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How do you resolve (justify?) this food issue?


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If you are someone who buys mainly organic food, who eats as much "real" or "whole" food as possible because you are convicted by it and want to feed yourself and your family what you believe to be the "best", I have a question for you.

 

If you are asked, or even if you volunteer, to make a meal for another family, or if you are preparing food for a crowd, do you buy and prepare the same food you eat, for them? Or do you buy what you think they will eat/want, which means you're buying processed or boxed food, or meat that you would never consider eating etc.?

 

If you are of the latter choice, how do you justify it? Does it seem hypocritical to you, or not?

 

I really struggle with this. I make meals once a month for families in my church in need. I will also be making a meal(s?) for a family in my neighborhood who's husband/daddy has just been deployed for a year to Afghanistan. I am also hosting a Super Bowl party on Sunday. None of these people have the same convictions about food as I do. Since food has gone up in price, and organic was already a high price to begin with, I have struggled to buy what I would buy for my family, for another family. Mainly because I think that if they don't eat that way anyway, if they're not convicted by it, then they won't care that it's "healthy(ier)" and even more realistically, they won't like it. So to me, it feels like a waste - like I'm throwing money away that I don't have. Because of the higher price in foods these days, even what I'm feeding my family isn't something I'd be happy to share, because I know it most likely wouldn't be received well - lots of beans, vegetables and brown rice.

 

But if I'm convicted that there are some things that are just really, really bad for you - even toxic, then why would I prepare meals containing those things, just because the people on the receiving end are either uninformed or apathetic to it? It feels like I'm saying that my own self, as well as my family, is more important than they are. That maybe they aren't "good enough" for organic or something. Like I'm a snob. And I don't want to give that impression in the least.

 

But if they themselves don't eat that way, if chances are very high that they won't care for the taste, then should I still prepare it?

 

I'm torn. What do you do?

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When I feed others outside the family, I simply cook good, wholesome food. I may make something ordinary like brownies, but I prepare them using the same ingredients that I use at home...most of the time that's organic, natural, or beyond organic (sometimes uncertified, kwim?) veg, fruit, meats, etc.

 

That said, I'm not likely to bring an unusual dish to someone who I don't really know. But from-scratch chicken soup or meatloaf or chili are "mainstream" dishes that can be healthful as well as comforting. :001_smile:

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But from-scratch chicken soup or meatloaf or chili are "mainstream" dishes that can be healthful as well as comforting. :001_smile:

 

Of course. And I do make soup a lot for people. A homemade vegetable soup, usually.

 

But do you buy organic meat for the chili, if that's what you would eat? Do you buy organic chicken, if that's what you would eat? Knowing that organic chicken especially is near bank-breaking, and knowing that they could care less whether the chicken was organic or not, but *you* wouldn't eat it otherwise, would you still do it?

 

What if you don't eat meat? Would you still make a lasagne or pot of chili or Chicken Divan, even if it's from scratch, for someone else?

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I don't feel like I have to serve organic to anyone else besides my family. Even the "healthy eaters" that I know look at what my family eats and are amazed at how careful I am with our food. They wouldn't expect me to do the same for them, nor would they really want me to do so. The only people I would make a completely organic meal for are those who have specifically requested it.

 

Generally, I make something that I think the recipient will like, and I try to make it as healthy as possible while still respecting their tastes. That means buying natural, so I don't feel guilty, but not organic unless I know it's actually important to them. So, if I make a pot of chili, maybe I do use the organic stuff, and maybe I don't - they aren't going to know either way, because the taste will be about the same. If I make a salad, though, I will probably use a mixture of organic and not. I would cook a fresh chicken, rather than the frozen, injected kind, but I wouldn't buy organic. If I take ice cream or fruit pops for a dessert, I buy the all-natural stuff, but not organic. Healthier choices, but fitting their style of eating.

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Healthier choices, but fitting their style of eating.

 

This is what I have been doing. But I dunno. It feels like I'm not practicing what I'm preaching, kwim? I am for my family, but not for others. It's bothering me. But to think of the literal cost and people not enjoying what I prepare is... hard to swallow(LOL).

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Of course. And I do make soup a lot for people. A homemade vegetable soup, usually.

 

But do you buy organic meat for the chili, if that's what you would eat? Do you buy organic chicken, if that's what you would eat? Knowing that organic chicken especially is near bank-breaking, and knowing that they could care less whether the chicken was organic or not, but *you* wouldn't eat it otherwise, would you still do it?

 

What if you don't eat meat? Would you still make a lasagne or pot of chili or Chicken Divan, even if it's from scratch, for someone else?

I make whatever they like...whether it's what I would eat or not. For instance (to take this in another direction) I would buy and make organic if someone wanted that...although I almost never eat organic myself. I also make icky mixed-up stuff like casseroles and soups if people want them...but I haven't touched a casserole in fifteen years. My goal is to bless the other family...giving them stuff they won't appreciate or actively dislike seems to negate the whole point of giving them something in the first place.

