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School lunch programs also gravitate to their skimpy budgets.
This forum needs a "too sad to like but true" button.

In my book, there are two issues, One, the fact so many folks smoke / vape is a part of the problem. Having smoked when I was younger, I know first hand how all food taste 'different' after you've had a few puffs. Secondly, folks "accept" mediocre food (see McDonald's and their ilk) and consider that to be acceptable / or "good food". If a person only eats crap, that's what is normal for them.
Growing up in the Midwest and around military, that's what I see a lot too. It's gotten to where, when someone recommends me a restaurant, I check reviews for the words "you get a lot."

My dad says I'm spoiled I guess because I like actual pumpkins more than pumpkin spiced lattes, but I like a good burger just as much. It's just gotta actually be cooked well.
 

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My three nieces come to visit a couple of times a year for a week, ages 14, 11 and 9. Food is always a battle. The oldest one asked if she could bring her friend next time then added "you probably won't like her because she only eats mac & cheese and bread".

My brother-in law and his wife took the three of them along on a cruise last year. It got so bad that the chief came to the table and offered to make them anything if they would only eat.

What the hell is wrong with parents these days???
I'm really impressed(?) by the chef's customer service. If they didn't want to eat... whatever I would have served on an expensive pleasure cruise... I'd have let them starve. Not even dessert??

I grew up in a household that wasn't allowed to leave the table without an empty plate. My grandmother was a child in the south during the Great Depression. My brother figured out that if he threw the food from his plate, he could sneak back to the kitchen at night, climb onto the counter, and eat the sugar cubes. I wasn't that smart. But then again, I'm also the only child to go to college. I don't think my parents were bad parents, just on the losing side of a battle between clean plates and clean walls. Oddly enough, I'm fat and my brother is super athletic. Must have been the climbing...
 
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