View Full Version : Picky eaters

07-22-2010, 06:52 AM
Do your apples have to be free of bruises?
potatoes with ungrowing eyes?
peas without bug stings?

Is there any evidence suggesting that any of these things, or similar things, are bad for you? Will a pea with a teeny-tiny little brown spot make you sick, or kill you?

I'm not sure I know why our food has to be the "best of the best" when a bruised apple will surely not hurt you. I ate a fresh peach last weekend off my grandma's tree.. There was a worm in it, which I didn't notice until I had eaten half of the peach and worm. Since I had eaten half the worm already, I finished the peach, worm and all.
It didn't make me sick, and obviously didn't kill me. As far as I'm concerned, the worm tasted just like peach. If I hadn't looked down at the peach, I'd never even have known there was a worm in it.

So I pose the question: Just how picky are you when it comes to food?
And a secondary question: do the little bug stings on my peas mean that the pea isn't any good? could it make us sick if we miss one? Is there any danger (other than just eating a tiny worm) in eating food that isn't above our normal "standards"?

A lot of the wild stuff I eat, wouldn't even be considered by our modern standards, and Lots of people I know wouldn't even consider eating "weeds". Well, let me explain how I came upon this conclusion...

I have a big book of "Weeds of the south".
Anybody here eat Okra, or Black-eyed peas (Cowpea)? Both of them are listed as "Lawn invasive weeds" with toxic properties listed as "none". There are about 15 genera and 10 species of mustards and black-peppers listed as "weeds" and we buy many of the same plants at the grocery store.
If you eat okra or black-eyed peas, consider yourself a "weed eater". You might reconsider your standards of food.

07-22-2010, 07:21 AM
I guess I had to mark myself down as a little picky. I would not have finished the worm. Might have finished the peach but definitely not the worm.

There's a difference, I think, between having to eat something if nothing else is available and having a choice between A and B. You probably were at least a little selective when you pulled the peach off the tree. Looking for the one that was just the right ripeness. I don't mind blemishes and bruises but I will avoid them on store bought fruit only because they generally last longer once I get them home.

We eat bugs or bug parts all the time in processed foods. We just don't see it. The FDA has a list of acceptable "bug" standards. It's called the Food Defect Action Levels. The FDA web server is down at the moment or I'd link to the handbook. But here's a wiki that talks about it.


07-22-2010, 08:08 AM
I've voted as Rick has and for pretty much the same reasons. I have to pay for store bought produce, therefore I will choose the best specimens. Home grown is different, but then I get to choose when I harvest and that is generally when the produce is as it's peak. Same goes for meat and fish.
The only thing I'm not particularly fussy about are dried goods. I'm not one to pay great attention to sell by/use by dates on them.

Justin Case
07-22-2010, 09:22 AM
I am with Rick and winnie on this one, I wouldn't have eaten the worm either,

07-22-2010, 09:24 AM
I only eat road'kill that is still on the road, I never eat the road'kill that is in the ditch.

07-22-2010, 10:16 AM
I vote no to bugs and worms.

07-22-2010, 10:20 AM
Here it is. If this doesn't put you off food...nothing will.


Justin Case
07-22-2010, 10:24 AM
Here it is. If this doesn't put you off food...nothing will.


Damn It Rick ! a little voice was saying "dont Look , You'll be sorry" did I listen ? NOOOOOoo, :sneaky2:

Old GI
07-22-2010, 10:47 AM
Yes to the above. Buying it from the store (I'm picky) and primitive survival are two different things.

07-22-2010, 11:04 AM
I voted not to eat sub-standard, but everyone's definition of that probably varies greatly. I think eggplant is sub-standard, but a King bolete with a few clear worm holes is par for the course and perfectly acceptable in my book. However, a morel with worms or which is badly eaten upon by slugs and such is not.

I've ate fruit and mushrooms with worms and unless it's starting to rot or turn to alcohol I can't tell no difference. The worms probably make it healthier for you. But, it still grosses me out.

I won't eat a critter or fish if it looks in any way sickly, skinny, mangy, sometimes even if they're badly scarred I won't eat them. But, if a fish has the black spots or yellow spikes I might still eat it.

When we were young, and thirsty, the neighbor had a pear tree full of ripe unblemished fruit. We must have ate 5 or 10 each. The next day, when it was light we noticed they were full of worms. We swore they were the best pears ever until we saw that.

I've heard the pantry moths/ worms that get in your flour and such won't hurt you, but it just grosses me right out and I can't bring myself to eat it. I feel bad throwing out perfectly safe food like that, but that's the way it is.

