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Do you feed your guests organic foods if you yourself eat organic food?

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 

I was pretty offended when my brother in law fed us non organic meat last week for dinner, based on the circumstances.  Him and his wife go out once a month with their two kids to a local farm to pick up food for the month and I know for a fact they had just recently gone.  They had us over and our two children only (ages 1 and 3) and this was not a last minute invite.  We eat organically where we can and they are aware of this - our values are very similar.  I didnt ask if the food was organic it just kind of came up, he brought it up, saying something like "we dont give our guests organic food", something along those lines... DH and I just kind of looked at him and said "really?"....

 

I'm offended because we are their closest family (apart from whoever is on HER side)... we dont think twice about whether I am serving someone something organic.. a friend comes over, her daughter wants milk, I give her a cup of our organic milk, not thinking twice... for our parents anniversary we had about 15 people over and decided it was the perfect time to serve the huge hunk of organic steaks we had bought and froze alongside chicken...

 

I guess I just dont see the ethic behind feeding others differently than yourself....

 

please comment

 

sorry not having the best essay writing day... :)

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 48
I guess if they're really strapped for cash I could see doing that, but generally if something comes up where we are feeding someone else, we feed them our grassfed beef, pastured poultry, organic vegetables, etc. I'm not going to make a separate trip to a store I don't shop at to pick up food for guests, especially since we're eating it, too.
post #3 of 48
I serve guests organic if they're eating the same thing as us. We follow a strict diet (vegan & gluten-free) and most of my friends are very willing to try whatever I make (and seem to like it, though might just be being polite, I have very considerate friends!)

When I cook for family, they pretty much only eat SAD stuff so we just buy whatever I think they'll eat (usually cheap & not organic) and they seem happy with it. They seem to think organic is gross and weird so obviously I'm not going to feed them something they won't want to eat.

Bottom line is, I try to feed guests something close to what they are accustomed to eating/willing to try... I would think what your BIL did was weird & kind of rude unless there were mitigating circumstances...
post #4 of 48

I guess it depends on their finances...as the mother and father they are to make sure their children are eating healthy and if feeding guests organic food keeps them from feeding their children all organic, then I'd be understanding of that probably difficult decision.

 

In our case, I'd feel like a hyprocrit(not sure I spelled that right) if I served someone something I wouldn't eat myself.  Surely your brother ate the same thing he served you??  We only eat organic meat and we only eat natural foods (truly natural...not things that only claim to be natural)....and I would never serve anything else to someone in my home.  With that said, when we go camping with my whole family in the summer and have to feed 25 other individuals, we do sometimes skimp....I may buy chicken that is hormone free and antibiotic free but not organic....I might only buy the organic greens and not organic tomatoes for the salad....it just depends....

 

And then there are the situations where people give my kids candy they can't have, etc...what to do with that product? just trash it...which I see as a total waste or give it to someone which makes me feel again like a hypocrit giving something to someone that I myself feel is toxic....so many decisions...none of them easy.

 

Take it easy on your brother...one meal is not worth a relationship. I'm sure he had his reasons...it's not worth the emotional turmoil to worry and be upset about.

post #5 of 48

I'm struggling with this myself, but on the other end. I owe a lunch to one family and a dinner to another. And I haven't paid up because I don't know how I can afford to feed them meat. I've been considering lots of options, and one option was to just buy conventional meat just this time. But now I'm even more confused, because if they are going to be even more offended, maybe I just shouldn't bother at all.

 

The dinner thing was not one I agreed to, it was a very last minute deal - the family actually had another guest planned but I guess something happened, and the mom asked DH if we wanted to come over and he said yes. So it's been a weight I've been carrying ever since.

 

I agreed to the lunch with the other family but I shouldn't have, I guess.

 

We can't really even afford meat for ourselves, but I keep buying it because I am trying so hard to feel good and nothing satisfies like meat.

 

My last thought was that we'd buy meat but only the same amount we would for ourselves, and just stretch it thinner. So two families would eat a pound of meat somehow. It would have to be a casserole of some sort I guess. But the thing is, probably someone would be offended by that, you know?

 

You can never win with people.

post #6 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post

I'm struggling with this myself, but on the other end. I owe a lunch to one family and a dinner to another. And I haven't paid up because I don't know how I can afford to feed them meat. I've been considering lots of options, and one option was to just buy conventional meat just this time. But now I'm even more confused, because if they are going to be even more offended, maybe I just shouldn't bother at all.

 

The dinner thing was not one I agreed to, it was a very last minute deal - the family actually had another guest planned but I guess something happened, and the mom asked DH if we wanted to come over and he said yes. So it's been a weight I've been carrying ever since.

 

I agreed to the lunch with the other family but I shouldn't have, I guess.

