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"Just eat it, you'll like it"

A current thread on keeping your thoughts about others' food to yourself brought up some latent frustration from experiences of people pushing food on me. The back story is that I eat a fairly low carb diet which is well known by nearly anyone who interacts with me daily. The best example I can give is chocolate or any other food which people particularly coworkers know that I don't enjoy or eat on a regular basis (e.g. pasta, bread, etc). At least three times a week, I have to deal with people pushing food at me and insisting I eat it. I am never really clear on the motivation. It's one thing to encourage others to open their minds but they have heard my explanation and know full well that I don't enjoy particular foods and have no interest in eating them. To me it feels like someone pushing bacon on someone who is Jewish and keeps Kosher or someone who absolutely hates fish. Have you ever had food repeatedly "pushed on you?" What do you think of this?

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  1. You just need some pity comebacks to push people off balance.
    They usually get the hint.

    2 Replies
    1. re: monavano

      I think you mean "pithy" comeback, but the idea comes across.

      I disagree. You don't need a comeback. Just tell them no. "No". I wouldn't worry about it and just keep to what you like to eat.

      It is a little weird, though. I have never had anyone (even in my household) to question my food choices (or non-choices). I'd hate to be in that position.

      1. re: gardencook


        No. Just No. No further explanation required. No excuses. No apologies. Just NO.

    2. Fldhkybnva,

      I think it's similar to the "just one bite won't hurt you" syndrome.

      Low carb (like gluten free eating) is still seen by a lot of folks as a fad. And it's true that a lot of people without celiac or diabetes (among other issues) do voluntarily go gluten free or low carb. But for others, those food choices aren't choices---they're mandates. For example, strictly speaking I "choose" to eat low carb and H "must" eat low carb. Everyone knows that of both of us, and they still push very sugary stuff on him "Oh it's a holiday" or "oh, just have a slice" or "Oh, I worked all day on it"...

      My H has taken to saying "I can't eat that" and repeating it over and over until the person gives up. He's less tactful than I am :-)

      10 Replies
      1. re: pinehurst

        I agree, there seems to be some of that. I often feel like people think they can "break me" and that it would be some sort of victory for them. My usual explanation is to point out that I've preferred to eat this way for most of my life and even as a kid I had a very low preferred carbohydrate threshold but even that doesn't seem to get people to realize.

        1. re: pinehurst

          "...is still seen by a lot of folks as a fad."

          yes. it is. no matter what. you cannot change the fact that too many fads ruined it for everyone.
          too many of my 'vegan' friends eat McDonalds after a night out...
          too many of my 'fat free' friends eat things they have no idea contains fat, good, bad or otherwise.
          too many of my "low carb" friends only shy away from pasta and bread...
          too many of my friends get diet information from unreliable sources.

          couple that with cluelessness of some of the pushers that see these constant fads come and go... you get it...

          every vegetarian I have met is no longer a vegetarian. too bad for them, but it makes everyone around them ridicule the true vegetarian or vegan.

          "fat free", "carb free", hell, even celiac, yeah, all fads...in their eyes... " a little can't hurt anyone"

          I recommend a simple smile and a "Thank you. No."
          Anything more on your part is You Pushing Your diet on Them.

          1. re: Gastronomos

            I think part of the problem may lie in the approach to the diet question in general. Perhaps, there simply is no universally "right" diet. Different humans may simply benefit from different nutritional intakes to maximize health. When some are too dogmatic about their approach and proselytize aggressively, it flies in the face of personal experience, preference, and good taste in general (kinda like religion).

            1. re: MGZ

              "Different humans may simply benefit from different nutritional intakes to maximize health." This is exactly what I often tell people that inquire. I emphasize that I'm not saying my "diet" is the right diet, but it's right for me. I usually even say "I understand that it doesn't work for many, but it's just how I prefer to eat." I never comment on what other are eating just like I never comment on anyone's appearance unless asked or very close family or friends because you never know how that person will interpret. When I say no to certain foods, it's never followed by a statement as to why i think they shouldn't eat it, I just state my preference of "no" in not eating it. They imply a lot more than what I actually say which is quite frustrating. My decline is not a moral statement about their choice of foods.

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                I think it speaks to the offender's insecurity.

                1. re: monavano

                  that "insecurity" usually comes from too much misinformation from 'reliable' and unreliable sources and the fact that they probably grew up without all this around them...
                  or, they're just plain insecure?

          2. "It tastes like chicken!"

            1. Birthday cake and ice cream is the main culprit around here at work. I don't want to waste calories on that crap, leave me alone!

              1. I just wait for the offender to ask, "what don't you like about it?". My answer usually shuts them up....especially when it concerns certain cheeses.

                3 Replies
                1. re: grampart

                  Adding "it doesn't agree with me" and holding stomach helps ;)

                  1. re: melpy

                    I said that to a cousin's wife last Thanksgiving about some food she wanted me to eat. She replied "nobody agrees with you". It was Thanksgiving, we were last in line, but I let it go..

                    1. re: John E.

                      John E.

                      "oh nobody ever does, but I still think I was right about the Treaty of Nantes"

                2. "No, thank you"

                  Practice saying this in a pleasant tone with a smile on your face.

                  No further explanation is required.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: pedalfaster

                    You clearly haven't encountered this, "no thank you" does not work :) I always start with "no thanks, I'm OK" is usually what comes out and it's as if I said nothign.

                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                      First I say "No, thank you." Then I say "No." Then I say "Stop pushing."

                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        If distraction doesn't work ("Look! A squirrel!"), then broken record technique, with smile. I visit some 20-odd areas in the hospital in my main role, and they very often offer food (I assume/hope because they like me lol).

                        "Have some!"
                        Thank you, but I'm good.

                        "No really, try this."
                        Ah, I'm good, thanks.

                        "Why won't you eat it? I made it myself."
                        Sounds wonderful, sorry, had a late lunch. Thanks though.

                        If things continue beyond this, it's pretty clear to all observers that the woman smiling, thanking, and patting her fluffy full tummy isn't the crazy one. And if someone does continue, well, I can gracefully demur all day. I never justify why beyond the "late lunch" thing which is a truth. Not up for discussion.

                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                          As others have said, you owe them no explanation. I find that when "No, Thanks" doesn't work, "Thanks, but No" usually does.

