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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Clean your plate! There's starving kids in ...

    Rare is the child that hasn't been guilt-tripped to finish their dinner by their parents, by being told that kids in some other country are starving. (We know the proper response is "Send it to them! They won't eat it either.) What was that other country for you?

    When I was growing up in Buffalo, New York in the early 1970s, it was Poland. Yes, "Finish your meal! There's starving kids in Poland!" My peers all seemed to hear "India" and "Africa" -- yeah, I know Africa isn't a country -- but I got a then-communist country in Eastern Europe. Maybe it's a Jewish shetl thing.

  2. #2
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    China was the starving country du jour when I was a lad.

    I recently admonished my little one to finish eating his beets. I pointed out to him that children in the Sahel region were starving due to desertification, access to producive resources and farming marginal lands. The problem is exacerbated by many governments that distribute food-aid to the military first and use food as a political bargaining......

    No, I couldn't finish it without busting up laughing. The little punk still didn't eat his beets, though
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Going back a few wars: There's enough left to feed 1,000 starving Armenians.

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    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    I think China was the one I heard the most, followed closely by Africa.




    I have a coffee mug with this printed on it:

    Drink your Coffee- People are Sleeping in India
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

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    Cyburbian Plan-it's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    Going back a few wars: There's enough left to feed 1,000 starving Armenians.
    Yeah, my Armenian grandfather used to say something to this nature all the time back when I was growing up.
    Satellite City Enabler

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    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    The Republic of Upper Volta.

















    fine, it was actually China.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    I always got an actual country in Africa - Ethiopia.

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    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Finish your beer-- there's sober kids in Utah
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    I recall my mom used "China." Which struck me as odd, since we ate on china. Why was it these people made such nice plates but didn't have food?

    What my son hears is my wife telling him how when she grew up with her 10 brothers and sisters, she was never not hungry. Each kid got a little piece of fish or meat, a spoonful of rice, a spoonful of beans and fruit. Every single day. She also tells him about her special birthday present when her aunt gave her two eggs!

    My son is a talker and it is hard to get him to eat. He would rather yap. We told him just this morning that it was a good thing he didn't live in Colombia with ten brothers and sisters because they would have eaten all of his food while he talked.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Being born at the end of WWII, all the starving children were in Europe. I guess my family wasn't too concerned about the ones in Asia.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  11. #11
    It was the poor, starving children of Viet Nam in my youthful admonishments.

    This confused me, somewhat, since it looked like all they ever ate was rice and I always finished my rice. I couldn't imagine those kids starving for my broccoli...

    When we recently tried to guilt my daughter into finishing her dinner she replied "Should we mail it to them or will they come pick it up?"

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    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    I usually got the common ones like India, Africa, or China. I used to take a long time to eat too. On occassion, my parents would set the timer on the stove, and I would have to finish eating by the time it went off.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
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    Cyburbian
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    My great aunt and grandmother would pile out plates high and then admonish us for not eating. Then they'd admonish us for eating so much and being chubby....so yeah. Mixed messages.

    They always said there were starving people in that very city, no need for a far off place. They were happy to drag us to a homeless shelter or a street with hungry people on it if we argued.
    Last edited by Tresmo; 03 Apr 2008 at 2:33 PM.

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    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    I forget where the starving kids were when I was was growing up, but I can remember sitting at the table for long time after everyone had gotten up because I hadn't cleaned my plate.

    Our daughter doesn't want to at dinner time either. She would rather talk and play with the fork, or the napkin, or the plate, or the piece of chicken or the...anything but actually eat. My wife also started the " just eat 8 bites and you can be done" after sitting there for so long. Of course now the kid knows if she sits there long enough she'll get the number of bites routine, and then the negotiations/debate begin. It was really cute when she couldn't count all that well. As with all cases I'm sure, this is a frustrating time at the dinner table for all.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
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    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    I don't think my parents ever played the "starving children" card, but since I was a very picky eater I would refuse to eat most anything on the table.

