Good ol' days

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

Thought a fun thread might be in how your eating or even what you eat is totally different from what you grew up on. Be it because of regional differences, financial or just plain personal taste changes. Here are some questions to get the topic going and if you think of others, please add them!

What did you eat as a kid that you do not eat now (no reasoning why not, you just don't)?

What did you eat as a kid that you would not eat now (different question than the first)?

What did you used to not like and now you do?

Have you become more adventurous in your meals now or stayed the same?

What foods did you first try as an adult?

What foods have you heard of that you've still just never been exposed to?

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

What did you eat as a kid that you do not eat now (no reasoning why not, you just don't)? I used to dunk buttered toast into cocoa but just never drink cocoa down here in Texas (I came from up north). I used to eat more candy, just finding that I'm not really a candy person, I'd prefer chocolate in the form of a candy bar vs cookies or cakes or hard candy anyday.

What did you eat as a kid that you would not eat now (different question than the first)? I used to get a bolonga and cheese sandwich most every cold lunch I had as a kid, to this day I cannot stomach bolongny. I used to eat banana's but now can't eat the yellow or spotted ones yuck, I can only eat them when the peel still has a light tint of green, love them this way. Guilty pleasure---I loved eating toothpaste lol!

What did you used to not like and now you do? Now I can eat chicken curry (aka hawaiian haystacks). I used to hate onions and bell peppers, often in dishes at home. I figure it's the strong flavor really. I LOVE to mince these items for any dish that calls for them but ugh, still cannot eat them in large chunks in a meal.

Have you become more adventurous in your meals now or stayed the same? I eat a much more diverse diet now than I grew up with. I grew up on meat and potatoes and thought all "beans" were green :).

What foods did you first try as an adult? I had never heard of okra so that should say something. I've tried so many fruits and veggies new to me. We never got seafood (I don't think fishsticks count as seafood anyway lol) or wild game and now I quite enjoy them both (but seafood I'm still not as adventurous, I don't want anything uncooked or looking slimy!). There are fruits I never had a kid like kiwi (were they not available, or just to expensive???), pumello's, figs...etc.

What foods have you heard of that you've still just never been exposed to? There is still a lot of seafood I've no interest in trying: lobster, crab. I'm not interested in unusual cuts of animal (tongue, pork rinds, etc).

Missouri City, TX

What did you eat as a kid that you do not eat now (no reasoning why not, you just don't)?
Squash - all kinds. DW did not greow up with them, so rarely, VERY rarely do we have any in the house.

What did you eat as a kid that you would not eat now (different question than the first)?
Nothing - love all foods.

What did you used to not like and now you do?
Okra. Did not have it till I was in high school in OK - it was boiled and slimy - buried it in the mashed potatoes and finished it as quickly as possible - was at a friend's house. His mom asked if I wanted more since I had finished it so quickly - said I had enough, thank you. Still not crazy about it that way, but any other way -- I'm all over it.

Have you become more adventurous in your meals now or stayed the same?
About the same - Step-dad was always introducing new foods to mom & me, so am sort of like Andrew Zimner - I'll try it at least once.

What foods did you first try as an adult?
Goat cheese, sushi, sashimi.

What foods have you heard of that you've still just never been exposed to?
Raindeer, Camel, volute, lots of Asian, South American, African, Middle eastern, and Pacific island foods.

This message was edited Oct 14, 2009 12:01 PM

London, United Kingdom

What did you eat as a kid that you do not eat now (no reasoning why not, you just don't)?
Battery hens eggs!

What did you eat as a kid that you would not eat now (different question than the first)?
Any food that is not free range or organic, and I want to know where it comes from, although I am not fussy, as long as it is home cooked and real food.
Take aways, total disgrace to any Nation, these have killed a generation of cooks and should all be closed down, even the big chain ones. How can anyone eat something from a kitchen they cannot see, and they do not know what is in it!
Restaurant food the same as above.
Supermarket food of any sort!

What did you used to not like and now you do?

Have you become more adventurous in your meals now or stayed the same?
I was a trained Chef before I went In the British Army, so was adventurous then. Travelling around the world in the Army and then on my own I love to try what the locals eat, not what the tourists eat!