                      2. From "the other side" -- I see people "cheat" all the time. Vegetarians who have a steak at a "nice place," low-carbers who have a huge bowl of fettuccini Alfredo "becaue it's okay every once in awhile," diabetics who have celebratory cake on someone else's birthday.
                        So, for me, I probably don't trust you. You SAY you can't/ shouldn't. You say you don't like/hate/ are allergic to.
                        I am food-venturous and I try to help others be that way, too.
                        I am also concerned about people-- I enjoy listening to people explain why they can't/don't -- how they've changed their lifestyle--how they alter recipes--how much better they feel--how sick they were before--those horrible hives that one time--
                        but I've found that not many people have a "real reason."
                        I don't mean a "reason imposed by a Dr." -- just, they can't tell me why they are low carb, gluten free, won't eat a vegetable they've never seen.
                        "I don't like mushrooms" -- do you know how many variations there are?
                        "I don't like tofu" -- oh, glory, you can't have seen half the kinds in half the ways it can be made.
                        There are many who are into something that is new to them--and they are occasionally overbearing about the belief that NO ONE should eat meat/ unethnically[sic] sourced bok choy/ things in cans. That's sort-of a different topic.
                        Here's how you would convince me -- have a consistinet response. BE consistent in what you don't eat. Don't prosthelytize me; I won't harangue you.
                        But if you've Never had it... I might be pretty insistient.
                        For you to taste.

                        37 Replies
                        1. re: Kris in Beijing

                          Does it matter why, though? Do I need a reason? For example, I will never try snails. I find the concept repulsive and the thought of having that in my mouth makes me retch. I wouldn't say that, though, and it would just be a very uncomfortable conversation with me robotically repeating "no, thank you". Not fun for either of us.

                          1. re: Hobbert

                            ~I~ would want you to tell me about your snail thoughts!
                            If we are close enough that I am offering you FOOD, I could stomach your reason.
                            I would also ask "Why?' and mean it.

                              1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                Haha, I'll keep that in mind in case we ever meet. The thing that annoys me is having something repeatedly pushed on me. If I explain why I don't like an item and you accept it, we're cool. If not...awkward.

                                1. re: Hobbert

                                  Awkward when people don't understand social boundaries.
                                  Or, think that boundaries don't apply to them.

                                  1. re: monavano

                                    Oh sure. If it's just a question and answer, no problem. It's the pushing that makes me nuts. If I make something my husband doesn't enjoy, I ask why so I don't repeat the flavor/technique/whatever when he's around. Or if I suggest something for dinner and he says no, I ask why. But I suspect that's not really what the OP had in mind.

                                    1. re: Hobbert

                                      I think the OP is talking about coworkers or friends, not family.
                                      I still wouldn't push with anyone.

                                      1. re: Hobbert

                                        Yes, it's the persistence not the initial inquiry.

                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                          After the initial 'no thank you', and your co-workers continued persistence, I would respond with "why is it important to you that I eat ________?" They will likely have to admit that it is not important that you eat whatever it is that they are pushing on you and possible get the hint. Or, they are blockheads and cannot understand when to give up.

                                          1. re: John E.

                                            I've asked that and the response is "oh come on just eat it just one bite" which to me says a lot. I just find it fascinating when people are so dedicated to forcing someone else to eat something they know they don't really prefer. This happens often because my workplace is a dropping ground for sweets and baked gooda of any and all varieties nearly every day. Even if I did have a sweet tooth I would probably often say "no thank you" because I'd rather not consume a day's calories in random snacks I encounter. Many of my colleagues practice the "see food, eat" habit and I've just never been that way. It's the same for catered lunches, often the food looks downright unappetizing and that's why I bring my lunch. Everyone knows this so why continually shove your plate in my face. I have several friends who have experienced similar things at other workplaces so it's not just me :)

                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                              I think the whole concept of people pushing food on you is bizarre. I don't think I've ever experienced that. Maybe it's cultural/regional? Is it more common in the South or Midwest where people have more traditional ideas about the importance of food and hospitality?

                                              I'll bet your mother taught you to smile, say thank you, and take a small amount of something that's offered, even if you only push it around your plate. Alternatively, you can express a preference for another item that might be more acceptable to you, i.e., say "I just ate, but I'd love some coffee."

                                              Traditionally sharing food has always been very important in human interaction, both literally and symbolically. Rejecting food or drink, especially something that has been specially prepared by someone, is seen as a rejection of their friendship or hospitality and an insult (it's not "good enough" for you). In other words, when you reject someone's food, they may -- consciously or subconsciously -- feel you're snubbing them or saying that you want to keep your relationship on an impersonal or superficial level. Which may be perfectly appropriate for the situation, either because you really do want to keep your relationship at that level, or because your relationship is built on other things (like work).

                                              But it's really not about the food!

                                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                This is not at a dinner table. This is me at a conference, in my chair minding my own business, in a room with food on a table at the front and people pushing food on me. If at someone's house I would always just take something offered and taste or push it around but this is just random occasions such as at my desk working and someone passes candy in the doorway and pushes it on me. It's not really about sharing at that point. None of this food is specially prepared, it's catered or brought in. Occasionally someone makes a dessert and brings it in. I think the assumption by them that "it's not good enough for me" is just really sad. I know tons of people who would reject food I make and I wouldn't see it as anything other than they just don't want it.

                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                  I'm guessing that some of this comes from people who want to feel better about being 'bad' health wise - having candy or a pastry when they feel like they should be making healthier choices. Makes them feel better if someone else is 'cheating' with them.

                                                  Note: I'm not condoning this behavior, I think that it's ridiculous, just stating a possible motivation.

                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                    Ah, but it's an overture to personal interaction. They offer food, you accept food, maybe the person sits down and you chat a minute, with the food being the icebreaker. Refusing food is equivalent to saying "go away, I don't want to talk to you."

                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                      At a workplace conference where everyone knows you have dietary restrictions and does it anyway? Damned right you don't want to ask for consideration for the millionth time.

                                                      This is clearly harassment of someone making different choices, IMO, not an invitation to socialize any more than a persistent suitor who's been told "NO" firmly and persists is.

                                              2. re: John E.

                                                "why is it important to you that I eat ________?"

                                                -- That's a good one. Especially for the pushy obnoxious ones.