 

We can't really even afford meat for ourselves, but I keep buying it because I am trying so hard to feel good and nothing satisfies like meat.

 

My last thought was that we'd buy meat but only the same amount we would for ourselves, and just stretch it thinner. So two families would eat a pound of meat somehow. It would have to be a casserole of some sort I guess. But the thing is, probably someone would be offended by that, you know?

 

You can never win with people.


What about doing a vegetarian dish?? Even something cheap & simple but... I don't know, everyone likes spaghetti right? (And you could throw in a few meatballs if you really want to have some meat but cut the costs)... To me, reciprocating dinner should be about hosting the other family & spending time with them, not trying to match them on the meal itself, especially not if it will stress your finances... My own comments about the OP's BIL were in the context of no financial constraints, similar values, etc. But if I was a meat-eater, and wanted to serve organic meat to my guests, I would probably serve my own family veg meals for a few extra days so there would be extra meat for the guests or something... I don't know.
post #7 of 48

This thread makes me sad. The idea that you serve your guests something inferior to what you would eat? Oh, greensad.gif. There are many cultures that would literally feed their guests the last of, and the best of, their food even if it meant they themselves went hungry. And here we are in the land of the plenty, parsing over the price of organic vs non-organic and opting to feed our guests stuff we ourselves wouldn't want to eat. Also, the idea that if one person gives you a meal, you owe them one. Like, really owe them, as if you'd borrowed twenty bucks or something. What does this say about our culture's relationship to our friends, families and neighbours? Anyone but Number One? Man, this whole cult of individuality has gone way too far. 

post #8 of 48

I don't feed people something I won't eat in my house.  I won't buy conventional meat.  Even if I weren't so concerned about the health aspects, I wouldn't want to do anything to support an industry filled with animal abuse.  I'd just as soon feed them a cheaper fall back.  Like someone suggested, spaghetti is a common meal in our family.  So is chili.  I make both vegetarian most of the time and it is delicious.  I've also done tacos with plenty of rice and beans.  If I were concerned about there not being enough meat, I'd just watch to see how much my guests take (people like my brother won't touch the rice and beans but STUFF tacos with tons of meat) and adjust how much rice and beans I use, even forgoing the meat altogether for my guests to have.  Cornbread, lettuce, cheese... its a filing meal even if you don't use much of the meat.

 

and I agree... I can't imagine being expected to 'owe' a meal when I was invited over for dinner.  I've 'owed' meals in exchange for other things but just because I was invited over?  I invite people over to eat often and never expect them to feed me in return.  I don't invite them for the meal I'll get later... I invite them to have people to spend time with.  It makes me sad that there are people who can't eat at another person's house without having to stress about how they'll feed them in return.

post #9 of 48

of course.  

If I wouldn't eat it, I wouldn't serve it a guest in my home.   Not to mention I wouldn't want to make a special trip to the store.  If I have family over for dinner, I make sure I can afford it.  Hence birthday parties and gatherings after the 15th.  lol  And when I do I don't serve filets and lobster.  Just beef it up with pasta, taters, bread and salad.  

 

post #10 of 48

I could see feeding guests non-organic food if there were serious financial constraints and you knew the guests didn't care. But, we don't eat 100% organic, anyway. I'm sure my feelings would change if I only bought my family organic food, yk? But, in any case, if I were having people over and knew they ate organic themselves whenever they could, I'd definitely feed them the same organic food my family ate! I find it kind of weird that someone wouldn't.

post #11 of 48

We serve what we eat to our family and guests.  We do not do it often due to finances.  I want our families to climb aboard and embrace the foods we eat.  They seem to have a hard time justifying the prices it seems. 

 

I know that they agree it tastes better. 

 

I too could not imagine having to owe someone dinner if they invited our family over.  I understand returning the favor but not having to owe it. 

 

 

post #12 of 48

I'm really surprised nobody thinks I have an obligation to return the favor of a meal. I'm sure I've heard plenty of complaints here on MDC before about mooches or people who never repay the favor. Heck, I've even seen people offended when they invited a kid to a birthday party, but the other kid ends up having a family-only party that isn't reciprocated.

 

I also think it's strange that people think it's absurd that the BIL didn't dole out for organic, yet think my problem is easily solved by, well, substituting cheaper food. Why is it ok for me to serve cheaper food but not BIL?

 

The family I owe a dinner to probably eats all organic but I'm not 100% sure. The lunch family probably doesn't, though they value it. I've had a very hard time in the past entertaining my boss who is a very strict 100% organic (he would go hungry before eating non-organic) raw vegan food. I felt very stressed about it, and even made some inadvertent mistakes (like I realized only when I was serving a salad that, duh! the olives were not raw or organic, just plain canned olives... my boss would get olives for $12.99 a pound or whatever).