What foods did you first try as an adult?
Thai food, Japanese food, Nepalese food and Indian.

What foods have you heard of that you've still just never been exposed to?
Nothing that I have heard of, I have tried most things, and deep fried Tarantulas are in fact very nice.
Still will not beat a good Yorkshire Pudding with roast beef, veg and then a sticky toffee pudding.
Or a steak & kidney pudding.

This message was edited Oct 16, 2009 12:30 AM

Thumbnail by NEILMUIR1
Kenmore, NY(Zone 6a)

For me, it's easier to list the other way around.

As a kid would only eat:
tomato soup that mom cooled on the windowsill
raw hot dogs (why not? it's only rolled up bologna!)
cooked spinach
pork chops cooked in the oven with rice & tomato juice
pizza that I took all the cheese off of

As an adult I will not eat:
liver or any organs
don't like venison, still has that gamey aftertaste to me
cheesecake (just don't like it, so why eat it?)

I never ate anything until I worked in a kitchen. There are plenty of things I haven't tried yet, but are not opposed to trying, unless it's weird stuff like that guy on the Food Network, or Bear Grylls.
That's about it!

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

Smiley, a nice easier way to say it!

Kenmore, NY(Zone 6a)

I had to think for a minute before I replied. I like your threads, Tir, they're always fun!

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

Bless you :) Thanks!

Huffman, TX(Zone 9a)

what did I eat as a kid that I do not eat now....oatmeal
what did I eat as a kid that I would not eat now ...peanuts on the half shell I split them in two with the peanuts still in the bottom half and salt them and eat shell and all at my age that would kill my stomach.Not to mention my blood pressure
What did I used to not like that I do now...beets I love them now
Have I become more adventurous I would definatly say YES to that one. When I first got married my wife was pretty limited on cooking we had the same meals over and over so I started experimenting and now we hardly eat the same thing twice in a month.
What foods did I first try as an adult... clams, oysters, lobster we never had such things as kids we couldn't afford such fancy things. And I love them
What foods have I heard of but have never been exposed to I imagine that is a hard one because there are foods from all over the world I havn't tried and when I hear about them I would like to try them but they are not available here or I don't know how to prepare them.

Kenmore, NY(Zone 6a)

Beets are great, aren't they rucky? That was one I forgot about, I did eat them as a kid.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6a)

What did you eat as a kid that you do not eat now (no reasoning why not, you just don't)? Slice of white buttered bread sprinkled with sugar

What did you eat as a kid that you would not eat now (different question than the first)? Cracklins- we were poor - LOL

What did you used to not like and now you do? 9 of us kidlets and poor, so we were each allowed one and ONLY ONE dislike. I have no clue why my choice was cottage cheese because now I love it!

Have you become more adventurous in your meals now or stayed the same? Now I'm super adventurous - I cook with complete abandon and have fun with our food :)

What foods did you first try as an adult? Quinoa and curry - they just weren't in the Midwest repertoire ;)

What foods have you heard of that you've still just never been exposed to? I've still never cooked much wild game - I do rabbit and bison, but never had weird stuff like alligator or snake. I'm not real hep on eating snails either - ewwwwwww !!!

Super fun thread :)

Oakland, CA(Zone 9b)

What did you eat as a kid that you do not eat now (no reasoning why not, you just don't)?
Spam, Twinkies, Rice Krispies, bologna

What did you eat as a kid that you would not eat now (different question than the first)?
Hot dogs, although I love sausages
Tuna sashimi, used to love it, then got tired of it

What did you used to not like and now you do?
Eggplant – I thought it was weirdly colored and slimey. Now, of course, I love it.
Spicy food – as a kid I couldn’t tolerate super-hot chilis. And I still consider Cajun spicing to be inferior to Thai, Indian, and Chinese, so maybe I need to make a trip to New Orleans for some research…..
Okra, as long as it isn’t overcooked

Have you become more adventurous in your meals now or stayed the same?
Much more adventurous: Pakistani, Moroccan, classical French and lots of others

What foods did you first try as an adult?
Bastilla, foie gras, true Dover sole, real Mediterranean scampi (which are NOT just large shrimp, as chain restaurants would have you believe), red deer, wild boar, Peking Duck and Chinese winter melon, Chinese broccoli, risotto, Spanish tapas, Cal-Mex burritos, Beluga caviar, Brazilian feijoda, Peruvian ceviche, duck confit

What foods have you heard of that you've still just never been exposed to?
The cooking by Ferran Adria @El Bulli in Spain
Deep-fried Snickers – and I hope I never am!

Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

What a great thread! I'm still thinking on my answers.

Dea, you're supposed to put miracle whip on that sugar sandwich, not butter! :) We used to eat them that way, and yes, only on white bread, usually with the crusts removed. I can't call that one of the things I ate as a kid that I wouldn't eat now, because if I had some white bread in the house, I'd probably make one now, just to see if they still have the same appeal.

I'm thinking....I'll be back.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6a)

LOL at ya Joan!

Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

What did you eat as a kid that you do not eat now (no reasoning why not, you just don't)?
Velveeta, fish sticks made from minced fish (love the commercial with the little girl asking her mother..."MINCED? You feed me MINCED? You ever catch a minced fish?"

What did you eat as a kid that you would not eat now (different question than the first)?
Boiled eggs, side pork, fried ring balogna, canned peas, vienna sausages

What did you used to not like and now you do?
American cheese, swiss cheese, cloves gum, blackjack gum, anything made from dried beans, rye bread, asparagus

Have you become more adventurous in your meals now or stayed the same?
Definitely. We often just pull items out of the pantry, fridge and or freezer that need to be used up and figure out a way to do something with them

What foods did you first try as an adult?
Wild turkey (yuk), venison (yuk), catfish (yuk), lobster (yum), oysters (yuk), grits (yum)

What foods have you heard of that you've still just never been exposed to?
Rattlesnake, rabbit, sushi (I'm not sure I'd eat these even if I WAS exposed to them)

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

Dea, ha the good ol "fairy sandwich" as we called it. A slice of cheap white bread or an apple, those were snacks in our house of 9 growing up! I still never would eat a sugar sandwich though! Forgot about those til you mentioned it!

Joan, I didn't grow up on game and had an aversion to so many foods because my Mom would claim such and such food would make her sick! I never never say this in front of my kids now because I want them to be open to try more things than I would. I had venison only a few times when Dad could manage a hunt with Mom's approval LOL but now being married to a true outdoorsmen I can attest that not all venison tastes the same. I believe there is a real difference in mule deer. If you aren't into wild game then you'd never know the difference about it when hunting. But I have used mule venison in many dishes and find their ground meat to be exceptional and very little difference to me than beef. Would love to try buffalo, just haven't.

Yuk? Definately duck. All dark meat and greasy to boot! Another yuk, "california rolls" it's known by some other name to. Basically plain rice (or add some wasabi sauce---also yuk) and wrap this into a tiny roll held together with seaweed. Um, yummo!

A fried snickers, yes, cannot even imagine! DH loves a funnel cake (think carnival) and I'd never heard of them! (Like I said, grew up poor, we didn't have carnivals lol).

Didn't grow up on spam (isn't that a surprise LOL) but do like it. But I only like it cooked the same I do bacon or sausage. I want it crispy and browned :). I can't stand breakfast sausage, to funky a flavor for me.

Grew up on imitation breakfast syrups but much prefer maple now. A whole 'nother world there.

Huffman, TX(Zone 9a)

These are the reasons that the make mustard AND ketchup, Ford AND Chevy, every body is different and has different tastes aren't we lucky that we have a choice. That is what makes our world a wonderful place to live.Where I worked before I retired there were 15 hungry people all with different tastes and one of us would cook fron time to time. I don't care what we cooked it would get eaten. Sometimes there would be leftovers but by the time the shift was over it was gone. I am lucky enough to have venison in my freezer most of the time and fish because I love to hunt and fish. So that was my contribution. I think if we eat with an open mind and try new things or retry old things sometimes we are surprised at what tastes good. That is why I like this thread its very intresting to see what people are eating I have totally forgotten about bread butter and sugar I liked that too, One other thing I did as a kid that I had forgotten was peanut butter lettus and mayonaise sandwhich and cold bake bean sandwhich's. What great memories this thread has brought back.Thank you Tir

London, United Kingdom

Dear Rucky, I agree with you! Shall I put the food ration on here for Britain in World War Two?
That may make a few people think!
Your Steak & Kidney Pie is in the Post.
Kindest Regards from a cold England.

