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Getting On : Health

Malnutrition, Bad Diets, Bad Food in The Family

from Sydney - Wednesday, March 08, 2006
accessed 1316 times

Was I the only one who had diets like this? I'm told that I most likely don't remember the facts properly as I was age 3-10 when most of this happen. What was your food like?

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from sar
Monday, March 13, 2006 - 13:32


Depended on the home and the country. Indonesia was healthy and nutritious, it just tasted disgusting, the slimy oatmeal with worms floating in it (extra protein) and the big boiled chunks of tempe. The husky brown rice would normally have weasels in it too - also extra protein, and rocks or clumps of dirt. We were also forced to eat very large portions and I would frequently puke after breakfast. In Thailand we had good contacts and the JETTs doing the cooking, so we ate fab. Totally depended on the home.
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From Weasels are good with ketchup!
Monday, March 13, 2006, 13:41


Weasels in your rice? Are you sure they weren't weevils?(reply to this comment

From sar
Monday, March 13, 2006, 14:00

hehehe, ur right. I thought something wasn't right about the spelling there, but I couldn't figure it out. hehe. Ta. We called them weasels anyway tho.(reply to this comment
From Lesser of Two Weevils
Monday, March 13, 2006, 14:10

I can't help it, but while we're talking about the stuff we don't have to deal with anymore, let me say how much I don't miss sarna or chilblains.(reply to this comment
From sar
Monday, March 13, 2006, 14:26


What's sarna?(reply to this comment

From Lesser of Two Weevils
Monday, March 13, 2006, 14:50


Sarna is a contagious skin disease caused by a small parasite.

(reply to this comment

from Nancy
Monday, March 13, 2006 - 12:57

You forgot bad hair.
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from exister
Monday, March 13, 2006 - 07:02


What made matters even worse was that the inferiority of the food stuffs was often compounded by the gross incompetence and ignorance of the cooks with truly ghastly results. Anyone who was in Mexico in the late 80s has to have encountered the infamous "Resistol yogurt," which resulted from general carelesness in the yogurt making process. My Mom on the other hand was a master of yogurt making. The process involved paying close attention to ingredient ratios before wrapping the whole works in a blanket for a night in an unlit oven.

Actually my Mom and I engaged in a sort of culinary conspiracy to create good food wherever we went. This worked out pretty good for me since it usually meant spending my days alone in the kitchen, and as long the chicken stir fry and chocolate peach upside down cake kept rolling out I was free to stay in the kitchen and think as many "thoughts of the Devil" as I pleased. This state of affairs would usually last until my Mom was accused of being proud or vain or whatever the sinful emotion du jour was, which more often than not resulted in my parents getting shipped to some festering border hell hole and me getting sent to a Victor program. And they wondered why their food usually sucked...
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From katrim4
Monday, March 13, 2006, 07:44


She must have ended that conspiracy by the time she got sent to our festering border hole in Reynosa 'cause all I can ever remember her cooking was "leftover soup". In my humble opinion soup should never contain leftover liver in it :-). It was about the most disgusting soup I've ever eaten, unless I count the 'TYJ soup' that they served in Saltillo.

She was a good provisioner though. Going out with her usually meant at least one good meal before going home.(reply to this comment

From exister
Monday, March 13, 2006, 08:00


And if you had made enough loot for the day she might have even treated you to a movie that hadn't been filtered through the fascists at WS, or wait, maybe that was just our little secret.

As I recall the food in Reynosa was pretty good until the finances went all to hell. I specifically recall baking tasty raisin bread and spending hours on a massive beef roast for ya. I think we need to pray over you and rebuke that spirit of remembering only the bad. After all, how the heck are you supposed to feed a home when your entire income comes from postering at a dinky Wal-Mart in Weslaco?(reply to this comment

from Rain Child
Monday, March 13, 2006 - 04:13

Other horror foods:

As a young child in Australia for a little while we had organ meats at almost every meal! Brains, heart, toungue, and liver! The only one we didn't eat was kidney, that was given to the cat. We used to sit at the table for hours because we weren't allowed up until we ate it. Eeew... I remember the spewing at the table well, it was the only way to get out of it.

