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Vegetables and disapproving looks 2009/7/5 17:29
I am young asian woman who will be visiting friends & their families in Japan. I dislike most veggies, eating them around 3 meals a week. When people in South & South East Asia find out that I don't eat enough veggies & wouldn't eat certain veggies, I get disapproving looks. I am wondering whether I will get disapproving looks from most Japanese if I don't eat enough veggies?

How many servings is a good minimum amount to eat in front of friends' families to not get disapproving looks?
by Jenny (guest)  

... 2009/7/5 18:56
Many people will considered it childish and difficult to believe that you dislike an entire group of food, unless you have a health related cause, e.g. allergies. But I think that is the same not only in Asian countries but pretty much around the world.

But it ultimately depends on the person. Some traditionalists might react with disapproving looks, while others have a long list of dislikings themselves and will be understanding.

Also, if it can be done tactfully, try to avoid getting served vegetables by possibly informing your friends in advance.

On the other hand, if you have shared meals, where everybody shares everything that is put on the tables, you might escape the situation without anybody noticing your vegetable issue.
by Uji rate this post as useful

eating 2009/7/5 21:32
Basically it is not the "not eating veges" thing that would cause disapproving looks, it is that here as elsewhere it is rude not to eat what is put in front of you if you visit someone's house.

I am actually a vegetarian, but I will not allow my eating preferences to be a cause of offense to people who don't understand vegetarianism well, so if I visit someone's house and am served meat, I will eat it. I have always disliked seafood, but I will eat that too, just so that I don't cause offense to my hosts.

If you can possibly manage to choke down at least some of what you are served, I recommend doing it- at every meal.

I hope you are taking some good vitamin supplements and have other sources of fibre by the way, or you are setting yourself up for all kinds of health problems when you get older.
by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

probably 2009/7/6 01:49
You probably will since it's a bit of an odd habit. People will definitely think you're unhealthy if you rarely eat vegetables.

Veges are pretty much important in the human diet so wherever you go in the world people are going to disapprove of your diet until you get some healthy food into it!
by Winterwolf (guest) rate this post as useful

Only recently 2009/7/6 02:41
When I was a teenager, I didn't get disapproving looks in any country. In my early 20s, I have gotten disapproving looks in China, Indonesia & Singapore if I only eat a little (1 serving/meal). It seems like I am expected to have 2 servings of veggies/meal. Also, usa is the only country I do not seem to get disapproving looks.

Eating 2 or more servings/meal of veggies significantly reduces my appetite for other food. I love most Japanese food, and wouldn't want to spoil my appetite by eating veggies as I will only be in Japan for 6 days.

Basically it is not the "not eating veges" thing that would cause disapproving looks, it is that here as elsewhere it is rude not to eat what is put in front of you if you visit someone's house.

I do eat veggies if they are served to me. Depending on the veggie, I have one bite (min) to 1 serving (max). People tend to notice that I consume much more meat than veggies.

If you can possibly manage to choke down at least some of what you are served, I recommend doing it-at every meal.

Yes I am planning to do that. I hope it's acceptable to just take a few bites of veggies?



by Jenny (guest) rate this post as useful

Not wondering anymore now 2009/7/6 02:59
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17631389/

No wonder I don't get disapproving looks in usa. It's very common to not eat veggies among those my age. "Younger adults, age 18 to 24, ate the fewest vegetables. Nearly four-fifths of that age category scraped the veggies to the side of their plates if they had vegetables on the plate at all."

by Jenny (guest) rate this post as useful

vegetables 2009/7/6 04:37
Sira's answer was the best and the kindest. I know that I will sound like a boring teacher but so be it. Many young people don't like vegetables (likely because whoever cook their food isn't a skilled cook), but once they are young adults they need to understand that they are endangering their future health. It could well be coincidence but 2 of my staff -both adults- seldom ate vegetables. One believed that fried potatoes, fried onions and the bit of lettuce and ketchup he got with is twice daily fast food meals was enough vegetables. He died of a heart attack at 60 but looked 80. Another one had a better diet but not by much. He had to take early retirement for serious health problems due --officially- to his poor diet.
Besides health, another reason to eat lots of vegetables is that they are one of the most inexpensive food, by volume. Many people nowadays have a hard time balancing their budget, with the rents or mortgages, utilities, taxes, gas, clothes, entertainment etc. ever increasing, and eating more vegetables, some fruits, and less meat and fish is one way of saving money AND having a healthier diet. Eating more vegetables is also a good way to control one' s body weight naturally.
by Monkey see (guest) rate this post as useful

eating 2009/7/6 08:19
"Eating 2 or more servings/meal of veggies significantly reduces my appetite for other food."

Other food being mostly meat and refined carbohydrates (white pasta, white rice and bread) I presume- if your appetite for these things is reduced when you eat veges this is actually a good thing- I think you will find it works the same for most people.

Note that young American people, who as you saw don't eat a lot of veges, are some of the unhealthiest and fattest in the developed world- there's a strong connection there. I hope at least you are eating plenty of fruit.
by Sira (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2009/7/6 09:32
I personally have an intense dislike for all fruit. I never choose to eat it and will only do so if my host has gone to special effort (and here in Japan, probably extra expense) to serve it.

Yes, my friends, co-workers, family think its strange, but mostly its not an issue and nobody is disapproving. I'm an adult, so its up to me to make dietary choices, I think people get that.

I wouldn't worry to much, but be aware that you may find yourself in a dining situation where you may just have to put up with [insert food you dislike] and eat it.
by Ann (guest) rate this post as useful

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