[Sca-cooks] OT - Somewhat amusing in light of recent healthyfoodrants

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius.magister at verizon.net
Thu Oct 19 11:47:55 PDT 2006

On Oct 19, 2006, at 1:36 PM, King's Taste Productions wrote:

> If you allow your child to make all the calls in food choices at home,
> they will never develop the manners to go to someone else's house  
> or eat
> in a business meeting setting or any other 'civilized' gathering.  I
> know some kids raised in the SCA that are ever so much more  
> adventurous
> in trying new foods because they have served and eaten at feasts so
> often. They are often surprised with new foods they love, and know  
> it is
> ok to laugh about the stuff you try and don't like without  
> developing a
> 'hate' for that food forevermore.

Hey, it's not just children that behave that way. I see it  
occasionally on this list, and there are few forms of reasonably  
common human behavior that turn me off more than the idea that  
people's food dislikes must become either A) something I should  
remotely care about in any but the broadest academic or business  
sense, and/or B) someone's personal crusade.

>  I know the British Lunch Ladies are having a hard time with the  
> switch
> as well.  You've got to figure that they were raised by parents that
> lived through WWII, when the canned and preserved food was essential.

The post-war rationing was probably the best-publicized, but by no  
mean the first or the greatest, influence on the culture of "bad"  
British cooking, but it did probably put the near-permanent stamp on  
it. Boarding school among the upper classes is probably what made it  
tolerable on a national level. I mean, this may be why they invented  
the stiff upper lip! (Yeah, I know that's not true, but there's a  
certain Spartanism to sending kids away to be raised by adult males  
from age six or seven...)

> We still are getting over our post-war love affair with the canned  
> soup
> and vegetable here in the US.  The schools are no doubt outfitted with
> more microwaves and steamers than steam-jacketed kettles and ovens,  
> not
> to mention all of the menus, purveyors, subsidies (I'm guessing they
> have some sort of national foodstuff supplementation like we do), etc.
> It is tough to switch.  I am sure those districts that take it in  
> stages
> do better with the conversion.

In general, implementing Plan X probably works better in the form of,  
"Let's try Plan X and see if it is doable. Let's see what we can do  
to Plan X to improve it. Plan X is turning out to be OK, so we're  
going to stick with it for a while and see if something better comes  
along," as opposed to, "You're getting Plan X and liking it or else."

It was very instructive to discuss this the high-school-aged Evil  
Spawn. He's not really a serious food maven, but his tastes are  
pretty darned eclectic (given what his crazed parents tend to serve,  
he'd have to be, or starve), and he had some very specific ideas as  
to what is wrong with the food in his school cafeteria, and how he  
would go about fixing it, and it seemed like a pretty dispassionate  
analysis, too. Mainly he said that the single best way to screw up  
any agenda for healthier food is to treat vegetables as badly as  
school cafeterias tend to do. He specifically said he's gathered that  
there are certain vegetables that will stand up to repeated re- 
heating or being held for a couple of hours in a steam tray, and some  
that won't, and that nobody who can't figure this out and act  
accordingly should be trying to serve vegetables to children in whom  
it is in our best interest to instill and encourage a liking for  
vegetables. Well, that was the gist of it... ;-)


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