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This is what I have been doing. But I dunno. It feels like I'm not practicing what I'm preaching, kwim? I am for my family, but not for others. It's bothering me. But to think of the literal cost and people not enjoying what I prepare is... hard to swallow(LOL).

 

Well, do you actually discuss food choices with these people? Or is it that your dc see you making food that isn't organic and you feel like a hypocrite in front of them? If it's the latter, I would explain to them that the point of taking a meal is to take food the people will enjoy eating. You don't have to make it organic for it to be good for them. You don't have to buy the food full of artificial stuff, either, just because they usually eat that way. Just make something they will eat and appreciate. That's the point, after all. Your job is to make their lives easier. Just remember - unless they already eat that way, if you served them organic rice and lentils, with garlic-roasted veggies on the side, probably the mom would eat it, the dad would ask what it was and then make PBJ, and the kids would refuse to come to the table at all because it looked or smelled "weird." Better to send something they'll eat, and make their lives easier. :)

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I wonder about the same.

 

I generally cook from my pantry. So food from my house is going to be made from organic milk, eggs, whole wheat flour, organic brown rice, etc. We rarely eat meat but when we do it's organic or at least no-antibiotics or growth hormones. I do NOT buy organic, grass-fed meat when I make a meal for someone else, though. For all I know, half of it will be thrown out and I can't think of it being wasted. If we get take out it's not going to be organic for us, either, so I can't see spending that much money when the other person does not care about organic.

 

Where I struggle a bit more is what to do when I am having a lot of company staying in our house. I cringe when I see my in-laws going through over a dozen eggs making omelets when the eggs cost $4.50 a dozen and I know they buy the regular kind at their house. Or when we have other family that stay and use up a ton of milk and cheese (also organic), things that are expensive but that we normally use very sparingly and last a long time. It might seem stingy but I wouldn't be able to afford buying these things for our family, if we went through them that fast.

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It feels like I'm not practicing what I'm preaching, kwim?.

 

Don't "preach" with food. It's the fastest way to come across as a snob. Don't foist your opinions about food -- and that's all they are, opinions -- on others. And don't be anxious about it. Just be gracious. Live and let live when it comes to food.

 

I had to learn this the hard way. My mom's whole life revolves around making sure everyone who enters her house leaves with a full stomach. She spends all her time in the kitchen. Well, she had gall bladder surgery a couple of years ago. She needed meals provided while she was recuperating. Her cooking habits and food choices are so different from mine, that it was really hard to bring meals to my own family. And I don't even buy organic. I couldn't drop off a fully-cooked steak, kwim? It was completely impractical, but my dad eats a lot of steak. It was one of those times where I wasn't really helping by bringing food they wouldn't eat. Not that I didn't try, at first. I brought a few meals that *I* would have loved to have someone bring me if I were out of commission, but they didn't suit my parents at all.

 

It's not like there's no happy medium between organic and Hamburger Helper. Surely there's something in your repertoire that the random dinner guest or meal recipient would enjoy. Make something that is universally yummy and just happens to be healthy-shmealthy. If the recipient asks for the recipe afterward, give him/her your "organic" version -- even if you didn't make it with organic ingredients this time around.

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I would not buy most organic foods for other people. I buy organic root vegetables for myself, and would for a group if they aren't too much extra. I can't afford organic butter and I buy raw milk, right now. I actually don't use the raw milk for many other people. (Just others that use the same source as me.) I don't think there's anything wrong with serving others what they purchase themselves. Especially if at some point, you will resent giving the "extra" to families that don't really care.

That's my take, at least:-)

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I just find a compromise that feels ok to me. I try and keep my diet very clean, and next, my family's (but I already have to compromise for them to appeal to their taste). I cook for about 15 vegetarians twice a week. I am fine with vegetarian- my dh is vego and I was for years, I am fine with cooking vego meals- but this is a business for me and for the $10 a meal that they pay me- main meal, dessert and drinks- I cannot afford to buy them organic, and I tend to cook one pot meals, or curry and rice, or soup and bread, sometimes pasta. But it's often not food I would eat and I even apologised the other day for the basic pasta dish I made, because I thought it was stodgy bachelor food. However, half the people are single and the meals I cook are often the best meals they get all week- and they loved the pasta glug! (I also make things like Thai Green Curry- its not all really basic fare). I don't eat sugar yet I give them ice cream or other super sweet, often unhealthy desserts- packet puddings- and they also like Coke and I wouldn't give it to my kids or drink it myself.

But its not my job to change them. There are ingredients I wont use, for example I wouldnt use artificial sugars, buy diet sodas (aspartane is poison) and I have stopped using TVP because I think its unhealthy.

 

Dont forget the hidden ingredient in food- the love you pour into it. It transforms it!

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If I was vegetarian, I would not prepare meat for others. I think it's too much to ask someone to do that.