In Japan we had these horrible pregnant fish... small fish stuffed with white eggs. They're probably a delicacy, but to me it was nothing short of barbaric. I used to feed them to the neighbourhood cats straight from the freezer... Well what do you expect when you put a junior teen in charge of the kitchen? That's also where I was introduced to congealed half-cooked scrambled eggs. Every morning, there it was, waiting for us, looking very much like snot soup with floating amoebas, and an uncle standing over us making sure we gagged down each bite...Ohh, the memories!

In Taiwan every dinner was either chicken or tofu...tofu or chicken...chicken or tofu...tofu or chicken...chicken or tofu...

In India, my first impression upon walking through the front door of the home where I was to stay was that the air was pervaded by a sickly sweet smell. That was jaggery boiling on the stove, a smell which was to become as constant in my life there as cow paddies and petrol fumes. The teens were all excited because they had...(drum roll please)...powdered milk to drink! And they offered me some as though it were Cristal. The bread! Oh the bread! Indians are not very good at making western bread at the best of times, but when the home gives the baker wholemeal flour and asks him to turn that into bread...the results are truly disastrous. It smelled so strongly of yeast, and was crumbly yet gooey, and impossible to slice, let alone eat. In the mornings before I got out of bead I would close my eyes and imagine I was eating multigrain toast with honey on it and drinking tea. That helped until, of course, I opened them. In india they think you can make cereal out of anything. Hell, even plain flour or wheat will do. (Or even noodles!) It's just paste to keep you alive after all.

But after all that whinging, I would like to say that I also had the most delicious food of my life in India, the flavours are so rich and varied, and they sure know how to cook. I learned more about cooking there than at any other time in my life. It's just when the family homes try to make western food that it all goes horribly wrong.

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From placebo
Monday, March 13, 2006, 04:29


"In Taiwan every dinner was either chicken or tofu...tofu or chicken...chicken or tofu...tofu or chicken...chicken or tofu... "

heh remember that, I had an elaborate tactic of throwing my tofu on the floor when the "sheperds" weren't looking.Lucky for me I quite liked chicken.(reply to this comment

From Rain Child
Monday, March 13, 2006, 05:26

I thought I loved chicken, but my stint in Taiwan taught me all about too much of a good thing. When I left I was so glad to see some beef! I still love chicken, though, and I don't even mind tofu once in while.(reply to this comment
from Rain Child
Saturday, March 11, 2006 - 22:33

Our food in Australia was always fairly good up until what many of my age group think of as "The Japanese Invasion". At that time, (When the 'folks' were at the HCS) They sent shepherds to Australia to change anything that was not up to the 'standard' they had in Japan. (Or should I say, down to the standard) The first thing that horrified them was our high standard of living. They couldn't believe it their first morning when we all had our choice of boxed cereals, eggs, (as many as you wanted) toast with spreads, milk, juice, etc.

"In Japan the family never eats like this!" They screamed. They demoted all the shepherds and imported new ones to make us live like Japan. We were only to use spoons at the table, and stop all these 'systemy' fancy table settings and manners. There was to be absolute silence at meal times, and the Jett groups should follow the sample set by the victor programmes.

We were doing an accredited correnspondence school course called ACE, which had to be stopped, because in Japan the Jetts just did a page or two of Superworkbook when they could fit it in between jobs, word time, and singing practice. They chopped up our school desks and burned them, because in Japan, they just use the kitchen table, they don't have fancy school rooms with desks.

So the food took a real dive. That's the age I stopped drinking milk (the new powder was horrible) and the age where I believe my education really stopped as well.

The time Lisa's referring to, where we were living off powdered soup and cheese and crackers, we were 'fleeing persecution' and had no where to live, no income, and nothing to eat. We were camped by a river, and a lot of the home ate freshly caught fish everyday, but Lisa and I, we hated fish, thus we lived off stale cheese and cracker snack-packs which had been donated because they were out of date.
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From ESJ
Saturday, March 18, 2006, 00:01

RC, what year did the 'Japanese invasion' happen, and what were the names of the leaders who came over and fucked everything up even worse? After I left TF I discovered the ACE home schooling system and I actually introduced it to TF parents and encouraged them to get their kids on it because it was a hell of a lot better than TF's schooling. It's a shame to hear that some stupid leaders went and put a stop to the only decent form of education TF kids were getting here in Oz.(reply to this comment
Monday, March 13, 2006, 01:42