Thumbnail by NEILMUIR1
Huffman, TX(Zone 9a)

Getting colder here to Neil I will be heading out hunting in a couple of weeks The deer should be moving good in the cooler weather.. Yes post the rations here I was totally amazed I'm sure they will be too...........rucky

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

Rucky and Neil, appreciate your posts! Yes, so true. We are blessed beyond belief to have such variety at our fingertips. I do try to make sure I'm not adverse to other tastes because as mentioned, in hard times, your variety will be in short supply! So glad my DH got me onto the world of eating beans! Sheesh, grew up thinking "beans" were all green!!!!!!

Missouri City, TX

Tir, Come on by "our place" anytime and pick up some bison. Just cut and shrink-wrapped a bison tenderloin, so there are a few packages of that left. And we usually have the sirloin, t-bone, roasts, sausage, and even hot-dogs, in addition to the patties available for sale.

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

I do need to come by sometime :)

London, United Kingdom

Rucky, here is the rations you were amazed with. We either eat this or nothing at all!
During the first and second World War, everything was strictly rationed in this Country, apart from vegetables and offal, so people learnt to love it and nothing went to waste.
Here is the weekly ration for an adult in the war (UK), this was from 1939-1954 when at last rationing stopped.
Our Nation was never healthier!
Butter: 50g (2oz), Bacon and ham: 100g (4oz), Margarine: 100g (4oz), per week!
Sugar: 225g (8oz). Meat: To the value of 1s.2d (one shilling and sixpence per week. That is about 6p today). Milk: 3 pints(1800ml) occasionally dropping to 2 pints (1200ml). per week!
Cheese: 2oz (50g). Eggs: 1 fresh egg a week. Tea: 50g (2oz). Per week!
Jam: 450g (1lb) every two months. Dried eggs 1 packet every four weeks. Sweets: 350g(12oz) every four weeks.
Clothing was also rationed.
Offal or innards as you call it, was never rationed, so of course people eat it, and indeed still do.
As rucky so rightly states, liver if cooked right with a nice gravy is a wonderful dish, who could want more. They call it offal in the UK, or what you call innards.
Regards from England!

Huffman, TX(Zone 9a)

Right again Neil

Bubba Do you have a meat market and where do you get Bison in Texas I have eaten it in South Dakota on a Sunday Drive around the U.S. Thats what we called it anyway we would just travel in a general direction and drive nothing but back roads and senic routes. We got to eat a lot of different things this way. Do you sell other meats also or just Bison?

Missouri City, TX

I'm part owner of a tiny restaurant - Bubba's Texas Burger Shack. Our motto is "Home of the buffalo burger".
It was the first restaurant in Houston, TX to sell bison burgers, and we just celebrated our 24th year in business in August.

When the "original" Bubba owned it, it was an "Ice House" that happened to sell hamburgers.
Now we are a restaurant that happens to sell beer.

Would love to have all of the old customers back - lol.

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

Aw, cute Bubba on the ice house change :)

Rucky, I've seen most good HEB's stock several cuts of meat from bison, lamb, duck and I BELIEVE I even saw venison in there? But don't quote me. I have seen the bison, just have not tried it yet.

Neil, amazing on those rations! I'd manage fine with clothing rations :) I very rarely have to buy something new. But rations on the kids clothes would be tough! Thank you for the listing, a good reminder for our family to be more self-sufficient and frugal!!!!!!!!!!!

Missouri City, TX

Rucky, I forgot to answer your question about bison supply.

We are buying from the original packer / rancher in South Dakota. He put his herd with 6 other ranchers herds for the "Dances With Wolves" movie. He harvests between 18-24 months old, so we have young bison. And we get shipments weekly, so special orders are not a problem.