07-22-2010, 11:50 AM
I voted not picky, but I must justify that statement. Unless it was a life or eat situation, I refuse to eat anything spoiled. I don't mind cutting bruised or bad spots of fruit and/or vegetables. I don't know that I have ever eaten a worm, but if it came down to it I would.

07-22-2010, 12:31 PM
I grew up too poor to be picky. My family's philosophy was "Cut off the rotten/moldy part and eat it anyway." Things are way better now, but the principles of anti-pickyness are too deeply ingrained in me to be changed now.

I have eaten broccoli worms with fresh broccoli (only once on purpose), and couldn't tell the difference. I think I would have eaten the rest of that peach - after extracting the worm. I don't mind eating creepy crawlies so much, so long as I am eating them on purpose. I don't like the idea of accidentally consuming wigglies.

07-22-2010, 01:11 PM
I had to vote "a little picky". If I'm paying money for it in the grocery store, I want the best pieces I can find. Once home, if it starts to wilt or gets some splotches - no big deal - not wasting it. I don't really eat enough wild edibles for it to be an issue. Stuff that comes out of my garden does not get wasted. If there is a bad spot from bugs or birds, eat around it.

07-22-2010, 07:29 PM
Excellent POV's guys.

I have to give Rick props for pointing out that I picked the "best looking" peach... only to find a worm in it. I suppose PTW and I grew up similarly. We didn't waste anything either, we ate around the bad parts and didn't complain.

I just can't help but wonder how much food goes to waste from a grocery store, because it didn't meet our standards.. Bread is a good example of what I'm talking about. After it's been on the shelf a day or two, the grocery store marks it down. There's nothing wrong with the bread, it just isn't the "freshest". If it's half price and not moldy, that's the kind I'm gonna buy. know what I mean?

What brought up the discussion, was my grandma said she'd wash her shelled peas 3 times. I thought that a little excessive. There were several other things she pointed out, and I wondered why do all the extra work if the food tastes the same? Don't get me wrong, I try to pick out the peas that have worms, but if I miss one is it really worth throwing out 1/3 of your supper?

Honestly.. the worm wasn't that gross, and if I'd never looked down at the peach I'd never have known there was a worm in it. I'm glad you guys played along and I hope we all re-evaluate our standards. I know some people are grossed out by crawly things and I get that. My wife would have probably spewed once she found a worm in her peach.
"you gonna finish that?"

07-22-2010, 08:23 PM
Here's what's thrown away in the U.S.


And a source for food waste in Canada and Great Britain.


Mom's philosophy was you had two choices for any meal. Take it or leave it.

07-22-2010, 08:32 PM
Ive never been a picky eater, I also have no problem removing a creepy crawley from my food and the finish eating it. I remember cutting mold off the cheese when I was growing up and then eating the rest of the cheese. I guess I just hate wasting food.

08-18-2010, 10:08 AM
I'll eat just about anything, and generally the only thing that gross's me out are maggots. As far as I can recall, I've only gotten ill one time from food and that was from over-easy eggs. We knew it was the eggs because the 4 of us that had them got sick and the ones who ate scrambled were fine. I wouldn't go as far as some of the people on the show "Fear Factor", but if I were starving I would dig right in.

08-18-2010, 12:41 PM
Another vote for a little picky.

I'll go to great lengths to remove sand from clams and seafood.

The best omelette in the world is ruined by the tiniest chunk of eggshell.

I don't do raw bugs much. I have but why not cook them with a little seasoning?

earthworms raw are just eating mud. Let the worms tunnel around in some flour till the dirt is gone from their system and they become pretty tasty either pan fried or teriyaki jerked.

I try to maintain a comfort level.

08-18-2010, 01:40 PM
Today in a normal every day life, I will be a bit picky. I have no problem cutting out bad spots from fruit and vegetables. The worm thing well i'd pick out the other half. I guess Its the spoilage that I would have Issues with. Spoilage equals out of the usual mold, slime, odor and taste for a given item. There is also a strong "unknown" in regard to how sick I may get if I eat something off, I may not get sick but don't want to take a chance.

I have never been in a recreational survival situation (the result of not properly planning my recreation), so eating creepy crawlys has not come up. Would I could I... I think so. I would still have some gag reflex.

08-18-2010, 04:04 PM
I grew up too poor to be picky. My family's philosophy was "Cut off the rotten/moldy part and eat it anyway." Things are way better now, but the principles of anti-pickyness are too deeply ingrained in me to be changed now.

I resemble that remark.

08-18-2010, 07:33 PM
I won't eat anything moldy. It's too over-powering in taste. Can't eat bleu cheese (or its cousins) cuz all it tastes like is mold. I can cut bad spots out of produce and cut the fuzzies off cheddar cheese but not that stuff.