                                        2. re: Hobbert

                                          You are not my kid, who has to taste [not fully consume a portion] the same prep on two separate occasions before putting an item on a "No" list.
                                          I might push, some, but I'll stop eventually. Maybe not soon enough... it's hard to sense when "when" is sometimes.

                                      1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                        Trust me? What's there to trust? I make my own personal decisions about what I eat. I understand encouraging me to try perhaps a new vegetable or a new meat that I haven't tried but harassing me to try something in a food category that you know I don't particularly enjoy. I have friends who hate cheese. I don't bug them to try any sort of cheese. It is what it is.

                                        "Real reason" what's a real reason to you? is my personal decisions not enough to you? Why do you care what I eat and why? You have no idea what is going on in others' lives. Perhaps the low carb fan has allotted his/her x # of carbs for the day so as to be able to enjoy a bowl fo fettucini Alfredo. It's their personal decision, what is it to you?

                                        I don't proselytize anyone. I often will state that it's the way I choose to eat and that it doesn't work for anyone and that my choice has no value associated with it. My post was in part related to this, in that because I don't bother anyone else and force my views on them I'd like to receive the same treatment.

                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                          I hear your aggravation.
                                          In another, non food area of my life, I constantly have to re-explain myself repeatedly, all the time, to people who know me well.
                                          I supposed for me, an element is a tinge of ... righteous condemnation from the "I Don't Eat That" response.
                                          You probably feel the same way from the righteously indignant "My Palate is So Above Yours" people.
                                          For me, Me, ME -- I am an information hound, on top of being a Chow'ound. Listening to you explain builds our relationship and my understanding of you... and maybe helps me understand anyone else who "doesn't like _____."
                                          And, for some, participating in shared food is a validation to them of their own worth. The Touchy Grandmother Syndrome?

                                          1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                            I understand that people often get the feeling of "righteous condemnation" but I don't understand why they feel that way. My choice is making no statement other than clarifying my preferences. I'm not better or worse than anyone for it.

                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                              It's "blow back" from the people who have to tell you that their new diet choice plan is the Best Way and all others are going to kill you.

                                        2. re: Kris in Beijing

                                          <<I am food-venturous and I try to help others be that way, too.
                                          I am also concerned about people-- I enjoy listening to people explain why they can't/don't >>

                                          to me, you are WAY over the line here. . . .

                                          people don't WANT your help to be "food-venturous"
                                          people don't WANT to justify their choices to you (and, truly that's what "explain" means in your post)

                                          1. re: westsidegal

                                            My default is that people WANT to be listened to instead of having something they don't want rammed down their throat.
                                            justify=/=explain, to me

                                          2. re: Kris in Beijing

                                            If you insisted that I "had" to try something, I'd have to restrain myself from A)telling you to STFU and/or B)popping you in the nose.

                                            It's none of your business why someone doesn't want to eat something. They could be allergic, they could not like the texture, they may have an aversion to purple foods, or maybe they just aren't hungry. They aren't obligated to explain themselves to you for any reason. There are certain foods I don't eat because they don't play well with my digestive system. But I'm not going to explain that to someone just because they don't know when they are crossing the line.

                                            1. re: boogiebaby

                                              When this has happened to me, I usually make a joke about it and it makes the "food pusher" feel stupid. That's okay though...they ARE being stupid :)

                                            2. re: Kris in Beijing

                                              Maybe the "real reason" is that they really don't feel like eating "X" right now. Why is that so difficult? I am very much like that. Some folks don't just take the opportunity to eat everything that is put in front of them. They might be choosier. Not picky...just choosy.

                                              Sometimes I feel like a nut...sometimes I don't. :)

                                              1. re: sedimental

                                                So true. Even if I liked donuts sometimes I don't want one.

                                              2. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                Really, convince you to respect a person's preferences because you suspect they aren't pure or rigid enough?

                                                1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                  I am food-venturous and I try to help others be that way, too.
                                                  I am also concerned about people-- I enjoy listening to people explain why they can't/don't

                                                  Here's how you would convince me -- have a consistinet response. BE consistent in what you don't eat. Don't prosthelytize me; I won't harangue you.
                                                  But if you've Never had it... I might be pretty insistient.
                                                  For you to taste.

                                                  And my consistent and insistent response to you would be "Because." There is no other reason that is required of me to give you.

                                                  "BECAUSE." Plain. Simple. Extremely easy to understand.

                                                  And your role is to respect that reason. Not to continue to insist that someone try something. If they don't want something, they don't want something. You don't need ANY other reason but that one.

                                                  1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                    I wonder how you would respond to someone who described herself as sex-venturous and wanted to help you be that way, too. Someone who enjoyed listening to you explain why you can't/don't engage in a certain sex act, or why you decline to have sex with a particular person. Someone who insisted on learning the "real reason" why, because after all, you might SAY you're monogamous, but people cheat all the time. And you might SAY you only have sex with people of the opposite gender, but maybe that's because you've never tried having sex with people of your gender. Would you acquiesce, as you seem to hope others will to your food-venturous doggedness?

                                                    1. re: small h

                                                      small h - a bit of a stretch, yet the analogy is somehow apt. there are some things that can't and shouldn't be asked to explain.

                                                      kind of like what a friend posted about clinical depression recently, one of the least helpful things to ask of someone dealing with that is 'why?'

                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                        My point - which I'm sure you got, I just feel the need to make it again - is that what we do with our bodies is our business and no one else's (obviously I'm not planning to run on the Republican ticket any time soon).

                                                        1. re: small h

                                                          I dunno, I think you'd get some traction in the mainstream parts of that party...(and would be such a relief) enough to get a plank in the platform anyway.

                                                            1. re: small h

                                                              they're not vocal and easily get shushed.

                                                  2. I hate juice (and I can't eat citrus fruit...does horrible things to my stomach) and yet people all the time ask if I would like some. I usually say no, thanks. Then follow up if needed that "it makes my stomach do horrible things". It usually shuts them up. But I am very consistent with my hatred and not eating these things. You will never see me downing a glass of OJ.

                                                    1. I hate this. But if you've tried "No Thanks!" and "It's not possible!" and it didn't work, you should try the response geared to the 21st century: "I'm on a cleanse"

                                                      1. I think a lot of people replace food with showing signs of affection or emotion. So by saying "please try my food" it's a way of saying "please let me show you gratitude, affection, thanks, etc." or "let's connect over this shared experience". While hearing no to "try a cookie" is unemotional, hearing no to "share this experience with me" can be harder.