All 50 states have bison producers, and we DO have some wonderful ranches in TX, however, they are not able or willing to match our current costs (even with shipping). We did have a Texas supplier a few years ago - but that is another story - great product, but inconsistant delivery.

Neil, I heard many stories from my parents and grandparents about rationing. It was one of the reasons, we had a huge garden, raised rabbits and chickens, and I was taught to hunt , fish, harvest berries, mushrooms, etc.

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

You had smart parents Bubba! I wish I'd come from a line of avid gardeners/hunters/fishers. So many things I'm learning on my own so to speak :)

London, United Kingdom

Dear all, quite a lively discussion!
It was tough in the War, and many people suffered, but somehow they got by in the end! My grandparents and parents told me about it, and although I was not around at the time, the aftermath lasted a lot longer than 1954 when rationing stopped.
My mother tells a true story of when she went to a dance in 1960, and in the raffle was three bananas! These were unseen of at the time, and where she was living probably for the youngsters had never been seen at all. They raffled each one separately and my mother won one of these prized fruits. A gentleman came up and offered to buy it of her; at first she refused but he offered her £10.00p which was a lot of money then, about $50 in your money at the time. Which was a months wages to my mother so she sold it, and did not get one to try till 1965!
Luckily my grandparents and my parents live on a remote farm in north Yorkshire, so you eat whatever you were given, or got it cold for breakfast!
So I was taught to hunt/fish and forage, for what nature can provide, not a store with something wrapped in plastic.
I have six nieces and two nephews who come over; yes my wife and I are trained cooks, but they dare not ask in my house for Muck Donald's, Kentucky slimed chicken, shop bought pizzas, Chinese from a take away, or indeed anything that is not fresh and home cooked.
If they do not want to eat real food they get nothing else!
I look after Veterans as I am considered one myself; one Gentleman is an American who has stayed here after the War, he comes for dinner every fortnight and loves our food now, plus his and others fresh food parcel once a week.
He wastes nothing at all; i read a bit rusty had sent me to him, and he fell about laughing, "if only they knew what was in Hot Dogs," was his comment.
rusty, Gregg send his regards.
here is an article from America interesting reading I think!
Regards from England.

In America, the fourth Thursday in November gives us special permission to heap food on our plates. While this ritual used to be unique to Thanksgiving, it has become increasingly routine in our daily lives.

Because America produces twice as much food as needed per person, Thanksgiving’s celebration of abundance seems outdated. Yes, we cherish this holiday. But we’d have more cause to give thanks if we valued food more and made better use of our excess.

As a symbol of American abundance, Thanksgiving hints at just how much food there is to squander. And squander we do, from farm to fork. More than 40 percent of all food produced in America is not eaten, according to research by former University of Arizona anthropologist Timothy Jones. That amounts to more than 29 million tons of food waste each year, or enough to fill the Rose Bowl every three days. Nationwide, food scraps make up 17 percent of what we send to landfills.

This waste often goes undetected. “I think that without a doubt, when people say that they don’t waste food, they believe it. There’s a huge disconnect,” says William Rathje, a Stanford archaeologist who ran the University of Arizona Garbage Project for years. “People don’t pay attention to their food waste because it goes straight into the garbage or disposal. It’s not like newspapers that stack up in the garage.”

We live in a culture of excess, and food is no exception. The average American wastes more than half a pound of food per day. I’m no mathematical whiz, but that would be a whole Quarter Pounder at lunch and dinner. When you count what’s put down the disposal, 25 percent of what enters our homes is not eaten, Rathje reports.

And as we can all attest, restaurants’ massive portions fill their large plates, our stomachs, and then their dumpsters. Exceptions to this squandering — like T.G.I. Friday’s “Right Portion, Right Price” menu — are few. Every day, Jones calculates, American restaurants throw away more than 6,000 tons of food, per day!

Missouri City, TX

Neil, et al,
There is a Depression Gardening thread on the Texas Gardening Forum that has some stories of how America survived.