    So, my mom would say "Then make your own dinner." Which I usually did. Unfortunately, we didn't have any junk food around the house when I was young, so that tactic usually ended with me making something nutrious.

    I really dread this stage when my son gets there. Right now, being 9 months old, he'll pretty much eat what you give him.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

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    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    No recollection of furrin' countries, probably due to my advanced age. But we did have the Clean Plate Club.

    Drove past a restaurant named that sometime in the 60s.

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    Cyburbian ruralplanner's avatar
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    I never got the starving talk as a kid. My parents, who are overweight, grew up with what they called the ‘clean plate club’ which they attributed to their condition. Thus, I never had to clean my plate and never got a starving talk. On the other hand we have pointed out Africa and India to our kids only if they refuse to eat what we prepared all together. Otherwise, whatever they don’t finish goes into a container for my mixed fixings lunch the next day. Mmm. Mmm. Good.

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    Cyburbian gicarto's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    When we recently tried to guilt my daughter into finishing her dinner she replied "Should we mail it to them or will they come pick it up?"
    I always told my folks to mail it to them.
    Trying to get my grubby hands on as much stimulus money as I can.:D

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    India. But I don't remember being a finicky eater after the age of 8 or 9.

    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    My peers all seemed to hear "India" and "Africa" -- yeah, I know Africa isn't a country -- but I got a then-communist country in Eastern Europe. Maybe it's a Jewish shetl thing.
    Surprised I never got that in my household. My grandparents weren't very good with geography -- or maybe it's just that all those countries kept changing hands -- even though their parents immigrated from Eastern Europe. (This has made tracing my genealogy especially difficult, because my grandparents called every Eastern European country "Russia" even if it was, say, Latvia or the Ukraine.) And my mom, prior to a trip to Israel in 1971, for a brief period thought she was going to Africa.

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    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman View post
    I don't think my parents ever played the "starving children" card, but since I was a very picky eater I would refuse to eat most anything on the table.

    So, my mom would say "Then make your own dinner." Which I usually did. Unfortunately, we didn't have any junk food around the house when I was young, so that tactic usually ended with me making something nutrious.
    my parents would say the same thing. we always had yogurt or cereal or PBJ around that we were allowed to have instead.


    i do remember being bribed to clean our plate and ask for seconds when visiting a certain relative's house. this woman never had children of her own and would make all these gourmet, or weird-to-kids, dishes. so finally after years of us turning our noses up at Cold Melon Soup and the like, my mother said she'd pay us all $5 to eat the tuna cassarole and ask for seconds, just for the sake of family harmony.

    with my nephew, my sister has taken the approach of letting him graze rather than forcing him to eat at set times. he still needs to sit at the dinner table and be social but if he isn't hungry then he just isn't served anything. they always have nutrious snacks around the house and he tends to eat that instead. at 18 months his favorite food was avacado.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Cyburbian DecaturHawk's avatar
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    I thought I had my kid on this one, until the last time I said "Don't you know there are starving kids in Africa?" and he said, "Yeah? Name five."
    SOME say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice.
    From what I’ve tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate
    To know that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice.

    Robert Frost (1874–1963) (From Harper’s Magazine, December 1920.)

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    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I don't think we ever got that starving kids lecture. Instead, it was "Sit there until you taste everything on your plate." Hmmm...OK, Mom but I already tasted peas 43 times and I know I hate them. Sometimes I could hide the stuff in a napkin. But sometimes I sat at the table for HOURS...

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    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    It usually was China in my family. I think in some homes there was concern during the War on Poverty (TM) about the starving kids in Appalachia. Usually I was too hungry to leave anything on my plate. Fortunately my father is about as picky an eater as I was, so lima beans, canned asparagus, and similar disgusting items never darkened our plates (or palates).

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    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN View post
    Finish your beer-- there's sober kids in Utah
    that is a good one...made me LOL this morning

    oh...me it was Africa.
    "Yeehaw!" is not a foreign policy

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