                                                        I was once in the early stages of dating someone, and we were reflecting on our youthful experiences of milk shakes made with booze and such. Once it came up that I currently can only consume an extremely limited quantity of dairy (i.e. no milkshakes) - it kinda killed the moment.

                                                        Basically food can be highly tied with peoples emotions. So when people do the whole pushing food, I think it's best to just acknowledge that it's probably not just about the food.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: cresyd

                                                          It's often not even their food. At every single conference with catered lunch, I'm pushed to eat random foods. I understand that it can be tied with emotions but just eating at a conference doesn't seem to be an emotional social experience.

                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                            There's a book about the anthropology of food that has a comment about how eating together is one of the most intimate experiences that we can have as people. So even if it's not prepared by someone, the act of sharing lunch can be viewed as bonding.

                                                            I think we'd all like to think of ourselves as adults and that just because we have an impulse to share a meal with someone it's not necessarily personal if someone doesn't want the food - but my point is that this stuff is probably tied up in other issues. So if someone keeps pushing food on you, it's not so much about the food specifically but probably some other issue with them.

                                                            1. re: cresyd

                                                              I'd love the title and author of that book. I'm hoping that it is a little more academically rigorous than "Much Depends on Dinner" by Margaret Visser. Much as I enjoyed that read, I'd love something more academic.

                                                              1. re: thinks too much

                                                                I'm struggling to figure out what the specific title of the book I'm thinking of is - but it is written a bit less academic in tone. It might be The Cultural Politics of Food and Eating by Watson and Caldwell. There's also this, http://www.sirc.org/publik/foxfood.pdf, which is not what I'm thinking of but not the worst read. There's also Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches which is a bit more of a cultural materialism approach (i.e. practical explanations why ancient Jews wouldn't eat pigs/why Indians don't eat cows).

                                                                I think that because of more innate interest in topics around food, anthropological work on food can often veer into the populist side of things. The specific book I mentioned earlier was brought up by a professor who basically said "don't waste your time reading the whole thing - but the idea that those who can't eat together won't marry" is an interesting starting point for class..." etc.

                                                            2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                              AH!! It's the "traffic conversation," misery loves company, moved to food:
                                                              "Can you believe they served us that cardboard chicken and two green beans with an almond sliver for lunch?!"
                                                              "Yeah, I had to saw through mine and barely choked down the frisée salad."
                                                              "Frisée! That's so 2005! I'm surprised they didn't give us meatballs in grape jelly!"
                                                              "And WHAT was that dessert thing?"
                                                              "I don't know, I don't eat dessert." --
                                                              conversation falls on its face.

                                                          2. My husband does this quite a bit, and it annoys the hell out of me. He used to do it to our kids when they were at home, somehow equating their refusal to try what he was offering with a personal rejection. It's all about control and a desire to show one's self superior.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: PattiCakes

                                                              I also think there's a big anxiety component to it.

                                                            2. fidhkybnva: i encounter the same treatment because i no longer eat meat nor poultry.

                                                              people act like i need their help to make my food choices.

                                                              i'm always happy to hear INFORMATION about food, any food, but i don't want to be TOLD what i should eat.

                                                              (i am thrilled that you made the recipe for brisket that i used to make and that your father always wanted me make for him.)
                                                              but really, that was over a decade ago.
                                                              i have absolutely NO interest in eating brisket any more.
                                                              stop already.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: westsidegal

                                                                Yes I've noticed this with vegetarians and vegans as well...the challenge pushing!

                                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                                  Is there a threshold that you reach, after you stop eating meat, that you just don't crave it?
                                                                  Brisket is such a treat and comfort to me!
                                                                  I've never tried to go meatless beyond "Meatless Mondays" and Lenten Fridays!


                                                                  1. re: monavano

                                                                    there has been a threshold for me and it is the same threshold that my vegetarian next door neighbor had:

                                                                    at some point, meat starts smelling rancid/rotten/vile to you.
                                                                    that is the threshold.
                                                                    the SEASONINGS that go on meat still smell great (lemon pepper, Penzy's seasoned salt, SMOKED things like smoked paprika, teriyaki, all taste great).

                                                                    my neighbor reached this point at her daughter's engagement party. the neighbor was on the verge of throwing out three platters of roast beef because they smelled so badly to her. thankfully the son-in-law-to-be figured out what was going on and intercepted the beef!

                                                                    i don't know if other non-meat-eaters experience this, can just speak for my neighbor and for myself.

                                                                    (btw, i'm not a vegetarian because i still eat seafood once or twice a month)

                                                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                                                      I am clearly not a vegetarian, as I sometimes crave meat. I do, however, try and limit my meat-eating nights to ones where DH is not at home...because he really DOES find that the smell bothers him. I never tell him I've had beef at lunch (not only does he not eat any meat; he is Hindu and therefore beef especially offends him). However, he always knows. He kisses me hello when I come home after one of my (for obvious reasons, rare:-) beef-eating sessions and says "you ate beef, didn't you?" And as I start to apologize he says "Oh, no, its ok. I think you should eat whatever you want. Just don't expect intimacy tonight" (Well, he's a little more graphic, but you get the idea....). He knows every time! (and because I love my husband and love his company that way, I eat less and less meat.....)

                                                                2. "I had some already, thank you. It was delicious!"

                                                                  (Blatant, obvious lie. Then walk away. Leave 'em confused.)

                                                                  12 Replies
                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                    Sometimes I just take the food and give it to someone who wants it.

                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                      Unfortunately, this demonstrates to the 'pushies' that you can be pushed. "Well she had some last time..." Be consistent.

                                                                      1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                        I don't have to be consistent it's my life. I'd rather shut them up then deal with it sometimes. I shouldn't have to be forced to pawn off food or throw it out to be honest to avoid being harassed to eat it. Why do the pushies even have an agenda? Seems like something might be off with them. I don't push them to not eat whatever they are eating.

                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                          Of course it's your life, do as you will. "Be consistent" was simply advice to deal with problem people; similar to training dogs lol. If they know what to expect then they behave better (dogs at least; can't speak for your coworkers).