 

I try to prepare mostly organic, whole foods in my house. Cost has become a difficult factor. Knowing that many people do not stick with a totally organic diet, I don't stick to organic for meals I might prepare for a family in need of a meal. I may prepare some parts of meals with organic ingredients, it depends on what's on special and whether I'm taking short cuts to prepare amounts that allow me to save a portion for my family too.

 

I may not use organic for these meals, but I do not use processed food--I buy raw meat and vegetables. Nothing from a can or box. That's cheaper anyway.

 

Because I know how to deal with multiple allergies and diet restrictions, I'm on the list at my church as the person to call when the meal has to be "special". No one has asked for an all organic meal.

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But you mentioned the Super Bowl Party. You are the one to be left dealing with the leftovers. I would buy the stuff you feed your family and serve it for that event. I always look around at food and feel bad to be throwing it away, even after it has sat in the fridge for many days with no one eating it.

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We eat pretty much a whole foods diet in my house and I have an appreciation for organic things. Unfortunately, I am not able to afford to buy organic food. At one point, I had tried to make the switch, but I got discouraged by all the articles I saw indicating that maybe organic food still has pesticides on it and that the free range chicken isn't really free range. It seems the food companies are able to always work their way around the labelling laws. That kind of information made me feel that it really wasn't worth the huge sacrifice to buy organic.

 

That being said, if you were preparing a meal for my family, I wouldn't expect or even appreciate it being organic because we don't eat that way on a regular basis. So, in my mind, it's kind of pointless to eat one organic meal. I don't see that as having any kind of benefit unless we were able to eat that way all the time. I would think it really sweet of you to treat us so well, but it wouldn't have more value to me than a regularly prepared meal.

 

Lisa

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If I was vegetarian, I would not prepare meat for others. I think it's too much to ask someone to do that.

 

 

 

Now if I said that, my husband and kids would be awful hungry! ;)

 

I've been a vegetarian since my early teens - and I'm married to a guy who would happily push the veggies off his plate and eat nothing but a bbq'ed slab of cow. :tongue_smilie:

 

Do I like preparing steak for him? Nope. Do I enjoy stogging my hands in the hamburg to make up the meatloaf for the kids? Nope.

 

But I do it - because it's for them, not me.....I'm not the militant veggie who runs around shoving PETA literature in everyone's faces. I've always said that it's *their* choice (hubby and kids) ....ds10 and dh aren't interested at all...dd12 has experimented a few times with giving up meat and has gone back.... :)

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My take: we eat almost exclusively organic, and try to stick to locally raised meat and veggies, and buy raw dairy. Most families that I have cooked for also eat similar diets, though they've had their own peculiarities that I have kept in mind (vegetarian, poultry allergic, etc.), so it's probably not as much of a question in my mind as yours.

 

Anyway, I cook from my pantry, as Penelope said. So, yes, anything I make would probably be mainly organic. That wouldn't stop me from making chicken and dumplings and a pan of brownies, though.

 

If I had to go out and buy something for whatever I was making, it would probably be a dilemma. In the end, though, I do not wish to support conventional farming with my purchase.

 

(The only exception to the above is the raw milk, which I would not serve to others without asking first. But my milk is less expensive than a gallon of regular grocery store milk.)

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Now if I said that, my husband and kids would be awful hungry! ;)

 

I've been a vegetarian since my early teens - and I'm married to a guy who would happily push the veggies off his plate and eat nothing but a bbq'ed slab of cow. :tongue_smilie:

 

Do I like preparing steak for him? Nope. Do I enjoy stogging my hands in the hamburg to make up the meatloaf for the kids? Nope.

 

But I do it - because it's for them, not me.....I'm not the militant veggie who runs around shoving PETA literature in everyone's faces. I've always said that it's *their* choice (hubby and kids) ....ds10 and dh aren't interested at all...dd12 has experimented a few times with giving up meat and has gone back.... :)

 

Heehee. When I was vegetarian, I used to cook meat for other people, too. It was always strange for me, though, because I could never be sure how it tasted and serving a meal not knowing how it tastes is... weird for me.

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my statement about asking vegetarians to prepare non vegetarian meals was made with the belief that the vegetarian lived in a vegetarian household or at least a home with a kitchen free of meat. I don't think persons who keep a vegetarian kitchen should be expected to prepare meat. If they choose to on their own fine, but expecting them to prepare meat, when they don't ever is ridiculous.

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For a party in my own home, I buy the same quality that I feed my own family.

 

Food that is taken to another family, I give what they would like, even if it is processed and nasty.

 

My food conflict is with my kids. we were at a friend's house, and she wanted my son to try this new great flavor of ice cream. He read the label and said, "I can't taste this. It has HFCS in it." She got defensive about how hard it is to find anything without HFCS. We looked incredibly rude.

 

I don't know what to do in those situations. Dd also refuses the snacks at Girl Scouts, because of all the dyes and preservatives they contain. This is an uncomfortable situation as well.

 

Ds often has to buy the food for Boy Scout camp outs. He ends up buying white bread, sugar peanut butter, HFCS syrup and other things that he won't eat himself, because the other boys would starve on what Ds eats. He brings separate food for himself. This is allowed because he is the only vegetarian in the troop. He would share his food with the other boys, but none of them want goat cheese pizza and beans.