 

I just have to keep reminding myself that everyone will be offended, and I simply can't live up to everyone's expectations. I just hate threads like these because they remind me of all the expectations people have. Yes, I can serve a vegetarian dinner. Or a low-meat dinner. But if someone is offended by being served non-organic meat, then surely I run the risk of offending them for any other solution I try. Hence I still owe these meals, because I keep hoping some month I might have a little extra money, but it's just not happening.

post #13 of 48

hmm, I guess I'll be the dissenting person here.

 

We are broke as a joke 99% of the time and the majority of our weekly budget goes to food. 

I buy our chicken at 4 bucks a pound and we use it so carefully. I use every last scrap of it, in stocks or whatever. I can't afford to feed other people the way I feed the people I really care about the most (ie DH and DD)...I just can't...

 

So to solve that problem, say I was going to have a family over for dinner and I didn't want to use a bunch of my pastured beef up because it costs me so much we can barely afford to eat it as is...

I would just go to the grocery store and buy the best meat I could and give it to all of us...We would eat the same thing as the other family but no I guess I wouldn't feel guilty about not serving the beef or chicken that costs me an arm and a leg...I guess that makes me a bad person...

 

As far as other cultures literally giving their last ounce of food to a guest. I appreciate that it is a testament to their truly giving nature. I nannied for a family who travels to Nepal a lot (the dad likes to climb big mountains) and they told a story about a family who offered them a chicken meal..This woman went on and on about how she barely touched it and instructed her son to only take a bite and then eat nothing because it was so gross and they probably just slaughtered that chicken from one of the ones on the side of the road...I am NOT that kind of person. I can't imagine how fricking rude it must have been to those people who cooked a meal for the "snooty americans"...

I understand the giving attitude of those who have little but here in my house I have to make choices every single day between the "good" stuff and the not so good stuff. It's not just a matter of we have barely any food, totally different circumstances yk?

If I have to buy enough free range/pastured beef to feed 8 people that means for the rest of the MONTH we aren't eating beef unless it is the cheap stuff from the grocery store. 

 

Am I a terrible person? I think I am just from reading what I wrote...Ah well. I wouldn't ever just give a guest the "bad" food and save the good stuff for us only. We would all eat the "bad" food if we had people over for dinner.

 

Or I would just make a huge thing of my killer smoked gouda mac n cheese...It is awesome if I do say so myselfnod.gif

post #14 of 48
I think every one of us has to make decisions for our family based on circumstances.

For us, it really depends... I make what i want to feed someone, and then i look at budget/other considerations. We typically eat pastured meat, but if i want to make fried chicken, i need boneless thighs, which i cant get (parts) pastured, so i downgrade to HFS organic. If I want to make my spicy pumpkin soup, i need andouille sausage, which i can only get from a local sausage-maker which isnt even organic. If we're having a big party (like for DS' bday), theres no way we could feed 30 w pastured meat or even organic, so we get conventional. By the same token though, i have a 4 lbblock of rib eyes in my freezer from my CSA. The 2 of us can't eat that, so we'll invite friends over and have some beautiful pastured rib eyes for dinner.

I think ultimately though, unless someone asks, its a good idea to not discuss it. Because like the op, it can cause hard feelings. There are certain people who i know appreciate pastured, so I make the effort when possible. But then there are people like our blood relations, none of whom care. Last time they were over I ordered take-out.

Laohaire - i'm w the pps on reciprocation. If i expected it, id never have company. I think we've gotten it less than a handful of times in 10 years. Many of our friends are bachelors and share apts/rent rooms so they really can't have us over. But i know they appreciate a home-cooked meal, so we give it to them. And it all got more complicated once we had DS. Few of our friends have (young) kids, so its just easier to have them here where its familiar and baby-proof. I enjoy feeding people, i get great pleasure out of having my cooking praised, reciprocity is not at all a concern.

If these are good friends, perhaps a frank conversation is in order before accepting invitations in the future? Letting them know beforehand that reciprocation is difficult gets you both off the hook. You might be surprised to learn they really just want the company. Of course another option might be to reciprocate w non-food items, similar to a barter. Childcare comes tommind, but it is of course not the only option.
post #15 of 48

Most of my guests request non-organic food b/c they are incredibly ignorant and say "organic tastes different". Even then it is usually organic and I tell them it isn't lol.

 

I would be pissed if they ate organically and gave you that crap. I am also extremely meticulous about how we eat. We are 100% organic and very low income. We have no spending money and only one car mostly so we can feed our bodies right. So IDK maybe priority would play a part? I know if I have a little BBQ the burgers are conventional and I won't eat em nor give DD them but I also let everyone know and get organic hot dogs for the kids. I always put DD first so even if we can't all eat organic I make sure her food/any other child's food was organic.