                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                            I eat very low carb, pile up pizza crusts that I've eaten the toppings off of and eat no starches or other carbs at a lot of family holidays.

                                                                            But I've planned for dessert on these occasions when I know quality ones will be served and have avoided eating carbs all day, and can have something good enough to go off plan for without any damage to my diabetic control, or even a spike. late in the day after dinner with wine.

                                                                            Nobody's business but mine. I'm not "cheating" or inconsistent, I am still low carb and in good control all day.

                                                                            And when I make Thanksgiving every year, I serve folks what they love, all the starch and sugar intact. I eat turkey and low carb home made cranberry sauce, a veggie, then some dessert. Leftover sweets go home with guests (each family gets a bag of a full meal, too) or to work with my husband the next day.

                                                                            1. re: mcf

                                                                              Exactly! Thank you, mcf! As usual, speaking my mind for me. I understand DuchessNukem's point and with these people I am nothing but consistent. In fact, many of them have pointed out they've rarely seen me eat because I have never had the food provided at a conference or had a baked good plopped onto some random table in the middle of the day. I eat my lunch quietly at my desk in peace except when someone has a comment about that too and so try to eat when others are not around.

                                                                              1. re: mcf

                                                                                Seems I need to clarify: "be consistent" did not refer to what the OP chooses to eat: the reference was to her behavior in accepting foods just to shut them up. Not to encourage their pushy behavior if she didn't want something.

                                                                                1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                                  Yes, I know, but I still think it's not her job to make them more comfortable. She shouldn't have to strategize about how to stop being harassed.

                                                                                  I was responding to the issue of consistency by others in this thread as well, with my comments; it's no one's business if I or the OP adjust our food choices on occasion.

                                                                                  No means NO.

                                                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                                                    "but I still think it's not her job to make them more comfortable. "
                                                                                    And I fully agree with you on this; that's why I suggested being consistent in refusing to take things she didn't want.

                                                                                    and re: adjusting food choices -- I agree that's no one's biz also. I was referencing managing others' behavior.

                                                                                    1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                                                      The problem is they do it no matter how OP responds, each offender is different, and ending the encounter as quickly as possible with someone who is known not to quit may mean just taking it. The OP knows each perp better than we do and how to get out of each situation.

                                                                              2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                It's a form of peer pressure under the scenario that you describe.

                                                                        2. I have only encountered this about desserts. For some reason, many people think that everyone "really" wants a dessert item...even when they say no.....that they secretly want it, even if they say no AGAIN......"just a small piece" ...."just a bite"...

                                                                          Good lord. I mostly dislike dessert items, like 90 percent of the time. I have to be in the mood for it, otherwise sweets are revolting to me. Yes, that includes chocolate!

                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                          1. re: sedimental

                                                                            even if i DO secretly want sugar,
                                                                            if i have found the willpower to turn away from it,
                                                                            PLEASE leave me alone and let me get through the meal without eating it!!!!!!
                                                                            you are UNDERMINING me when you do this.

                                                                            1. re: westsidegal

                                                                              & just because you see me eat something with sugar one day, don't assume that I eat it all the time. As an adult, I get to decide what I want to eat and am fully aware of the consequences!

                                                                              1. re: Kalivs

                                                                                yup, also,
                                                                                there's sugar and there's sugar.
                                                                                my pal's wife teaches cake decoration, and as a result their house is always full of sugary things that i don't even like.

                                                                                a crisp cookie is appealing to me.
                                                                                a cupcake, not so much
                                                                                a cupcake with frosting, not at all

                                                                                as you can imagine, their house is full of frosted, soft, cake thingys.

                                                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                  There's also lasagna and lasagna. The catered lasagna that shows up at our conferences is awful so I'll get comments of "well didn't you say you had lasagna before why aren't you eating it." When my grandma makes darn good homemade lasagna, yes, I will enjoy a slice but I'm not eating some generic lasagna that's not worth wasting calories on. I think people who have food discretion or demonstrate restraint around sweets etc, somehow become resented for it.

                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                    How about, "Why are you so interested in my eating habits? Do I bother you in some way?"

                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                      Clearly, it bothers people. It's different.

                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                        How about "why no?, because I know it bugs the shit out of you."
                                                                                        <insert pleasant smile>

                                                                                      2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                        LASAGNA!!! yes, fidhkybnva
                                                                                        yes, so easy to ruin.

                                                                                        have had lasagna served to me that had been frozen in a big block, and then thawed before reheating.
                                                                                        it was a horrible, bland, mushy mess.
                                                                                        the garlic and herbs had lost all recognizable flavor
                                                                                        the cheese did not do well being melted then frozen, then remelted.
                                                                                        the pasta had absorbed so much liquid that although it looked visually recognizable as pasta, the texture and the mouthfeel was not.
                                                                                        yet, the hostess was bragging that HER lasagna does SO WELL being frozen.

                                                                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                          She's not supposed to cook it before freezing, and she's not supposed to thaw before baking. (I'm sure you knew, I wonder why your hostess did not know that?)

                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                            i don't know if there is any technique that, imho, will work for frozen lasagna.

                                                                                            my favorite lasagna is a lasagnetta served by obika restaurant. it is prepared with all the ingredients except the sauce being baked in the usual way, and after baking, before serving, the sauce is poured over.

                                                                                            the structural integrity of the noodles, and the flavor of the dish are remarkable. also, you can taste the separation of flavors better this way than when everything is just cooked, frozen, reheated and thereby becomes a mush with coagulated leather-like cheese running through it.

                                                                                            of course, at obika, the pasta and the cheese are both imported from italy as was the chef, so maybe it also has something to do with the ingredients and the chef's knowledge of italian cooking technique.

                                                                              2. I have the 'benefit' in these types of situations of having multiple food allergies.

                                                                                When someone doesn't take 'no thank you' as an answer and gets pushy, I whip out the epi-pen and start explaining to them how to give an injection. By the time I get to the explanation of how the pen only buys me 10-15 minutes, so if the ambulance doesn't get there by then, they'll have to get out my extra for a second injection, they start losing color in their face and feeling sorry that they were pushy about it.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: jw615

                                                                                  Heh. I love your approach. :D

                                                                                  I usually start talking about diarrhea...

