Thursday, 23 June 2011

The Unbearable Shiteness of Beans





One thing that can make fully grown and seemingly rational adults suddenly metamorphose into squealing toddlers is food.



I have seen intelligent people with well paid, responsible jobs pull ludicrous faces and make 'Eurrgh' noises when presented with a plate of broccolli.



I once bought some Wild Boar sausages from a farmers market and when I told a couple of people about it they instantly wrinkled their noises, made 'Eurrgh' noises and said that it sounded disgusting.


Why are they disgusting? They are only pretentious pork sausages.

I was once eating a potato salad that contained broccolli that I had made myself when a work colleague asked why I wasn't eating 'normal' food.

Now people have been eating vegetables for thousands of years so surely this is normal. What my colleague was eating was a pasty he had bought from a petrol station with so many flavour enhancers and stabilizers in it that the list of ingredients took up half the packet. How is this considered normal food?

Parents across the world each day face a mealtime battle with sulky kids half-heartedly pushing decent food around their plates and whining because it isn't beige-coloured, lathered in saturated fat and endorsed by a talking cartoon animal. For many of these children this attitude towards food continues into adulthood.

In our culture we are bombarded by companies enticng us to buy mass produced food, so industrially processed that the flavour and smell have to be added chemically. This level of advertising saturation makes it seem that junk food is inevitable but this is not the case.

It's only been in the past 50 years or so that the inustrialisation of food has taken place but it has been so aggressive that many of us think that it has always been this way and are distrustful and wary of food that doesn't come with advertising and colourful packaging.



I think this is one of the reasons why many people build up a preconcieved notion of healthy food and dismiss it out of hand without ever even trying it.

What picky eaters need to do when confronted with a food they have not tried before is to not immediately regress to infanthood but to put it in their mouth, chew and then swallow.

That way if they don't like it they are qualified to say so and don't ever need to eat it again.











51 comments:

Jordan said...

Being vegetarian for the last 11 years, I have to deal with people's strange ideas about food all of the time. How do people get to the place where they think vegetarians only eat tofu? It's like they suddenly forgot the vast amounts of other, non meat foods out there. There is a movement of people who want to leave a healthier legacy for their children, or just do better for themselves, and shop the perimeter of a store. It's true, all of the good stuff is on the perimeter usually, produce, butcher, dairy, bulk foods. I used to be a girl who ate a minute market taquito for dinner every night and now I cringe when I see what other people are putting on the conveyer belt at the grocery store. I guess it's all about convenience for them.

Oilfield Trash said...

You make some great points here. I liked this post.

Sarah said...

I completely agree with everything you have written here. However, I also have to admit that I'm guilty of judging food before trying it! Also,It is quite concerning seeing all of these fat kids running around, and knowing that it's because they keep eating food which is considered 'normal'.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Jordan: Peoples 'pack' mentality may be part of the problem. Everyone else eats fast food so I had better too, that kind of thinking.

OT: Thanks, my man.

Sarah: You aren't alone, many of us pre-judge. When you have eaten snails then nothing really fazes you.

Hannah {Culture Connoisseur} said...

Great post. And I completely agree. I read an article the other day about the origin of supermarkets. They weren't even around until the 1930s. If you wanted meat you went to the butcher. If you needed sugar or flour you bought it in 50 pound sacks from behind the counter. It wasn't until the 1940's and 50's that perusing aisles for food became the norm! And with the supermarket came the mass production of food...whomp.

dirtycowgirl said...

Totally agree.
What I could never understand was friends who like me were single parents saying they couldn't afford to give their kids healthy stuff. I would go to the market and get two bags full of fresh veg for a couple of pound - about the same price as a box of burgers.
And my son wasn't then, and still isn't, fussy about food. He'll try anything.

Lynette said...

Veggies are great...a fav of mine too. But worry on friends who go a step to far and have cut protein from their diet. No meats and not enough from the one lil carton of yogurt a day. Has dropped weight to a small dwarf of a size 3 yet wears plus size clothes cinched up. Now I know this is not the norm...but a warning. Make sure your still getting the vitamins, minerals and protein you need from any diet.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Hannah: The town I live in still has two butchers and two greengrocers, despite Walmart opening nearby and trying to throttle all competition.

Dirty: Spot on, saying they can't afford decent food is a cop out.

Lynette: Sensible diet, that is all you need. No-one needs to go to either extreme of the spectrum.

Al Penwasser said...

Nicely put.
But I still like walking up to a deli counter and ordering "Head Cheese."
And beans are good for your heart. The more you eat 'em, the more you f...well, you get the idea.