Moss Point, MS(Zone 8b)

I was about to say "Well it doesn't happen much in this house". Then I remembered the left over rice from last week and the sliced peppers that didn't get processed in time. Must clean out the refrigerator. I had perfectly good intentions.

Nurmo, Finland(Zone 4b)

I was three when WWII broke out; so I grew up assuming that the rations Neil quotes were the norm. I think I was nine when I first tasted icecream. Like many of my generation right into my teens I preferred evaporated milk to real cream. I doubt if I tasted coffee til I was nearly twenty. This isn't a hard luck story. I enjoyed my food as a kid.

Eat as a kid not now: dripping sandwiches

Eat as a kid would not eat now: chicken

Like now: seed cake; brussels sprouts

More adventurous: yes, very much. I love snails. This is partly the gardener in me relishing my revenge.

Eat first as an adult: the list is endless. Anything "foreign".

Heard of but not exposed to: sheep's eyeballs.

London, United Kingdom

There is nothing wrong with sheep's eyeballs; maybe they did not have them in Northampton patgeorge, but I have eaten them in the middle east cooked in honey, and they are quite pleasant.
It is just the thought of things that puts people off, having done my survival courses, I eat anything cook anything and enjoy it.
On the north Yorkshire moors there are only three things; sheep, grouse and lost sightseers, which is dangerous to say the least for them, so you soon learn to eat anything up there, heather is a bit chewy!
I do not get on with people who always say I don't like that, then when you ask them if they have ever tried it, they say NO. How can you not like anything if you have never tried it? Plus I have eaten things I was dubious about but still eat it, then tried it by a different cook and it was lovely!
The 1920s depression did not only hit America it also hit a lot of other Countries as well, we had soup kitchens etc. over here, and that was after a brutal War that lasted four years in Europe and a further year in Russia!
Only to have to fight another War in 1939! The only year our services have not been in combat somewhere was in 1958, as the House of Commons was being painted, or so legend has it.
twiggybuds thanks for being honest, most people are not, as they will always deny it.
My waste is either composted or used as pig food, for the farm I go down to.

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

Am loving the stories shared! I know we are so so very wasteful. It's a real shame. And shame on me to :(. I appreciate reminders like yours to value what I have, be more open and more responsible with what we are consuming.

London, United Kingdom

Dear Tir_Na_Nog, all the rich western Countries are guilty, most were told to get their act together by the E.U. some have done so, and some have not.
Germany and Holland are very green, and Britain is getting there slowly. A lot was due to the organic movement which started to grow in the 80s and is now very strong and powerful. People were asking why tomato's did not taste the same, bacon had a funny white scum that came out when you cooked it etc, and where did it come from!
It was the supermarkets (stores), that ruled the roost here, for they had the power over the farmers to make them produce vegetables all the same size and colour, so they would fit in their plastic wrappers/containers. They did not care what was sprayed on them or where they came from, pleasing the shareholders and getting a bonus was more important.
The E.U. could not stop the chain stores power, or indeed the Government and why would they want to, most of the politicians are Chairmans of theses stores! There was however two things more powerful that could; the power of the press over numerous cases of children becoming ill for eating this stuff or obesity, and the Housewives, the consumers who did not want the chemical stuff!
For it is quite simple, the power went to the consumers, if they did not buy it the simple law of supply and demand worked.
The farmers also had a revolt against the stores hold on them; so farmers markets started, then farm shops sprung up, fresh food cheap and you know where it comes from.
The stores fought back by cutting the prices of their chemical foods and made anything organic expensive, even more than it was.
It did not work and the stores were left with full shelves of rubbish food, so they had to do something. A lot suffered badly as they tried to beat the consumers, in the end they lost!
Now it has spread further to; organic meat. free range, organic Chickens and eggs, milk, and in fact everything.
You can still of course get the chemical food, but not many people buy it, and especially not with eggs.
Even our restaurants have had to tow the line; for if they do not use organic products, clearly stating they are from a local source, which must be proved, they do not get in the food magazines and the food guides!
Our meat and fish laws are very strict, any meat you can trace back to the exact farm it came from and when, if it is U.K. meat!
If you are sad enough to shop at a store, they have to label everything; as to where it came from, is it organic or not, or people leave it on the shelf, and will not buy it.
Some things are imported like spices etc. or indeed things that do not grow here, however most people work on a 50 mile carbon footprint, i.e. if it comes from more than 50 miles away then it is not what they want. This does not apply to everything, but vegetables, meat etc.
The rules on waste rubbish (garbage), are also tight, so people don't tend to waste as much as they did, although sadly some people still do.
Here is a frightening thought; in the US the wastage from the actual farm to the plate then the garbage of the consumer is 6-7, this means that 6-7 of the total amount (in weight), of all the produce from the farms is wasted!
That would feed a lot of hungry people, read this.