                                                                                2. Oh, lord. For me it's worst when people add the guilt-trip to it: "No, thanks, I don't care for _____." "Oh, you'll love MINE!" Then I'm either refusing to even try *their* special preparation, or I'm tasting and rudely REJECTING it (because even *your* special chile rellenos have chilies in them and I DON'T LIKE CHILIES).

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: Cactus Wren

                                                                                    there are times i'd LOVE to say something like this:
                                                                                    "i'm sure you think YOUR lasagna is special, but i can already see that the pasta is mushy and the smell of your lasagna is practically making me retch."

                                                                                    of course i don't say that, but i've been tempted. . . .

                                                                                  2. The weird thing about this thread is I have never really met anyone who is that pushy they annoy me. I love lots of foods but there are a few I don't enjoy and a few I am allergic to. Often, people will encourage me to try something, and a simple no thanks, not something I like, works.

                                                                                    I am "guilty" of encouraging others to try foods they profess not to like and I have a friendly conversation about when they tried it, why the didn't like it etc etc. Often I find they had a poor example of a dish, or hated the food when young. I see no harm in discussing why the one I think they should try is going to be different.

                                                                                    This always occurs in a social situation, after all its a meal, and its all in good spirit. Many will try a dish, and many often like it. I really believe helping people expand their horizons is a good thing to do - and given this is a site for food fanatics it seems logical that a lot of us will want to a) try new things, and B) share our discoveries and passions. Its actually really satisfying when you have helped educate someone and expanded their horizons.

                                                                                    If they don't like it fine - but whats the harm in giving something another go if they only tried it once back in the mist of time.

                                                                                    Clearly, if someone has an allergy I get that. Clearly, if they have religious or ethical beliefs I get that. So I don't try to convert vegetarians to the wonders of bacon sandwiches, or Hindu's of the glories of steak, or coeliacs to the goodness in bread. In fact I tend to bend over backwards to accommodate friends and colleagues when hosting them and choosing restaurants that reflex t their beliefs/needs.

                                                                                    But, and its a big but. I believe that a lot of food fanatics do get frustrated by people who declare they love food and eating well then reel off a list of dislikes and foods they don't eat. For me they shouldn't really profess an interest in food if their taste is so narrow. I have had a few meals ruined by picky eaters, its not that they are picky, but all too often they interrogate the servers, they proclaim their dislikes, they declare certain food are disgusting and denigrate me for eating them.

                                                                                    So, I fully respect, the right to choose the foods they like: its just they seem to want to broadcast their conservative tastes and prejudices. And they are often delusional thinking they are adventurous eaters.

                                                                                    So it goes both ways...!

                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: PhilD

                                                                                      I see your point but here's an example from just yesterday. I'm sitting at my desk in an open office where there happens to be a bowl of candy 10 feet away. A coworker approaches, says "hi", grabs some candy, and offers me some. I kindly say "no thank you" and for the next 10 minutes literally because I was lookin at the clock he proceeded to push candy directly in my face "just eat it, just one bite, it won't kill you, eat it, it's licorice, you like fennel right" on and on. I found it completely rude and inappropriate. That's not encouraging someone to broaden their horizons it's trying to win some sort of game. I eat plenty of foods and don't really have a long list of foods I don't eat, it's a simple category of foods mostly because my body prefers not to have them. Yes I could gobble up a random piece of bread for someone else's sake and then feel like crap all day but why?

                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                        jab nonsense buttons on the phone and pretend you're calling security to bring an HR clipboard crew in front of the yutz.

                                                                                        "yeah we have a developing situation in 1034 South" it's what those people live for.

                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                          fldhky, on the assumption that you're honestly looking for feedback on your experiences (not just simply trying to vent), I submit that you may first want to examine any passivity in your declinations. If multiple people are, on repeat occasions, treating you this way, accept that you are the constant in the interactions. Say "no" while looking them directly in the eye. Speak clearly. Decline while standing tall, not while you are seated and they are on their feet - rise if you have to. Moreover, don't over apologize.

                                                                                          Further, keep in mind that if you are going to adopt and maintain an aberrational diet (or, frankly, any other idiosyncrasy), accept that you are going to meet some resistance. You are stepping outside the behavioral norm. When it comes to declining a food that a vast majority of people enjoy, others will naturally make assumptions because it is different and therefore creates some discomfort. You may be seen as "weird" because you have different tastes. You may be seen as "less" because you suffer from some debility. You may be seen as "condescending" because you believe your minority viewpoint about health is better than their's. So what?

                                                                                          The thing is, hold to your convictions. You made your decisions, have chosen the lifestyle and worldview you are comfortable with - fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, you know? If you're not going to be like everybody else, accept that you're probably never going to be liked by everybody else. Just make sure that, in the end, you like yourself.

                                                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                                                            You have a point, I am not known for being particularly stern in fact my colleagues call me the "yes woman" as in I say "yes" to nearly any request. I say "no thank you" and have become more stern in recent encounters but probably need to be more stern.

                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                              Learning to say no is a great and important skill to learn. :)

                                                                                            2. re: MGZ

                                                                                              I have to agree. Now is a great time to practice your communication skills. Learning to say "no," clearly and unambiguously, is a powerful thing, particularly for women. Regarding the unwanted food, they offer, you don't want, decline firmly (but politely) and walk off if the conversation continues. No apologies, no explanations, for godssakes, no tummy discussions. You know what is good for you.

                                                                                            3. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                              I have to say, I wasn't present, but that coworker was creepy. I lean toward "nice" whenever I can, but as an outsider looking in, if this ever happens again (for Ten. MINUTES!) , it's gone beyond waste-of-time and into creepsville. My most neutral response would be "Sherise, you've been offering me candy for...nine and a half minutes now. I said no. Was there anything else, because I am just swamped today."

                                                                                            4. re: PhilD

                                                                                              "I believe that a lot of food fanatics do get frustrated by people who declare they love food and eating well then reel off a list of dislikes and foods they don't eat. For me they shouldn't really profess an interest in food if their taste is so narrow."

                                                                                              I am certainly one of those food geeks who can be bothered by hearing the phrase "I hate" before the name of a food - especially from those I'm breaking bread with and fellow 'hounds. Even more so, however, I'm kinda fascinated with the idea and what people mean when they say it, how they got to that conclusion, etc.*

                                                                                              I think the discomfort is sometimes simply a product of my understanding of what it means to be passionate about the subject being in conflict with the understanding of others. Like most folks, I prefer to be right, but not enough to create conflict over something so trivial.

