you go. At least I didn't chew the rest of the household furniture. Or my books, like my little brother did.

                                                                                    2. I still eat the unpopped kernels from a bag of popcorn. Very crunchy, and good too, if they are a little overcooked.

                                                                                      As a kid I ate a worm (once) and would eat onion grass from the yards on the way to grade school. As an adult, I once ate a piece of dirt because it was shaped like a perfect pie slice (I dunno why - to impress my new wife?). Bad move. Don't eat dirt, especially without water nearby.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: cumquott

                                                                                        I'm LOLing at eating a piece of dirt because it was shaped like a piece of pie!! HAH!

                                                                                      2. i don't know why i swallowed the fly, but i didn't die.

                                                                                        1. This is too funny. At first I was ready to answer tongue sandwiches or veal kidneys---then I realized it reallyWAS non -food items so here goes.
                                                                                          When I was a little, little kid, I secretly ate..........pieces of...
                                                                                          PLAY DOH! It was soft and salty--just like a Philly Pretzel..and the aroma! Oh dear lord--why can't Momofuku Milk Bar's Christina Tosi come up with a Play Doh cookie. I would have a steady supply!

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: jarona

                                                                                            Like library paste, I would guess many of us also ate (or at least tasted) Play-Doh as kids, whether we care to admit it or not. :)

                                                                                            1. re: jarona

                                                                                              Me too, nice and salty.

                                                                                            2. Asbestos. Yes, in my grade school in the '50's, we were given asbestos clay to make ashtrays (this is WAY back in the dark unenlightened ages, folks!). They were to be a gift for parents for Christmas or Father's Day, as I recall.

                                                                                              And, as with all other items named above given to school kids, like crayons and paste and fingerpaint, we had a taste. I think I remember liking it: cool, grey, earthy. It sort of seemed like the thing to do at the time...

                                                                                              As I am well past middle-age now and have not come down with abestosis or any of its horrible kin, I guess I dodged that bullet.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: LJS

                                                                                                We passed around samples of asbestos in school and my mom had an asbestos mat (BIG Canadian product at the time, asbestos) but it wasn't in edible form.

                                                                                              2. Sort of food I guess, but I would steal spoonfuls of brown sugar from the canister. I still like to have a little taste when baking, and I like anything that involves brown sugar glazes, coatings, etc.

                                                                                                I also did the play-doh thing. Oh, and dog jerky treats.

                                                                                                1. funny how this thread has regenerated after nearly a year. must be a spring thing.

                                                                                                  We didn't have honeysuckle where I grew up, at least it wasn't common, but we did have periwinkle (vinca minor) and we used to pluck the flowers and suck the nectar from the narrow end. We also used to chew on various grasses and some mysterious plant we thought was wild licorice, but wasn't even related. No idea what it was, but no one died. We also thought Pampas Grass was wild sugar cane and tried chewing on it, but it wasn't sweet and getting to the stalk of the seed plume usually resulted in some cuts from the razor sharp edges of the leaves.

                                                                                                  I once had an uncle who decided that slugs were just snails without shells. He was never able to convince us to catch them for him. Don't know if he ate any or not.

                                                                                                  1. I kept it to the standard stuff, but my little brother, who thankfully outgrew his "complete moron" phase ate everything. His biggest hit was drinking and entire bottle of cheap cologne my dad was given as a gift. He came to me and was all worried that my dad would be mad that he drank that special juice. A panicked run to the hospital followed, and he was fine, but the smell lingered on him for several days.

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                      Did he get blitzed from the alcohol? In some drug treatment centers, they confiscate any colognes and after-shave lotions 'cause of that very thing.

                                                                                                      1. re: pine time

                                                                                                        Probably at some point. We were lucky that he 'fessed up to me right away so I could start screaming for my mom. She did something that made him vomit, and everything after that happened at lightening speed.
                                                                                                        That kid was in the ER so much that my parents were actually worried that CPS would turn up, haha! Oddly enough he's now shining star in the crew.

                                                                                                    2. My brother used to eat, yes, literally EAT cigarettes. He said he didn't want to become a smoker.

                                                                                                      1. I used to eat all the Vicks Vapo-Rub. I loved the stuff. My brother ate Milk-Bones for years.

                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: pavlova

                                                                                                          There is a character in a children's book that ate milk bones. He always kept some in his pocket. We never had dogs, so all I could try was dry cat food. Do not recommend.

