Keeping the peace with your in-laws can be tough. Whether it’s having to find a way to keep your meddling mother-in-law out of your bedroom, or deciding to cut your mother-in-law out of your life altogether for your sanity, tensions are not uncommon. But one woman has shared how her son-in-law offended her recently by ordering a pizza after refusing to eat the food she cooked.
On Tuesday, Mumsnet user Ritascornershop shared the story on the popular discussion site. She explained: “My family is staying with me. They eat meat at every meal, I’m vegetarian. I said it’s fine that they cook meat (though the smell really bothers me, but I act like it’s fine).
“Last night I made dinner for us with veggie ‘meat.’ My son-in-law, who is a wonderful person, ate everything but the protein. And then went out and ordered a meat pizza.”
According to a recent survey by The Conversation, 10 percent of Americans over the age of 18 consider themselves to be vegan or vegetarian. In April, a report from Grand View Research found that the global plant-based meat market is seeing rapid growth—worth around $5 billion in 2021, it is predicted that the market will see a compound annual growth rate of 19.3 percent by 2030.
The woman was taken aback by her son-in-law’s actions and wrote: “He just doesn’t like the taste of fake meat, whereas I don’t eat meat for ethical reasons. I was taught to eat what was in front of you. My mom was a terrible cook but I had to eat her food three times a day for 18 years. I’m a pretty good cook, I’ve taught cooking and taken cooking classes for years—I have a real interest in it. Should he have eaten the whole curry?”
But Mumsnet users sided with the son-in-law, suggesting that ordering the pizza was not a rude thing to do.
“It’s not rude at all,” wrote one commenter: “Eating something because someone else wants you to is an unhealthy mindset. Food is a personal topic and choice for each individual.”
“You prepared a meal and it wasn’t enough to satisfy his hunger as he didn’t like the main ingredient and left it so he spent his own money to supplement the food. What’s wrong with that?” said another Mumsnet user.
“I think actually it’s bad to expect guests to eat food they dislike just because you made it, in fact, I find that quite creepy,” said another response.
Advice site LifeHacker says that politely turning down foods you dislike can be tricky, but is possible. They suggest polite responses including: “[Ingredient] bothers my stomach, so I’m going to pass on this one,” and stress the importance of being gracious, suggesting phrases like: “I really appreciate how much effort and thought you put into dinner. Thanks!”
One Mumsnet user agreed that they would do the same as the poster’s son-in-law—no matter what the meal: “Gordon Ramsay could come round to my house and cook a 3 star Michelin salmon dish and I would refuse it and order a pizza too. I’m an adult, I’m not going to eat food I don’t like.”
“He ate everything else so no he wasn’t rude in my opinion,” said another commenter. “It would have been rude if he’d pushed his plate away without eating anything and then ordered a pizza instead. He did eat what he could though, he tried.”
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