 

I know this is a less than ideal way to handle the situation, but I really don't know what a better solution would be.

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Now if I said that, my husband and kids would be awful hungry! ;)

 

I've been a vegetarian since my early teens - and I'm married to a guy who would happily push the veggies off his plate and eat nothing but a bbq'ed slab of cow. :tongue_smilie:

 

Do I like preparing steak for him? Nope. Do I enjoy stogging my hands in the hamburg to make up the meatloaf for the kids? Nope.

 

But I do it - because it's for them, not me.....I'm not the militant veggie who runs around shoving PETA literature in everyone's faces. I've always said that it's *their* choice (hubby and kids) ....ds10 and dh aren't interested at all...dd12 has experimented a few times with giving up meat and has gone back.... :)

 

Heehee. When I was vegetarian, I used to cook meat for other people, too. It was always strange for me, though, because I could never be sure how it tasted and serving a meal not knowing how it tastes is... weird for me.

 

Yeah I spend a lot of time sniffing meat dishes. :w00t:

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When you are bringing a meal to a family in an effort to serve them during a difficult time such as a new baby or illness, just call them and ask them what they like and if there are any restrictions. If they don't say, "We only eat organic." Then don't worry about it. The idea is to serve THEM. Make something they would like and don't waste your money on organic for someone who doesn't care. I don't give organic two seconds thought, don't care at all. So if you were bringing ME a meal, I would think it silly for you to bring all organic. There would be no offense at all.

 

I would however, be annoyed if you broght me something vegetarian just because you were a vegetarian - NO THANKS! So, I would suggest that if you are a vegetarian and can't stomach making a meal for a family who eats meat - just get them take out. You won't have to prepare it and be grossed out and they will get something they like. Call them and ask, "What's your favorite take out?" I would love it if someone did that for me when I was sick!

 

Oh and BTW....BEEF! It's what's for dinner!

(beef farmer here)

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my statement about asking vegetarians to prepare non vegetarian meals was made with the belief that the vegetarian lived in a vegetarian household or at least a home with a kitchen free of meat. I don't think persons who keep a vegetarian kitchen should be expected to prepare meat. If they choose to on their own fine, but expecting them to prepare meat, when they don't ever is ridiculous.

 

No worries, I totally get what you're saying - that's a diff situation. :)

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Ok. I buy lots of organic...and I am a foodie. I also buy plenty of non organic, depending on what it is... There is no huge taste difference between a good veggie soup made with organic ingredients, Vs non. I mean, serisouly. On what planet is a lovingly prepared soup made for a sick friend or new mother with transitional or non-organic carrots 'nasty tasting'?

 

Honestly, if one can't think of *something* that meets their inner soul criteria, and can taste good to a new mother or sick friend, why would one even bother going to the trouble of making anything at all? Resentment tastes yucky. Send a card. Or babysit for them, or offer to fold their laundry.

Edited by LibraryLover
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If you are referring to my post, I am certainly not talking about lovingly made vegetable soup.

 

I have friends who do not eat any vegetables in any form, only highly processed food.

 

When they are sick, or have a death in the family, I bring them what they like, and will eat, and what will actually be helpful to them.

 

Who cares if I think it is nasty.

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If you are someone who buys mainly organic food, who eats as much "real" or "whole" food as possible because you are convicted by it and want to feed yourself and your family what you believe to be the "best", I have a question for you.

 

If you are asked, or even if you volunteer, to make a meal for another family, or if you are preparing food for a crowd, do you buy and prepare the same food you eat, for them? Or do you buy what you think they will eat/want, which means you're buying processed or boxed food, or meat that you would never consider eating etc.?

 

If you are of the latter choice, how do you justify it? Does it seem hypocritical to you, or not?

 

I really struggle with this. I make meals once a month for families in my church in need. I will also be making a meal(s?) for a family in my neighborhood who's husband/daddy has just been deployed for a year to Afghanistan. I am also hosting a Super Bowl party on Sunday. None of these people have the same convictions about food as I do. Since food has gone up in price, and organic was already a high price to begin with, I have struggled to buy what I would buy for my family, for another family. Mainly because I think that if they don't eat that way anyway, if they're not convicted by it, then they won't care that it's "healthy(ier)" and even more realistically, they won't like it. So to me, it feels like a waste - like I'm throwing money away that I don't have. Because of the higher price in foods these days, even what I'm feeding my family isn't something I'd be happy to share, because I know it most likely wouldn't be received well - lots of beans, vegetables and brown rice.

 

But if I'm convicted that there are some things that are just really, really bad for you - even toxic, then why would I prepare meals containing those things, just because the people on the receiving end are either uninformed or apathetic to it? It feels like I'm saying that my own self, as well as my family, is more important than they are. That maybe they aren't "good enough" for organic or something. Like I'm a snob. And I don't want to give that impression in the least.

