6

votes

Nice way to stop mooching?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 08, 2012 at 2:27 AM

When I know I will be in a group gathering with non-paleo friendly food, I try to bring some paleo options. However there is always pressure to share, and before I know it my expensive organic jerky or blueberries or whatever are gone. I know this sounds stingy, but as a grad student, a significant chunk of my income goes to getting this high quality food, and its frustrating when friends eat it like its a mega-bag of corn chips.

Is there a nice way to say "hey, please just take a little, not the whole bag"?

Thanks!

532cfd279d793e8fcc23b9f6d91dde5c

(1981)

on December 28, 2012
at 06:46 PM

This is a good "screening process", too; if someone isn't interested and willing to listen to why and how the food is important, they definitely aren't getting any, but if they are, hey, you might even net a convert!

532cfd279d793e8fcc23b9f6d91dde5c

(1981)

on December 28, 2012
at 06:41 PM

This. You wouldn't feed a Delmonico steak to a dog. I'm not sharing my expensive food with people who are going to lay Doritos down on top of it. I make coconut fudge and bring that to gatherings. It's cheap, it's paleo, and everyone likes it.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on June 08, 2012
at 05:54 PM

Though, if my last family party was any indication, apparently bacon-wrapped livers are very popular. So apparently, nothing with bacon.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on June 08, 2012
at 05:47 PM

oh too funny LOL!

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 08, 2012
at 04:47 AM

How about mixed unsalted nuts? Or homemade nuts and fruit mix? Or fruit - grapes, plums, cherries? Plum/cherry tomatoes? Cubed cheese?

92d67b02a709cad2250f10848f9178e6

(2422)

on June 08, 2012
at 04:05 AM

I totally do this. I pre-eat at home before parties!

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18 Answers

23
92d67b02a709cad2250f10848f9178e6

on June 08, 2012
at 03:07 AM

I don't think there is a nice way to tell my friends that I don't want to share my food with them. So I personally choose not to eat anything and bring something cheap for others to enjoy at such gatherings.

You can either bring something that other SAD friends find unpalatable (so only you can enjoy it!), or something that's cheap and paleo-friendly (so you don't go broke).

Things SAD people generally don't like: fresh vegetables, salads, organ meats, fermented vegetables, etc. (Relatively) Cheap snacks: homemade kale chips, hard-boiled eggs, homemade sweet potato fries, etc.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on June 08, 2012
at 05:54 PM

Though, if my last family party was any indication, apparently bacon-wrapped livers are very popular. So apparently, nothing with bacon.

11
7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

on June 08, 2012
at 03:17 AM

Eat before you arrive, and bring cheap paleo chow to munch on.

11
1e36119906da54831601a7c23674f581

(698)

on June 08, 2012
at 02:41 AM

I'm a complete asshole about this.. I'll share a bite or two but if people think they're getting their hands on my expensive butter, meat, fruits, or whatever it just isn't going to happen. Just like the rest of us here I go through a lot of effort to eliminate all crap food from my diet, and consume quality all of the time.. It gets expensive so I make all of my purchases count. It would be an absolute waste to share it with someone who still consistently consumes PUFAs, most processed foods, fast food, etc.. If someone's attempting to eat healthy and not fucking around with it, i'll gladly share my nutrients with them and not think twice.

532cfd279d793e8fcc23b9f6d91dde5c

(1981)

on December 28, 2012
at 06:41 PM

This. You wouldn't feed a Delmonico steak to a dog. I'm not sharing my expensive food with people who are going to lay Doritos down on top of it. I make coconut fudge and bring that to gatherings. It's cheap, it's paleo, and everyone likes it.

5
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on June 08, 2012
at 06:15 AM

I would start bringing marinated/grilled chicken hearts on skewers.

The only non-paleos willing to try those are foodie hipsters. In which case, it's a trivial matter to knock the skewer from their hands and assert your dominance. Bonus points for yelling "O'Doyle RULES!" as you do it.

This tactic backfired on me once, when I brought a braised beef tongue to a work pot luck. Everyone wanted to be "cool" and try the weirdo-meat... and as soon as they found out it was the best thing they had ever smashed into their worthless twinkie-stained faces, I was left with a half-eaten slice of pizza and some green olives.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on June 08, 2012
at 05:47 PM

oh too funny LOL!