Tony Van Helsing said...

A: My food hang up is canned baked beans. I don't even like to touch them. I don't mind haricot beans, even make my own Boston beans but the canned ones in that luminous orange sauce turn me into a wuss.

Violet said...

you had me at pretentious pork...

and i'm off the boar and related pals.
people are afraid of real food if they aren't used to it. and i think parents who have a healthy open-minded attitude about good food choices, and especially produce, raise kids who do too.
i love eating- especially healthy. feels great. who doesn't want that?

Samantha VĂ©rant said...

I've had wild boar a few times. In blood sauce. Yum. (Civet de sanglier, the French, and fancy pants way of saying it) Broccoli is a power veg. It even (they say) has the abilities to fight cancer...

Mynx said...

I have found that as i have got older my tastes hve changed and I am more likely to try new foods. I encourage my kids to eat plenty of veg but my eldest son gags when he has to eat peas. I cant figure it out,I love peas

Tony Van Helsing said...

Violet: Plenty of people say they don't want healthy food. The amount of obese people in society shows us this.

Samantha: Talk about polar opposites, Violet's a vegetarian and you eat pigs in blood.

Mynx: This is true, I used to hate the taste of olives and avacadoes but now happily eat both.

Al Penwasser said...

I JUST got the title (I mean JUST NOW). The Unbearable Lightness of Being!!!! Clever, clever. I may be slow, but I appreciate a good turn of phrase when I read it. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahah.

Al Penwasser said...

Oh, yeah, beans are also a very good fruit. The more you eat 'em, the more you toot. The more you toot, the better you feel. So let's eat beans with every meal!

Bart said...

if beer is food than yes.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Al: Keep up lad, and lay off the beans.

Bart: Beer is food in liquid form.

Katsidhe said...

The very sad thing? Is that the adults who make faces at broccoli will pass this attitude on to their kids and not even attempt the fight at dinnertime to eat veggies.

It was only when I was 27 and creeping out of the "normal" weight range for my height that I decided that I'd been neglecting the bottom of the food pyramid too long and made a change.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Katsidhe: Too true, we all pick up our character traits from our parents.

Nightgaunt said...

I confess I'm not fond of a fair number of actually 'green' veggies, since to my neurotic taste buds they all share an undertone of grass-clippings from my fathers mower, but I've been working very hard to branch out both my eating and cooking. I haven't enjoyed everything, but I try more things now and I enjoy it, I think I draw a line at tripe though.

Really though? I would totally try boar. I've had buffalo and I've had venison, why not boar? First I want to try and cook venison though.

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

As soon as i read the title of this post, i knew it was going to be incredible. I was not mistaken.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Nightgaunt: At least you are trying them, that's the important thing. I once bit a dead moth in half for a bet, wouldn't recommend it.

Sub-Radar: Glad you liked it.

Belle said...

In our city a little girl got scurvy because she would only eat at McDonalds.
When I was a kid, we had to eat what my mom cooked and that was it. We had vegetables every day. I think parents today just don`t know what to do when their kids don`t like the food they serve. My parents did it the easy way: you don`t like it then have nothing.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Bele: That's exactly what my parents did. I used to scoff all the vegetables first then savour the meat and spuds.

Joshua said...

My kids hate me, but it's because they only get processed food on nights that The Wife and I are going out. So, probably once, maybe twice a month. And they usually get chicken tenders from Chick-Fil-A or Zaxby's. Otherwise, they get what I cook, and since I don't want either of them to have the "you eat all your food"-American obesity problem, they know that what's on their plate is what's for dinner, and if they don't want to eat it, they don't have to, but they're going to be hungry. I don't force them to eat so they don't develop an unhealthy relationship with food. It used to be a big problem, but it's mostly a non-issue now.

For myself, having been a vegetarian for 18 years now, I just ignore people's reaction to my food. And I mostly ignore theirs...except when some douchenozzle at work decides to microwave a piece of fish and kill us all with the stench. Then I make faces.

TIMMYTHEROBOT said...

processed food is gross imo - just gotta be off it for a while and you'll never want it again, it's truly a drug

Amy said...

This is one area where parents have utmost influence on kids. If my kids see me eating something, they want to try it, period. What a difference it has made now that I am eating healthy.
I too get the strange looks/comments for eating clean, especially when I pass up free food brought into my office. It's like being chastised for being intelligent about food. There is a bit of jealousy involved I suspect.

altadenahiker said...