 

But if they themselves don't eat that way, if chances are very high that they won't care for the taste, then should I still prepare it?

 

I'm torn. What do you do?

do you remember how long it took to get your taste buds to appreciate some of your healthier cooking? Some things were a no-brainer and didnt' really taste differently, but other things took a while to adjust. This is what I keep in mind when I'm cooking for others. What we've grown accustomed too is sometimes ultra foreign and not good tasting ot those who still eat velveeta and the like.

 

The meals you're making for other people are generally because they're ill, going through a rough time, etc. It's not to time make them further uncomfortable. If you can, ask what they like, it will give you some ideas. If you've got an organic ingrediant or two in it that won't be obviious go ahead and add it--like spices.

 

Don't feel snobbish, or like you're not taking care of them. You're doing soemthing to make their life easier and more bearable.

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When I feed others outside the family, I simply cook good, wholesome food. I may make something ordinary like brownies, but I prepare them using the same ingredients that I use at home...most of the time that's organic, natural, or beyond organic (sometimes uncertified, kwim?) veg, fruit, meats, etc.

 

That said, I'm not likely to bring an unusual dish to someone who I don't really know. But from-scratch chicken soup or meatloaf or chili are "mainstream" dishes that can be healthful as well as comforting. :001_smile:

 

 

Whenever I hear you talk about cooking, I want to move to Texas and have a baby. Just to get somethin'. Probably a bit too much work for a meal, though...;)

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If you are referring to my post, I am certainly not talking about lovingly made vegetable soup.

 

I have friends who do not eat any vegetables in any form, only highly processed food.

 

When they are sick, or have a death in the family, I bring them what they like, and will eat, and what will actually be helpful to them.

 

Who cares if I think it is nasty.

 

Exactly. If you're going to comfort a friend, comfort them.

 

Not to mention "Organic is such a gray area these days. So much 'organic' food comes straight from China.

 

I was not referring to your post, btw.

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This is what I have been doing. But I dunno. It feels like I'm not practicing what I'm preaching, kwim? I am for my family, but not for others. It's bothering me. But to think of the literal cost and people not enjoying what I prepare is... hard to swallow(LOL).

 

I think you're just not preaching what you're practicing. (And I think that's OK.)

 

Do you want to be a health-food evangelist? Then you should cook for others like you cook for your family.

 

Otherwise, cook something they would like, maybe a little healthier than they would normally cook. This is what I do. If I'm cooking for someone who is already natural/organic, I cook the same way I cook for my family. Otherwise, I feel it's a waste of money and good food.

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As someone who doesn't do much organic, and having looked at the prices, I would be horrified if someone spent that much money on a meal for us! :) I do want to learn to eat healthier, and we make babysteps, but budgets are tight everywhere ... I would feel guilty if someone spent more on a meal for us than I normally would.

 

Does that help?

 

Another option ... are there good take-out or delivery places in your area? Someplace that you can get gift cards to? I know, after our first baby was born (and I was still sick as a dog and very finicky about food), some folks got us meal gift cards. That was actually a GREAT gift. It was a fun place that we don't usually order from, but still probably cheaper than if they'd gone out of their way to get the pricey store ingredients. A sort of compromise.

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I don't eat organic food.

 

I have a friend who does. If she made me a meal, I would NOT want her to feed me organic food if it was as expensive as you say.

 

I probably would not like the taste of the food she eats (i.e. I can't stand whole wheat bread, etc) and I would feel uncomfortable knowing that she spent more than she could afford on food I don't even feel strongly about.

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:iagree:

 

Don't "preach" with food. It's the fastest way to come across as a snob. Don't foist your opinions about food -- and that's all they are, opinions -- on others. And don't be anxious about it. Just be gracious. Live and let live when it comes to food.

 

It's not like there's no happy medium between organic and Hamburger Helper. Surely there's something in your repertoire that the random dinner guest or meal recipient would enjoy. Make something that is universally yummy and just happens to be healthy-shmealthy. If the recipient asks for the recipe afterward, give him/her your "organic" version -- even if you didn't make it with organic ingredients this time around.

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Ok. I buy lots of organic...and I am a foodie. I also buy plenty of non organic, depending on what it is... There is no huge taste difference between a good veggie soup made with organic ingredients, Vs non. I mean, serisouly. On what planet is a lovingly prepared soup made for a sick friend or new mother with transitional or non-organic carrots 'nasty tasting'?

 

Honestly, if one can't think of *something* that meets their inner soul criteria, and can taste good to a new mother or sick friend, why would one even bother going to the trouble of making anything at all? Resentment tastes yucky. Send a card. Or babysit for them, or offer to fold their laundry.

 

I'm sorry. This seems like a pretty harsh tone to me. I must not have communicated properly.

 

I have no problem making non-organic food items. I can't afford to make *everything* organic, even for my own family. There are staples that I try my best not to stray from, but even then, if money it tight, a gallon of regular milk has been known to make an appearance in my home.

 

I said that I make vegetable soup often for people.