5
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on June 08, 2012
at 02:54 AM

At potlucks, we take a cheap option that almost everyone loves (tortilla espanola) basically eggs and potatoes.

4
747f9c27424619fe3ae717c7455c292e

on June 08, 2012
at 04:20 AM

I like a strategy of explanation of diet, followed by a preemptive offering.

For instance: "I have this really strict diet, so I always have to bring food with me. This is some pemmican I made myself. (No doubt having to explain what pemmican is...) Do you want to try some?

This way I'm being sociable, but the people I'm offering it to also know how important the food is to me, and how much time and effort went into making it. People are sometimes interested to try it, sometimes not, but they don't take too much because of my explanation.

The preemptive offering is something I think friends and friendly people do. I used to try to guilt trip people into not eating so much of my food, and spent a lot of time and energy worrying about it. I found that I didn't like the frame of mind that it put me in - possessive and unsociable. If people do want to try your food, and have to ask, you've put a mini social barrier up. Rather than erect the barrier, I've found that just adding the explanation of my diet really limits the amount of my food that people take. That way I can offer my food without worrying about it, which just feels much friendlier to me.

I might have a slightly larger food budget because of it, but at some point I decided that I would rather have an even larger food budget and be the guy that brought the weird awesome stuff, than defend my food budget by not sharing.

Also, for potlucks, I'll sometimes eat something really satiating before I go if I think my dish is the only one I'll be able to eat.

532cfd279d793e8fcc23b9f6d91dde5c

(1981)

on December 28, 2012
at 06:46 PM

This is a good "screening process", too; if someone isn't interested and willing to listen to why and how the food is important, they definitely aren't getting any, but if they are, hey, you might even net a convert!

3
Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

on June 08, 2012
at 06:51 PM

Looks like I'm alone in my opinion, but I think it's stingy (or maybe the word is tacky?) to not share. If you are going to someone's home who is hosting a get-together, you should be willing to bring a dish to share. Just as a SAD eater probably wouldn't bring an incredibly expensive casserole, don't bring your expensive snacks. Bring a Paleo-approved salad and save yourself the trouble of looking like a food snob.

If it's a very casual thing where you meet up at the beach or something and everyone brings their own lunch, then I wouldn't think you'd look stingy not sharing. Just don't offer it. That's a very different situation than going to a party at someone's home, in my opinion.

3
65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on June 08, 2012
at 06:45 AM

Save your expensive jerky, etc for yourself and bring a cost effective dish- like a salad- to share. Unfortunately, if you bring it and leave it unattended, they will eat it. Normally I bring a small container of jerky for myself to events like this, and discreetly put it on my plate after filling the plate with the simple salad I brought to share.

Another easy thing to bring is a platter of deviled eggs: easy, cheap and tasty.

3
4de8f1be3ed89b2b0de3463349fb1737

(964)

on June 08, 2012
at 03:22 AM

I think its a lot easier to bring something cheaper, even if it means I have to eat a hearty snack (and by snack I mean half a chicken) at home before arriving at the party where they're serving, say, snickers salad (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snickers_salad).

Usually, I slice a yellow summer squash into "chips" and bring along a jar of salsa, or homemade guacamole when avocados are in season. No one will eat your veggies if there are "real" chips around. I like a couple of chopped hard-boiled eggs in my guac, which makes it even more substantial.

92d67b02a709cad2250f10848f9178e6

(2422)

on June 08, 2012
at 04:05 AM

I totally do this. I pre-eat at home before parties!

3
0126713ae1b2865f6a63362f0ef6e4db

(70)

on June 08, 2012
at 02:48 AM

Doesn't sound stingy at all. Especially if that food is homemade(i.e. jerky), that takes a lot of time and resources on your end to simply be snatched up by someone who would like you said, could polish off a bag of corn chips without blinking(I probably could too, but that's besides the point).

Contrary to what your mama taught you, sharing need not apply in this situation. You're not pining over their SAD snacks so tell 'em to keep their grubby hands away. Or bring a bag of chips just for them, I'm sure any vending machine will have a nice supply.

2
Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on June 08, 2012
at 02:53 AM

Tough question - maybe you could politely suggest to them like "man, everyone loves these blueberries. Maybe we should all bring healthy food next time!" and try to get everyone in on the healthy food wagon so it's not just you.

Or you could make a half-serious broke-grad-student joke about it and hope it makes them think. Especially if they're also broke grad students, it's a totally common and acceptable thing to make wisecracks about, and it's very possible that they just don't realize how much jerky costs compared to Pringles.