I know what you mean about the 'Japanese invasion', I experienced the same thing a couple times only it was the 'Thai invasion'. Every time top leadership got involved we endured a drastic deterioration in our quality of life.(reply to this comment

from lisa
Saturday, March 11, 2006 - 21:19

I grew up in sydney too, actually I think we where in the same group for awhile. God the food was terrible, I have vivid memories of crab sticks, baked and boiled. Stale mushroom soup and chesse and crakers. Spoonfuls of molassis and mollassis milk, big slabs of boiled smoked fish, and liver, yuk. I don't actually remember anyone with malnutrition, but we had our share of really awful food.
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from moon beam
Saturday, March 11, 2006 - 11:46

Hmmm, Still can't eat bananas due to far too many as a child in India.
Vegtables were rare and I remember some fool boiling snake gourd and lady fingers in water, good enough for hanging wallpaper.

Mostly it was rice and lentils, lentils and rice.(hoping you'd sifted the rice and dahl for stones and bugs adequetly) Oh yeah, home made curd which swung from one extreme to the other in terms of consistancy and taste. Rice pudding, banana bread, mango cobbler,pancakes and chocolate cake, poped corn and custard for birthdays or a special 'Gypsy night'.

Then it was bananas in chapatis, boiled eggs (if out on witnessing trips) in chapatis, chapatis.

Meat was rare when we could provision it and sometimes it was sheep brains-think scrambled eggs with bloody veins running through! but mostly goat and liver.

Bread, bread and bread, never butter, though we would try and make it from the milk. Penut butter if we could provision it until it lasted.

Tinned cheese was for the pregnant mothers only and powdered milk was made up in a jug for snack time.

Mangos and pinapples were a treat also reliant upon our provisioning capabilities, as was any yummy snacks and sweeets offered when going door-to-door, though also dependant on the aduts who you were teamed up with and how persistant the host was for us to except indian hospitality. (Thank god for pushy woman)

Cod liver oil. strepsals if you could convince the adults that it would help you sing better in devotions or on singing missions.

Cracked wheat, sugi and tapiocca made with water for most of the time but not nearly as dire as ragi, a truly disgusting globbular, purple, sandy affair.

We were always hungry and thirsty and taking even one slice of extra bread was classed as stealing even though we did more than our share to earn it.

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From vixen
Saturday, March 11, 2006, 13:40

Goodness, you just brought back a completely buried memory from my time in India - Bananas in chapatis! Brought back the taste of it and everything, so vividly! I actually really liked that. And dahl too! But then, I was only in India for six months, so I didn't have to eat it every day for years and years...(reply to this comment
From Christian
Saturday, March 11, 2006, 18:45


I actually liked dahl for the first two months when i was in India. I ended up only staying there for 6 months so it was ok i guess hated the family in India though. But i mainly grew up in Taiwan and we ate pretty good there.(reply to this comment

From moon beam
Saturday, March 11, 2006, 14:09

I still eat dahl but spice it up with onions, garlic, chillies, garam masala, corriander etc.....Yeah sometimes when we were traveling it (Banana in chapatis) was breakfast lunch and dinner.(reply to this comment
from vixen
Saturday, March 11, 2006 - 09:59

We had it pretty good in Scandinavia, actually (at least in DK, don't know what it was like in Sweden and Norway). Plenty of good quality fruit and veg, milk and dairy products, meat and fish products (including a range of cold cuts and spreads, such as liver pate), premade sandwiches, bread, canned goods, and so on, shared between all the homes weekly, with plenty to go round. For a good few years we had a contact with Kelloggs and so we had lots of great cereals, and, best of all, *real milk*! Damn, I was ecstatic when we finally got that contact and powdered milk swiftly became a distant memory! The main problem wasn't the quality of the food or even the quantity, but it did get awfully monotonous eating the same thing for weeks on end (if we had gotten a huge batch of pizzas or rice and curry or whatever). And of course there was the same authoritarian control over the food store as there was in every home, so you certainly didn't get to just choose how much you wanted to eat, or what you felt like having for snack. There were some lean times (I remember a period of a few weeks where we fed the kids rice cakes for breakfast, and there was baked beans and corn bread for dinner every day) but generally, we had a relatively good, balanced diet. I definitely realise that we were rather fortunate, though, in comparison to what most people seem to have experienced.
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