 

Not everyone likes veggies. Not everyone likes whole-grain bread. So I wonder about giving these to a family - especially with the amount of processed foods that are consumed.

 

I know that lasagna is a comfort food. If I use organic beef in mine, would I buy organic beef for others even if they don't care one way or the other?

 

I think you are making a huge leap to suggest there would be resentment in making a meal for someone else. Nothing could be further from the truth. I tried to communicate, and apparently poorly, that I want to make sure I'm giving others what they want while still holding on to what I believe to be healthful. It's called concern for others, not resentment.

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But you mentioned the Super Bowl Party. You are the one to be left dealing with the leftovers. I would buy the stuff you feed your family and serve it for that event. I always look around at food and feel bad to be throwing it away, even after it has sat in the fridge for many days with no one eating it.

 

Yes, that's a good point. Although I am having others bring things too. Someone wants to bring bacon wrapped wienies which *grosses* me out. But they want to bring it, so who am I to stop them? My husband will probably bow down at their feet because he loves that kind of stuff and I never make it, LOL. For that stuff, I'll just have the people who brought it take the leftovers back with them.

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I'm sorry. This seems like a pretty harsh tone to me. I must not have communicated properly.

 

I have no problem making non-organic food items. I can't afford to make *everything* organic, even for my own family. There are staples that I try my best not to stray from, but even then, if money it tight, a gallon of regular milk has been known to make an appearance in my home.

 

I said that I make vegetable soup often for people.

 

Not everyone likes veggies. Not everyone likes whole-grain bread. So I wonder about giving these to a family - especially with the amount of processed foods that are consumed.

 

I know that lasagna is a comfort food. If I use organic beef in mine, would I buy organic beef for others even if they don't care one way or the other?

 

I think you are making a huge leap to suggest there would be resentment in making a meal for someone else. Nothing could be further from the truth. I tried to communicate, and apparently poorly, that I want to make sure I'm giving others what they want while still holding on to what I believe to be healthful. It's called concern for others, not resentment.

 

 

I think you might consider finding another way to help, since your food convictions are so different from your friends'. Maybe they need someone to drive them somewhere, or maybe they need someone to take a child for the afternoon. Food is a nice way to help, but not the only way.

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I forgot to mention the lasagna. If I couldn't afford to use grass fed beef for a friend, I would not use regular beef, because I don't supoort factory farming.

 

But, I might make them a veggie lasanga, or if I knew they wouldn't like it, I would make my family a veggie lasagna that week, and give them the beef one. If I were totally broke and wasn't serving my family any grass fed beef that month and the only thing they would eat has to have beef in it, I would offer to babysit. Or something.

 

I also would have no problem making bread with organic white or unbleached flour, either, because lots of times I find organic white flour works better in some recipes.

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I think you're just not preaching what you're practicing. (And I think that's OK.)

 

 

 

OK. I need to think on this. If I understand correctly, are you saying that essentially I need to say that X is the way I cook. So if you are OK with receiving X, then I am more than happy to provide a meal for you. But if you are not OK with X, then I need to bow out or do something else? That way it's known up front what I will and won't do?

 

Otherwise, it's the hypocrisy I'm talking about. It would be no different than saying that I'm of a particular religious belief, no one else around me is of that same belief, so therefore I would go ahead and join in on the other religious groups when I'm out, but when I'm in my home, I practice my own religious conviction, correct?

 

Yes. That's my point. And besides, if I'm preparing food one way for others and not for myself, and the others don't know my convictions because they are strangers, it would look hypocritical to them once they found out. They'd probably wonder why I brought them what I did when I wouldn't eat it myself. Either that, or they would assume I eat that way and bring me that kind of stuff when I'm in need.

 

But.

 

At the same time this seems so snobby to me. And I just want to help others, kwim? Where is that balance? That's what I'm wrestling with.

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OK. I need to think on this. If I understand correctly, are you saying that essentially I need to say that X is the way I cook. So if you are OK with receiving X, then I am more than happy to provide a meal for you. But if you are not OK with X, then I need to bow out or do something else? That way it's known up front what I will and won't do?

 

...

No, I think what she's saying is that it's not hypocritical to not push your food preferences on someone else, by providing a meal that you know they would enjoy, while it is absolutely not something you would provide for your own family.

 

Rather like the bacon-wrapped weiners. You're not preaching about somebody bringing something you find ghastly to a potluck, just choosing not to eat it. (And, I think we're married to the same guy)

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My goal is to bless the other family...giving them stuff they won't appreciate or actively dislike seems to negate the whole point of giving them something in the first place.

 

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

 

If the goal is to take a meal to someone who is sick, out of work, just had a baby, etc. Then what good is it to take something that they won't eat. For me it would cause 2 problems: Guilt for throwing away a meal you worked hard on, and 2: I STILL have to feed my family.

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At the same time this seems so snobby to me. And I just want to help others, kwim? Where is that balance? That's what I'm wrestling with.