                                                                                              On the other hand, I have little patience for disingenuity and close-mindedness. Lies and ignorance are tough to not confront - particularly when coming from those who are trusted at our table.

                                                                                              *Several years ago, I even posed the question to the community: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/784163

                                                                                            5. There is nothing nice about the insistence, and as John E. mentioned above, it's worth asking why this is so important. Moreover, if they don't take 'no' for an answer, I'd have to wonder if they were asking if I'd like a taste or demanding I eat something they want for me to eat. I mean, asking gives the option of saying 'no', right?
                                                                                              I would certainly ask what's going on if they needed reasons for my saying no. What about my desire isn't to be respected in this context?
                                                                                              Concerned I'm missing out, thanks, but the next courtesy to extend is to leave it be.

                                                                                              (To be honest, though, I rarely encounter this problem; if only I had restrictions on my all too expansive diet :) )

                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Lizard

                                                                                                I think there might be some type of anxiety disorder if someone insists you eat something or questions over and over again why you are declining their offer.

                                                                                                It's as if they need you to eat in order to calm down and get some sort of relief or release.

                                                                                                1. re: monavano

                                                                                                  monavano, i think the disorder is called "being a control freak."

                                                                                                  plenty of people are controlling jerks who don't have anxiety disorders.

                                                                                                  1. re: westsidegal

                                                                                                    Anxious people often control to ease their anxiety.

                                                                                                    1. re: monavano

                                                                                                      let's try to define it as a disease, shall we?

                                                                                              2. this reminds me of my growing up days. Once a year my parents insisted I taste foods that I had previously rejected saying I didn't like them.
                                                                                                Green Peas
                                                                                                Raw tomato, etc.

                                                                                                I still detest green peas, and won't eat raw tomato, but somewhere about age 40 I really started to like asparagus. Maybe it was because I tried fresh, not the awful silver can of Green Giant mom always served.

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                  I feel very fortunate that I was never forced to eat foods. I was told to try one bite and most times I did.
                                                                                                  Sometimes I didn't but it never turned into a battle of wills, like some poor kids suffer at the hands of their immature adult parents.
                                                                                                  I remember being told to take a bite of fried tomatoes. The texture bothered me. Hot tomato- no thanks.
                                                                                                  Now, I love fried tomatoes, ripe or green.

                                                                                                  1. re: monavano

                                                                                                    We were never forced to eat the food, only 'required' to taste. Our decision to accept or reject the food after the taste was always respected.

                                                                                                    Toi this day, age 60, I still try fresh native tomato each summer, and still don't like them. I do now tolerate fresh raw green peas, but not cooked (fresh or canned or frozen) when served on their own. I don't pick them out of soups, stews, etc. but manage to eat them lost in the other flavors and texures.

                                                                                                    1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                      My rule with my child was she had to taste it once, If something had ever grossed her out so much she couldn't, I wouldn't have forced her to. Never happened. Once she got big enough, she was allowed to get something for herself if she'd tried and didn't like a new dish I'd made for dinner.

                                                                                                2. Sometimes, it is cultural. A friend of mine used to be married to an Arab. He was a great cook, but at gatherings, he would relentlessly encourage you to keep eating, even though that was not going to happen. As with any situation, one must be firm.

                                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: mtlcowgirl

                                                                                                    My mom used to be like that- it made her so happy when anyone went for seconds.
                                                                                                    My DH would oblige her and her eyes would light up.

                                                                                                    eta- I think with moms, it's a way of showing love. But coworkers simply shouldn't be that invested.

                                                                                                    1. re: monavano

                                                                                                      "Ya, I'd love to eat that but it always gives me unpredictable explosive diarrhoea. Are we taking your car home?"

                                                                                                      1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                        Invoking unpleasant bodily functions is always an option ;-)

                                                                                                        1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                          LOL! Very good.

                                                                                                          (Thanks for this one.)

                                                                                                      2. re: mtlcowgirl

                                                                                                        I've encountered this in an Egyptian friend's house too. To not endlessly provide food as a host is insulting. To not feign some attempt to eat everything served is insulting as a guest.

                                                                                                        Asians (at least the older generations) do the same thing - to the point where your plate/bowl is sometimes grabbed and the food poured onto it despite loud vocal protests. And let's not even go to the topic of fighting over the bill at restaurants - it gets all WWF every time. As a kid, before I knew better I would always relish the moments when my dad would wrestle with other male relatives/friends over the bill - literally rolling on the floor of the restaurant like children.

                                                                                                        1. re: mtlcowgirl

                                                                                                          I was also thinking about "cultural" differences, although not really ethnic/racial/national.

                                                                                                          Just, I think some people were raised that if they say "yes" the first time they're offered something, it's rude or greedy. So, if then if they offer you something and you say "no" they assume (perhaps unconsciously) that you're being polite, so they want to insist, "please, really have some."

                                                                                                          It doesn't actually seem like this is the case with OP's co-workers who know her preferences already, but it's a thought.

                                                                                                          And, I was *not* raised this way myself and tend to be pretty straightforward in my yes or no, thanks.

                                                                                                          But, also considering the emotional issues raised by sharing food, mentioned above, I've found it can be helpful to express great (and sometimes long-winded) appreciation of the offer, even as refusing it.

                                                                                                          1. re: mselectra

                                                                                                            Yeah, maybe the first time, but not after the offerer keeps urging you to eat what you can't/won't.

                                                                                                        2. When some one is telling you what you should and should not eat it's NEVER about food. It's about 'control'.
                                                                                                          The best "pithy" comeback IMO is to tell them to 'eff' off and don't come back.
                                                                                                          Life is very short.

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                            Haha, it's funny you mention that. This is very out of character for me but yesterday I literally said "eff off, go away, I don't even like you" and said person chuckled and continued. I'm beginning to think people don't' take me seriously :)

                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                              Hmm... you could always say the the food looks and smells like dog vomit.
                                                                                                              That might just put them off for good!