NEW YORK, Sep 3 (Tierramérica) - ''Do you want these? They are so fresh,'' says Catherine, holding up a bunch of grapes she just pulled out from one of the trash bags piled up on the sidewalk. ''Take this, man. It's good too,'' adds her friend Morlan, holding out a loaf of bread.

Though happy to have found something for dinner, both Catherine, 21, and Morlan, 19, wonder why some edible food is thrown out as garbage in New York City

''They only sell this food to the rich,'' says Catherine pointing to the upscale grocery store that put out the bags.

Inside the store, the manager is visibly upset with Catherine and other young people who are stuffing their backpacks with fruits and vegetables from the trash bags. ''They are picking up garbage,'' says the manager. ''I don't know why they are doing this.''

''I have zero cash right now, and no place to stay,'' Morlan told Tierramérica. ''What do you expect me to do?''

Such scenes are becoming increasingly commonplace on the streets of U.S. cities, despite the enormous quantity of food that the world's most affluent nation produces every year.

Official surveys indicate that every year more than 350 billion pounds (160 billion kg) of edible food is available for human consumption in the United States. Of that total, nearly 100 billion pounds (45 billion kg) - including fresh vegetables, fruits, milk, and grain products - are lost to waste by retailers, restaurants, and consumers.

By contrast, the amount of food required to meet the needs of the hungry is only four billion pounds, it makes you think!
Regards from England.

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

So many threads so little time :)

The eating of wasted food actually has a name can you believe it, meaning it's more wide spread than you'd imagine, "freeganism."

DG thread on expired food bargains.

An old one about the bland taste of grocery store food:

On our easy ability to live a disposable society:

Missouri City, TX

And in that same line of thinking:

I am so amazed that it took me so long to realize that carrot tops, radish tops, etc. make great greens. DW & I love a mix of many greens, so throw it all in the steamer. But I have watched many people tossing all the tops away. - even chopping the leaves off celery. One of the real surprises was that the horseradish tops really add some "zip" to a lettuce based salad. We have used them in enchiladas, too.

I remember Jeff Smith (the Frugal Gormet) saving onion skins, vegetable peelings, etc. to make vegetable stock. Gather all in a cheesecloth and simmer away. He did the same with shellfish shells and casings (shrimp, crawfish, fish skins, etc).

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

I had tried them years ago (carrot tops in salad) just for the hey of it. Then I read somewhere that in large quantities they are bad for you.

Thanks for the reminder so I could look it up. A simple google search shows they are indeed edible and healthy to :)

London, United Kingdom

May I ask how you are going to make not just vegetable, but any sort of stock otherwise?
Unless you buy a stock cube, which will never be the same.
The vegetables no matter what they are and a what the French call a Bouquet Garni, which in English is herbs in a bag, or a bit of of string, tied around them!
Meat stock is made the same way from simply cooking the bones down, which are wonderful with a stock.
Pure marrow and juices from the meat bones, heaven!
Use anything you have, it all adds to the taste!
Regards from gravy land!

Nurmo, Finland(Zone 4b)

Last weekend I made a malt loaf recipe from

It was very nice. However, in order to make it I had first to make some strong tea. I dug out my teapot and cosy from the back of the cupboard. On a whim I decided not to chuck in a couple of teabags, but to use old fashioned leaf tea. Oh bliss! Oh divine nectar! What have I been doing all these years? Teabags shall go to the dustbin where they belong. The old ways are indeed best.


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