You have a very good point, comparing it to religions. If you were Kosher, would people think you were snobby if you wouldn't cook unkosher foods? If you were Muslim, would people be upset when pork was not cooked? If you were Hindu, would people think you were snobby for not making beef?

 

No.

 

They would appreciate the gift of food, and if they didn't, then they are rude and ungracious. That is not your problem, it's theirs.

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Janna, I usually compromise. Would I make something out of a box if I didn't do that for my own family? No. But, I would substitute non-organic ingredients if organic would break the bank. I will make things from my pantry, such as whole grain bread from my organic wheatberries. If I know that a family is so "white-bread" that they couldn't stomach a full-whole grain bread, I might do a half-and-half for them. I do, however, try to make things from scratch. If I have to buy something, I will end up with non-organic ingredients.

 

I have cooked for many families in difficult situations and they have all expressed appreciation for the love that comes with a home-cooked meal. Several families were overjoyed with the fact that I brought a substantial beef main dish because they had been receiving either takout, chicken or pasta for several weeks.

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:iagree::iagree::iagree:

 

If the goal is to take a meal to someone who is sick, out of work, just had a baby, etc. Then what good is it to take something that they won't eat. For me it would cause 2 problems: Guilt for throwing away a meal you worked hard on, and 2: I STILL have to feed my family.

 

I understand this. I do. I have thought this way and still do a lot of times. But I also wonder if it is my responsibility whether they choose to throw out a meal that was prepared for them, regardless of what it was. In that regard, I feel like *they* are the food snobs, kwim?

 

When we had our baby in May, we had a lot of meals brought to us. The people in my Life group already knew how we ate and they made meals accordingly which I was soooooooo grateful for. But there were others, who didn't know us well, that brought us meals that we never would have eaten otherwise. I could not bring myself to throw away the food, knowing that someone purchased the food and prepared it on my behalf. No way could I do that. So we ate it. Dh and the kids ate considerably more of it than I did, but we still ate it.

 

So I guess now I'm wondering why that should be any different for someone else who happens to be brought vegetables and brown rice.

 

I'm just thinking outloud here, not directed at you Cin, or anyone else in particular. This thread is helping me process, which I appreciate.

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I understand this. I do. I have thought this way and still do a lot of times. But I also wonder if it is my responsibility whether they choose to throw out a meal that was prepared for them, regardless of what it was. In that regard, I feel like *they* are the food snobs, kwim?

 

When we had our baby in May, we had a lot of meals brought to us. The people in my Life group already knew how we ate and they made meals accordingly which I was soooooooo grateful for. But there were others, who didn't know us well, that brought us meals that we never would have eaten otherwise. I could not bring myself to throw away the food, knowing that someone purchased the food and prepared it on my behalf. No way could I do that. So we ate it. Dh and the kids ate considerably more of it than I did, but we still ate it.

 

So I guess now I'm wondering why that should be any different for someone else who happens to be brought vegetables and brown rice.

 

I'm just thinking outloud here, not directed at you Cin, or anyone else in particular. This thread is helping me process, which I appreciate.

I've never actually dictated what a family bring me when they were bringing me a meal...the only thing I've ever asked is that no green peppers be included (I don't think I'm allergic or anything but they actually make me throw up if I eat them, unfortunately).

 

I got a few meals I liked, and a lot I didn't. For the most part we ate the meals we didn't like...we appreciated the thought involved, but there were a few that I just really, really couldn't tolerate (all involved green peppers!:)).

 

I think that you should just do whatever works best for you. If your commitment to the types of food you eat is especially strong, then I would try to prepare the same standard of foods for your friends...while still trying to prepare them something they like (if possible).

 

If you are committed to these foods for your family, but feel that others should be able to consume whatever types of foods they want, then prepare them what they would like best, even if it's loaded with high-fructose corn syrup and aspartame (both things I consume and feel find about consuming).

 

I think you just really need to decide how important this issue is to you.

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That being said, if you were preparing a meal for my family, I wouldn't expect or even appreciate it being organic because we don't eat that way on a regular basis. So, in my mind, it's kind of pointless to eat one organic meal. I don't see that as having any kind of benefit unless we were able to eat that way all the time. I would think it really sweet of you to treat us so well, but it wouldn't have more value to me than a regularly prepared meal.
That is exactly what I was trying to say.
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. . . their eating preferences AND your convictions, budget, and habits.

 

Who doesn't eat spaghetti? Spaghetti can be healthy, homemade, wholesome, organic, even vegetarian, AND considered tasty even by someone who buys Hamburger Helper. And you can make it for under four dollars, even if you buy all organic, healthy ingredients. Or homemade pizza! Sure, that locally-made organic mozzarella is a little expensive, but I'm skimpy with the cheese anyway, and I've never EVER had a complaint about my pizza. (Except from my BCR, but we don't have to talk about that.)