1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on December 28, 2012
at 06:30 PM

bring a decent bottle of red wine. It's not paleo, but your friends will enjoy and a sensible cheat. And just because you are there, no reason you have to eat the junk they have available.

1
870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on June 08, 2012
at 07:45 PM

What is the purpose of the "group gatherings"? Are these potlucks, where everyone is supposed to bring a dish? Or are these social events, where food is only incidental?

My view is that it is completely understandable--yet profoundly anti-social--to bring your own food to a gathering but to refuse to share it for financial reasons. I had a friend, well, an acquaintance, really, in college, who said that when her mother was going to law school while getting a divorce her mom would make herself a steak for dinner and feed the kids macaroni and cheese. Now, there are a number of ways that this might have gone down that could justify this behavior, but through her daughter's eyes this came across as just plain mean (in several senses of the word).

If the reason you are bringing your own food to the gathering is that there will be "nothing for you to eat," reconsider whether you need to eat at these events at all, if you begrudge the expense of sharing good food with your friends. The act of sharing itself is said to be beneficial to the giver. I'm not advising you to share what you feel you can't afford, rather to avoid the issue of sharing/not sharing at all. Is every single thing you eat so exquisitely expensive that you can't share it? Is there nothing available to the group that you can eat? Are you bringing your own food because the SAD food presented is so tempting to you? That's something for you to work with, then.

If these are potlucks, and you need to bring a dish, how about deviled eggs?

If the social gathering is taking place at a ball game, and you are whipping out your packed lunch to avoid purchasing a hot dog and peanuts like everyone else, then I think you are not violating any social norms by telling them to go pound sand.

1
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on June 08, 2012
at 06:02 PM

Eat the hearty stuff in the privacy of your own home, bring a big freaking salad. Everyone will eat some salad, it will cost you next to nothing, done and done.

1
8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

on June 08, 2012
at 05:49 PM

"Safe starches" like potatoes, sweet potato, yams, white rice etc always lighten the financial load. Bring something fatty - tell people it's fatty and rich (like French food), and if they eat too much they'll puke - that will keep them from overeating! Either that or they'll be terribly afraid that fat will kill their body.

Egg or Tuna salad with avocados is a nice example.

Other possibilities plate of chosen from 1 or a combo of - raw fruit, veggies, cheese, cold cuts, etc.

1
81348acb7b886e2b32ca915d250268f3

(1022)

on June 08, 2012
at 02:54 AM

Yep I just tell my friends that I have dietary requirements so theres not a lot of food around that I can eat, so I've brought my own, which everyone is free to try, but please stick to your own crappy food :P

My gf is vego, and people who gorge on her food shits her to no end, and she WILL make a point of it, lol.

0
1144bcd270d99a61c2bc6a23f6290d46

on June 08, 2012
at 01:51 PM

Say it exactly like you posted here. There is nothing wrong with telling people you are on a special diet that is expensive and hard on your grad student budget. It is one of those things that some people do out of habit "oooohhhhh, can I try that!?!!" -as they are automatically taking & consuming. When you politely tell them no in a nice-ish way, most people stop, get this weird look in their eyes (presumably thinking about all the other times in their life when they didn't listen to their mother and were "sampling" other's food, etc), and then they accept it.

Either a)have control over container and give as big/small of a bite as you want saying something like "here, I will give you a taste/sample" or b)just tell them, unfortunately I've only brought enough for myself and the other options are limited...I'd be more than happy to share the recipe with you. Or c)I'm sorry but I'm not willing to share right now. It's YOUR food, you can do with it as you please and if you aren't a total asshole about it, no one will care. If they DO make a big deal out of it, they are lame and you probably want to limit your time with them anyways.

I am a very laid-back person who gets along with everyone. However, my good friends all know that I am not always the best at sharing food. Even when I was SAD, I wouldn't always share a single hershey kiss from a big bag. It's my bag after all. It has become a running joke and none of my friends care, plus they all feel really special if I am up to sharing. :-) The more you practice saying the food "no," the easier it gets too. Good luck!

0
3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on June 08, 2012
at 07:29 AM

I make up a small mixed bag of bilton with dried fruit and nut. The combination is DELICIOUS but to SAD people sounds terrible and revolting...YAY more for me...think of it being like meat and stuffing and apple sauce ;)

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