 

Anyways I would be pissed.

post #16 of 48

 

"Don't invite guests you can't afford to feed" is all well and good when you're talking dinner parties, but, in practice, would mean that our family would never get to see us/our kids.

 

I would never feed a guest lesser food than we were eating at the same meal. That's ridiculous. But if we were struggling to put food on the table as it was, we might lower our standards for the meal(s) that they were with us.

post #17 of 48

Well we've had to lower our standards for feeding guests in our home. We had good friends with whom we often shared meals with every weekend, at eachothers homes. At the time we had just started eating chicken (organic) after being veg for several years. Our friends were pretty mainstream with what they ate. Our finances were pretty tight and so I usually made vegetarian meals, which were still pretty standard for us. My friend was lovely about appreciating our food and always acknowledged the effort I put in (I love to cook). Her husband though always seemed slighted that we didn't serve meat with our meals. So I started considering how to offer them meat and stay in our budget. I was willing to eat conventional or at least hormone free chicken for these meals and my dh would choose to eat the veg sides or what not since he wasn't willing to eat non-organic meat. We never really mentioned it to our friends, we just served what we served. I find it strange that the OP's BIL even bothered to mention the meals sources.                                                                          

post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post

Most of my guests request non-organic food b/c they are incredibly ignorant and say "organic tastes different". Even then it is usually organic and I tell them it isn't lol.

 

I would be pissed if they ate organically and gave you that crap. I am also extremely meticulous about how we eat. We are 100% organic and very low income. We have no spending money and only one car mostly so we can feed our bodies right. So IDK maybe priority would play a part? I know if I have a little BBQ the burgers are conventional and I won't eat em nor give DD them but I also let everyone know and get organic hot dogs for the kids. I always put DD first so even if we can't all eat organic I make sure her food/any other child's food was organic.

 

Anyways I would be pissed.

just to be clear, "organic" doesn't actually mean all that much...It can in the governments eyes basically mean the cow or chicken has been fed organic feed. Also no antibiotics. That doesn't mean the animal is raised differently at all. Just fed different feed, still the same miserable life followed by the same miserable death...

 

Hence we have to go to local farms for our meat because "organic" just doesn't cut it for me. It is basically an excuse for a grocery store to put a higher price on your food..

Organic farming to the grocery store means 2 fields of peppers (or any veggie) 1 field is sprayed with pesticides, the other is not...They are right next to each other, so is the non sprayed field really "organic" not so much..

Thats why the only real guarantee of the quality of your food is LOCAL LOCAL LOCAL...Hard yes, impossible? Somtimes...Worth it? IMO absolutely.
 

I'm not trying to be mean if it came off a little harsh, just the idea of things like "organic" hot dogs is basically a marketing ploy.

post #19 of 48

I think it was far less rude to feed you non-organic food than it was for your BIL to announce it.

post #20 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post

I'm really surprised nobody thinks I have an obligation to return the favor of a meal. I'm sure I've heard plenty of complaints here on MDC before about mooches or people who never repay the favor. Heck, I've even seen people offended when they invited a kid to a birthday party, but the other kid ends up having a family-only party that isn't reciprocated.

 

I also think it's strange that people think it's absurd that the BIL didn't dole out for organic, yet think my problem is easily solved by, well, substituting cheaper food. Why is it ok for me to serve cheaper food but not BIL?

Well I would say because, IMO, it's better to eat cheap but still healthy (i.e. organic pasta sauce or whatever) than to offer something like non-organic meat to your guests. I am vegan, and haven't eaten meat in 16 years but the only way I would ever even consider eating meat is if it were grass-fed, hormone-free, organic, free-range... and I can't afford that (nor do I have any desire to eat meat anyway lol) so we don't eat meat. Yikes, I don't think I'm doing a very good job of explaining myself... basically, it's one thing to take a cheap meal your family would normally eat & serve that to guests, but another to buy (less healthy) things you wouldn't normally feed your own family, because you wanted to save money. But this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post

I think it was far less rude to feed you non-organic food than it was for your BIL to announce it.


is part of what colors my opinion on these 2 particular situations. I assume you wouldn't be inviting guests over & saying, "Yeah it's not organic, we don't feed organic food to our guests." I know I don't eat 100% organic, I can't afford to, but I just do my best and hope guests appreciate my efforts. And yeah, I'd probably spend more per person on a meal for friends than a meal for my own family...

As far as reciprocating, I never expect anyone to reciprocate a dinner or playdate or bday party in a 1-to-1 way... I certainly don't calculate how many times we went to X's house vs. how many times they came to mine!! But I would expect the other person to generally reciprocate or otherwise make efforts to maintain the friendship, else the relationship starts to feel one-sided and like the other person isn't interested.
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