 

I would start from there--start keeping a mental list of widely accessible meals that don't break the bank but can still keep to your convictions. Whenever you're in a position to provide food, try to figure out which of the meals on that list will be most likely to be eaten by that family. You can certainly ask, "I was planning to make blah blah blah. Is that ok? I know people have all kinds of allergies and stuff these days . . . "

 

I'm not in a financial position to buy ONLY from the organic, free range, farmer's market crowd. So I'd feel comfortable sending someone an apple pie made with conventionally grown apples, because I buy organic apples for myself only rarely. But for things that I do always buy for myself, I would use those ingredients for others--free range eggs, hormone-free milk, whatever.

 

Finances are always a consideration, and I don't think it dishonors anyone to try to keep the cost of a donated meal reasonable. I wouldn't, say, go out and buy caged-hen eggs just to make the quiche I'm making a little cheaper; if the cost of the quiche were bothering me, I'd make . . . I don't know, stir-fry or something instead. I certainly wouldn't make anyone a roasted organic chicken, because I can't afford to make that for MY family. And I wouldn't feel bad about NOT making chicken--even if I knew it were their favorite meal--because it's just not one of the options. There's lots of other good options, and I'm not going to worry about the ones that are bad options, for whatever reason they happen to be bad options.

 

I'm not trying to be difficult about it, but I just don't think it has to be as much of a dilemma as you're making it. Make what you can afford to make, what you like to make, what you're able to make, taking into account their tastes as best you are able. You don't have to take into account every. possible. detail. of the meal. You do your best, and you move on.

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I would however, be annoyed if you broght me something vegetarian just because you were a vegetarian - NO THANKS!

 

:eek:

 

I hope everyone doesn't feel that way. I am not a vegetarian but I bought a friend and her family a pot of Pasta Fagioli with some crusty fresh bread, a salad and a plate of brownies.

 

In my mind, I was making something that my kids LOVE and since she has 5 kids I thought they might like it too. It is also economical and at the time, I had very little extra.

 

I made a batch of homemade marinara sauce, then cooked a pot of beans, boiled some pasta mixed the beans, sauce (+water to make it soupier), pasta, parmesan cheese, black pepper and salt.

 

I am glad they didn't say NO THANKS! to me, I wanted to make something I thought they would all like that fit in my budget. She did ask me for the recipe too, I hope she wasn't just being polite. I also hope her family didn't ask where the meat was! If I really thought harder about it, thinking back, I could have thrown some sausage in the pot and (especially after reading this thread!) I will do that if I ever make that dish again!

 

FWIW,

 

I try to do what another poster already said, make a happy medium between hamburger helper and all organic.

 

I teach cooking classes to elementary school age children and I buy wholesome ingredients but they are almost never organic unless the price is very similar. I would do the same for others that I prepare meals for.

Edited by Jumping In Puddles
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You have a very good point, comparing it to religions. If you were Kosher, would people think you were snobby if you wouldn't cook unkosher foods? If you were Muslim, would people be upset when pork was not cooked? If you were Hindu, would people think you were snobby for not making beef?

 

No.

 

They would appreciate the gift of food, and if they didn't, then they are rude and ungracious. That is not your problem, it's theirs.

 

I understand this. I do. I have thought this way and still do a lot of times. But I also wonder if it is my responsibility whether they choose to throw out a meal that was prepared for them, regardless of what it was. In that regard, I feel like *they* are the food snobs, kwim?

 

When we had our baby in May, we had a lot of meals brought to us. The people in my Life group already knew how we ate and they made meals accordingly which I was soooooooo grateful for. But there were others, who didn't know us well, that brought us meals that we never would have eaten otherwise. I could not bring myself to throw away the food, knowing that someone purchased the food and prepared it on my behalf. No way could I do that. So we ate it. Dh and the kids ate considerably more of it than I did, but we still ate it.

 

So I guess now I'm wondering why that should be any different for someone else who happens to be brought vegetables and brown rice.

 

I'm just thinking outloud here, not directed at you Cin, or anyone else in particular. This thread is helping me process, which I appreciate.

I included what I said earlier.

 

If you believe that certain foods are terribly bad, then you are not responsible to serve those foods to anyone. If the recipients cannot be grateful, then THEY are in the wrong, not you. Why would it be kinder to make something you consider unhealthy?

 

My sil is an all natural, holistic, nearly hippie. I would NEVER expect her to make me something she, herself, would not eat. I would NEVER lift my nose at the teas and concoctions she offers. They are meant to help me, they are given with the greatest of intentions, given with love. I will choke it down if I have too and trust that she is doing what she feels is best.

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. . . that *absolutely* everyone eats (my friend that's allergic to tomatoes doesn't) than as an example of something that even people who eat Hamburger Helper eat. The point isn't that everyone will eat spaghetti, but that there are some meals that vegetarians and non-vegetarians, that healthy-type and canned-food-type people can agree on.

 

You, I'd make quiche!!

 

I'm a little stymied, though, by katemary63's assertion that she would be offended by receiving a meal without meat in it. There are enough meat-free meals that are commonly eaten by non-vegetarians that I assumed even confirmed meat-eaters take a night off now and again. I guess not.

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