                                                                                                          1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                            Henry Huggins?

                                                                                                          2. re: pavlova

                                                                                                            What aspect of Vicks Vapo-Rub appealed to you? Did you eat it straight or as a condiment? Inquiring minds and idle brains want to know!

                                                                                                            1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                              It was the smell! I loved it, but now that I think of it, it's basically Vaseline with eucalyptus. I ate it straight out of the jar with my finger.
                                                                                                              It's funny, I went to see my 2-year-old niece this weekend, and after her bath, when I was looking in the bathroom closet for lotion, she started looking for 'her Vicks'. Needless to say, I didn't give it to her, mean auntie that I am. :)

                                                                                                              1. re: pavlova

                                                                                                                You mention smell - while I didn't eat it of course, I was crazy about the smell of the exhaust from the diesel buses. Not regular car exhaust, just diesel bus exhaust.

                                                                                                          3. Dirt, cigarette ashes, chalk. And the smell of fresh rain would make me want to lick the sidewalk.

                                                                                                            Years later I learned that's called PICA and in my case likely caused by anemia/nutritional deficiencies.

                                                                                                            School mates ate paste and erasers!

                                                                                                            :-D

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: ItalianNana

                                                                                                              When I saw the title to this thread, I immediately thought of the white paste in elementary school. I knew I wasn't "the only one." Besides your "school mates," I think there is one other paste-eater on the board so far.
                                                                                                              I saw a couple of my other favorites along the way: another vote here for honey suckle.
                                                                                                              In the smells-only category, I am glad I have finally heard of someone else who just really loved the smell of diesel from the city buses!
                                                                                                              And I ate my share of Milk Bone dog biscuits, more just to be silly than because I really enjoyed them.

                                                                                                              So, our childhood make-shift foods are long past, and I was thinking of real adult choices we studied in history- the soliders and sailors who ran out of food and turned to eating shoe leather, etc. The threads of Chowhound remind me that adults in this day and age eat pretty well.

                                                                                                            2. Play Doh.....lot's and lots of play doh. In my defense the play doh burgers and pizza's and such just looked to darn good to not try!!

                                                                                                              1. Thought of another one, Tums. I thought they were like candy.

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                  Hmm, well I still find them tasty and justify it via the value of calcium. Also, as a frequent IBS sufferer, I quite enjoy the chewable cherry Gas-X tablets and sometimes find that I pop them even if I'm not having an issue...

                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                    Yeah they're still not bad. Sort of like those Necco candies.

                                                                                                                    I have a hard time swallowing pills so I get my calcium and vitamin D from these chocolate chew things. I could eat like 10 of them... same for my multi vitamins, they're gummy chews just like gummy bears. Dangerous!

                                                                                                                2. Those tasty, tasty little orange St. Joseph's childrens' aspirin.

                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                                                                    Well if we are talking about actual consumable things like tums or aspirin then I can add Flinestone Chewable Vitamins. I ate a ton of those.....could be the reason why I grew up to resemble Fred Flinstone.

                                                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                      My nephew snuck and ate a whole bottle of those when they first came out and had to have his stomach pumped. (Typing this made me recall their exact taste.)

                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                        Just got a taste flashback, too, buttertart, after reading your post, but mine was the red coating on One A Day vitamins. Loved to lick off all the red, then chew down the tangy vitamin.

                                                                                                                        1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                          I remember those too. Apparently the first thing I reacted to excitedly was baby vitamin C drops...tangy! Orange!

                                                                                                                  2. In the category of Tums, etc....any Italian Americans (in particular) out there who remember Brioschi? Little effervescent pellets in a blue glass jar? They were an Alka-Seltzer type product with a salty, lemony taste, and in the summertime, I sometimes would sneak a spoonful as a soda substitute.

                                                                                                                    I was only allowed one, 8oz cup of soda per week by my Mom, God bless her for caring.

                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                      Of course I do! But I've found something even tastier: it's called effervescente al limone and it's made in Italy. I love the stuff and sometimes make myself think I have an upset stomach just so I can drink some! lol

                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                      1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                        ttoommyy--the art on that jar is beautiful too. I'll look for it! Thx!

                                                                                                                        1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                          Yes, it is. Look for it in Italian delis and specialty stores.

                                                                                                                          BTW... We both have the same comfort food in our profiles! :)

                                                                                                                      2. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                                        my mom used to enjoy brioschi instead of soda. btw, brioschi is still on the market.