08-18-2010, 10:10 PM
I'll go to great lengths to remove sand from clams and seafood.

sand is not a wild edible! Good call!

08-18-2010, 10:46 PM
Oh oh. I just ate a bad spot on that banana. Bumps and bruises don't bother me at all. Even a worm just kicks up the protien level. We eat most of our veggies from the garden and very little of that is perfect. What you folks buy in the store may look better but I'm not into all those additives it takes to the soil and veggies to make them come out that way. My way of thinking and I'm gonna stick to it. ( As you guessed I'm not at all picky)


08-18-2010, 11:39 PM
That's a fact! All the crap we spray and powder on our fruits and veggies probably makes em way more unsafe and less good for you. Vanity!

I never used that stuff on myveggies and always wash the piss outta all the storebought stuff, although it's probably right in the flesh.

08-18-2010, 11:46 PM
If it's in the soil, you know good-and-well it's in the fruit... just sayin ;)

in that respect, I'm a little picky in what I prefer but I don't complain. over the teeth, over the gums. look out tummy, here it comes!

what exactly is in Miracle Grow that makes tomatoes taste so much better?(sarcasm)

08-19-2010, 07:51 AM
I don't use chemicals either. The little I give up to my insect friends is moot compared to eating clean foods. Besides, seeing a spider web in my blackberries or among my squash pretty much assures me the garden is healthy and watching after itself.

07-19-2016, 05:17 PM
Hi all,
I'm brand new to this particular forum and am wondering if there are others who are interested in survival/preparedness/bushcraft but are extremely picky eaters? I loved watching Alone on TV, but I am a no-fish-at-all eater among other things. Just looking for anyone else who shares my challenge to survival preparation.

07-19-2016, 05:42 PM
Hunter63 saying Hey and Welcome....

There is an intro section to say hello at :

07-19-2016, 06:35 PM
Being a picky eater in a survival situation means you will not be a survivor. Those who hold on to concepts of EEEEWWWW when faced with new foods and cosmetically imperfect foods will not last very long.:clover:

Those who really do "live off the land" are not picky eaters and they also raise chickens and pigs from table scraps. Still, every place and every culture has food prejudices that are hard to overcome.:devil2:

The New York Times article was pretty good. It also notes how much food that people waste could be put to use if composted.

07-19-2016, 09:34 PM
Maybe only slightly related...but this reminds me of a time when I had to listen to a (sober) guy in a bar jabbering about "normal" food - how people only eat stuff like bugs or lizards in other countries because they're poor, and "normal" food is stuff like hamburgers and potatoes. I made some points to him about how the majority of what he was talking about is considered delicacies, that he was just being ethnically chauvinistic in a shallow way culinarily-speaking, that people ate whatever they could because they needed to eat and one kind of food is not intrinsically "more cool" than another aesthetically, and these different kinds of foods just become the norm for their particular geography or culture, etc. But he didn't seem to get it. Seemed offended somehow.

07-19-2016, 10:01 PM
I'm too old to tell some one that he is full of crap in a saloon, these days.....never did it much in the old days, either.
Might just end up eating your teeth.

Guess I should have added......... Bazinga.........
The was a joke.

07-19-2016, 11:24 PM
Hmm..thinking I'm sorry I asked...

07-19-2016, 11:40 PM
Hmm..thinking I'm sorry I asked...
You can go a long time with out food.......
All come before food.....

I don't spend much time eating bugs, worms, and such.....
If I ever go in a situation where that was necessary, I sure I would do what was needed to stay alive.

In the mean time ....No interest in "practicing".....

07-20-2016, 06:14 AM
I'm too old to tell some one that he is full of crap in a saloon, these days.....never did it much in the old days, either.
Might just end up eating your teeth.
Well, it wasn't that kind of atmosphere. I've very rarely been in a bar that was like some wild west saloon where fights break out easily. Things have been mostly civil in my experiences.

Physically, that is. But conversationally...tis hard to find things to be civil and denoted by having-some-sense conversationally.

But concerning being picky about food -

- some imperfections in produce is no cause to waste it, in my opinion.

- the one place and time when I'm really picky...or rather, very hard to impress...is if I go into any kind of eating establishment. When I cook at home, which I prefer, the cost to what-you-get ratio is different, plus what kind of dish I conjure up is judged by me by different criteria. But if I go into any restaurant or fast-food place and am paying for something prepared for me to eat right there...what it costs, how much I get, and how "special" or "yummy" it supposedly is almost never measures up in my opinion. I even feel like most stuff is plain ole crap that they try to dress up with pretention of some sort or another and act like it's worth twice as much as it really is...and I almost always am still quite hungry after leaving a place having had one of it's full sized dishes.

07-20-2016, 06:31 AM
Time to change restaurants.