I grow my own vegetables because the effort of it all forces me to eat them. But I think your wild boar sausages sound delicious, and I'm sure the boar had a much better time on earth than most of the pigs raised for slaughter.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Joshua: Sensible attitude, don't make a drama out of mealtimes and create further problems but tle them know that this is the meal, there is no alternative.

Timmy: If I eat a McDonalds these days it fels like a breeze block has landed in my stomach.

Amy: People want you to be part of the pack and join in the fat fest. I think you are right about an element of jealousy.

Alta: The problem with the boar sausages was I didn't cook them enough and ended up living on the toilet for a couple of days. Pig revenge.

Miranda Hardy said...

I don't think I make faces at anything. I was taught to eat everything on my plate as a youngster. As a matter of fact, the healthy food smells delicious to me, but I've noticed some people cringe at certain foods. It makes me smile.

Pearl said...

We ate everything, growing up, and the only food I truly don't care for and don't eat is hardboiled eggs. Just don't like 'em.

When my son was growing up people were always astounded that he ate everything given him. "Oh, my son won't eat anything but McDonald's" someone once told me. Apparently her daughter subsisted on chicken mcnuggets and fries. Personally, I could fix that in under three meals... :-)

Pearl

Tony Van Helsing said...

Miranda: Everyone makes faces at something, even my judgemental self.

Pearl: The parent was effectively saying that the child was in charge, something that is too frequent these days.

Margaret said...

I'm a big fan of veges. I bet your salad was delicious, and the sausages sound very pretentious and delicious. A total win win!

Bart said...

i could sure go for a burrito right about now.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Margaret: My salad was no more than adequate, I'm afraid.

Bart: Burrito on it's way through the post, may take six to eight weeks.

C... said...

These types of challenges for me have little to do with what other people expect me or my family to eat but more with autism challenges. My son is autistic and won't eat food because of taste, texture and smell aversions. I have them as well but I am not autistic. Some odors like the smell of tomatoes makes me want to gag. I'll only eat them thinly sliced in a sandwich or in salsa.

Jessica Thompson said...

Yummy...
alphabetalife.blogspot.com

RQ said...

As far back as I can remember, which I guess is when I could be reasoned with I was pretty much told I wasn't allowed to be a picky eater, Originally the rule was everything on my plate needed to finished, and when I got older, everything on the table had to be eaten, no leftovers.

Scrubby Bear said...

I'm a huge fan of vegetables. My parents used to stuff them in my chicken and only give the greens to me. I grew up with veges. Glad you posted about this!

Check me out @ http://yearningandlearning.blogspot.com/
;)

Tony Van Helsing said...

C: Mealtimes must be only one of the daily challenges you face. I don't mind the smell of tomatoes but hate mushrooms with a passion.

Jessica: Tasty.

RQ: I had two younger brothers who were picky eaters and were made to stay at the table until they finished. I couldn't be bothered with the drama and just scoffed whatever was put in front of me. Apart from mushrooms which are bastards.
Scrubby: I just spent 3 days at a rocjk festival eating shit ffod and my body was crying out for veg and fruit.

Choms1337 said...

very interesting :p

Tony Van Helsing said...

Choms1337: Cheers Choms.

Cheeseboy said...

Was going to eat at McDonalds tonight. Headed for the Farmer's Market instead.

Triper said...

Can't wait for next post :)

Lindsay N. Currie said...

You know, people seem like such food snobs sometimes it amazes me. And, when it doesn't even make sense! They'd rather eat fast food than try something new, something fresher. Strange.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Cheeseboy: You won't regret it.

Triper: it's on it's way, probably tomorrow.

Lindsay: I never thought of it that way around. I always considered myself the food snob as people assumed I thought I was better then them because I don't like to eat shit all the time.

Megan said...

The next time I'm confronted with an adult whining about food I'm going to think about this post...which sadly will probably happen pretty soon, as it's a relatively common occurrence!

C... said...

Mushrooms are gross too. Feels like I am biting flesh.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Megan: Too true, they are everywhere.

C: Biting flesh, that's brilliant. I never thought of it like that but it made me laugh out loud.

Craziness abounds said...

That's actually a rule at my house Tony. You have to try it, if you hate it you have to give a reason why and it better be valid. Not that it looks yucky or sounds gross. Unfortunately the reason people buy junk food and shove it down their kids throats, thus teaching them bad eating habits it because it is cheaper. I actually deal with nutrition and health issues in my job and it is something I have to re-teach most people on a daily basis. It makes me sad that two out of three adults are overweight or obese and the same numbers apply to children, just because something was cheaper or easier. Sorry I'm on a rant. Good post..