                                                                                                          2. I've not eaten any red meat or pork for the last 37 years. During that time, I've had many people demand that I "just taste this" beef tenderloin, BBQ pork, bacon, etc. despite knowing full well that I do not eat it. In my experience there are two types of these "food pushers":

                                                                                                            1. People who love you and love what they are eating. They're frustrated that you are not sharing their experience. For these people, sharing food that they find special and delicious is an act of intimacy. I can relate to this point of view because I feel that way about really strong cheese, it makes me swoon and I want people that I love to have that same wonderful feeling. I try not to be pushy about it, but I will offer to share.

                                                                                                            2. People who want you to eat what they are eating to alleviate some conscious or subconscious guilt. Those folks want you to eat what they are eating to satisfy their own needs. It's got nothing to do with you, at all. In these circumstances, I refuse to be baited into discussing my feelings about what they are eating or why I'm not going to eat it. It's often tempting to tell them off, but I *usually* manage to restrain myself. LOL

                                                                                                            1. Low carb diets must be the absolute worst, amiwrong?

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. This is not quite the same as what is happening to the OP, but my mother used to tell the story of her first dinner at what became her in-law's home. There was a lot of food that she did not recognize (my paternal grandparents were Ukrainian immigrants). She decided to take a little of everything just to try it. She found herself seated next to her future FIL. Towards the end of the meal, he elbows her and says with a thick accent, "clean uppa you plate". My mother cleaned her plate.

                                                                                                                  1. I'm reminded of the thread where a poster asked about refusing to eat meat that she felt wasn't raised ethically. Many people thought the OP's preference was rude and pretentious - not because the OP would make her dietary restrictions known (as most people said they were fine with catering to vegetarians) but because her dietary restrictions were considered unreasonable.

                                                                                                                    I'm just thinking that this is how a lot of pushy types view the more common dietary restrictions of the rest of us - with the same kind of knee-jerk indignation (even if it's seldom spelled out in person).

                                                                                                                    It's also interesting that there was fairly widespread support on that thread for the notion that some food preferences/restrictions should be put aside for social situations while there's near unanimity here that it's rude to pressure people to do so, even nicely.

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                      If I was at someone's house and they had no idea of my preference and served pasta I'd take a reasonable serving and focus on the vegetables.

                                                                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                                        I'm sorry I missed that thread, cowboy. I'm glad you referenced it and think your read is insightful.*

                                                                                                                        It seems, advancing from what I was suggesting yesterday, that the less common one's divergence from the norm may be, the more of a threat it is perceived as by many. Such beliefs mean that one is "weird", "wrong", or "holier than thou". But, upon reflection, it's tough to not respect someone with the ethical/moral fortitude to stand alone and go hungry rather than compromise.

                                                                                                                        * Even potentially "inciteful", as attempts to distinguish are made.

                                                                                                                      2. I don't know why people do this. I too monitor what i eat for a variety of reasons. I often find myself saying "no thank you"...they may say "try it". I don't intentionally lie, but i will find myself making up a reason as to why i can't or won't eat something. Then one friend in particular then goes into my "health kick". I have to literally tune him out.

                                                                                                                        1. I have a friend who makes a "white salad": white asparagus, white balsamic vinaigrette, and then shaved white chocolate and white pepper. I find it revolting (sure hope she is not reading this.)

                                                                                                                          She makes this and puts it on my plate with a wink when I am over for dinner, because she knows I don't care for it, yet thinks I'll have a breakthrough one of these days and pronounce it brilliant. I find this tremendously irritating because when I don't eat it, I suddenly don't look like a good sport.

                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: SamuelAt

                                                                                                                            Wow, that's really passive aggressive.
                                                                                                                            It sounds revolting.

                                                                                                                            1. re: monavano

                                                                                                                              To be a friend, I have sampled it, but I don't anymore, I just leave it on the plate...but others rave about how ahead of the curve she is, and think it's delicious.

                                                                                                                              1. re: SamuelAt

                                                                                                                                ....if you go too fast into a curve you usually crash....!

                                                                                                                                1. re: SamuelAt

                                                                                                                                  I admire how you take this in stride.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: SamuelAt

                                                                                                                                    "ahead of the curve". Interesting premise. :-)

                                                                                                                                    The "white salad" wouldn't be all that bad without the white chocolate, but that just goes against the grain with the rest of the flavors.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                                                                      I agree...it's actually tasty without. This friend rhapsodizes over white chocolate and uses it in unexpected ways...not to my personal liking however.

                                                                                                                              2. After declining the beets, and "I know you will like them my way!!!". What I want my response to be is "I say they are beets, and I say to hell with them."

                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                                                                                  I couldn't understand for too long why the hatred for beets by some. Then one day I got a double whammy! A family invited us over and they served beets two ways. Appetizers that included canned beets, pickled I assumed... blech!
                                                                                                                                  And a side dish at the entree of 'roasted beets'.
                                                                                                                                  I wondered why at first they tasted like dirt.
                                                                                                                                  At the dinner table the husband asked his wife where she bought the beets. She said they were in the bin under the potatoes at the market. The large 'aged' dark red beet roots that have been there for who knows how long and were large and fibrous and old and taste like dirt. No wonder some tell me they hate beets! WOW! They suck!

                                                                                                                                  I never had anything other than fresh smallish beets with fresh greens on top from the vegetable market. Fresh and sweet and fresh greens.... BIG difference I found out!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                    Odd to serve beets twice - you're taking a risk if you're not sure your guests like them! Did you comment, or leave them on your plate?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: SamuelAt

                                                                                                                                      Since I love beets, beet roots and especially beet greens, I tried some from the apps that were placed family style on the table. They tasted like canned cider vinegar. The side dish of "roasted beets" was barely dressed leaving the taste of dirt alone on the plate, but since I have learned through many years that the majority of people I befriend cannot or do not cook or cook well, I never fill my plate with any one thing myself at their tables, so I was wise enough to just take a little bit of everything and choke down the spoonful of beets I did have on my plate... always smile and thank the host for the company and for sharing their food... always.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                        Gastro - as a fellow beet lover have you tried a raw beet salad with pears, feta, mint and a lemon vinaigrette? Simply shred the peeled raw beets and unpeeled pears into matchsticks with a Madeleine/food slicer and stir through cubed feta, fresh mint leaves and the dressing.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                                                                                    You could also say you are limiting your oxalate intake to reduce the chance of getting kidney stones. (Beets are one of the highest oxalate containing foods, another is spinach.)