January 13, 2020 | Andie Wood

People Share The Worst "Food Sins" They've Seen Someone Commit

When we were little, our parents always told us never to play with our food. They weren't just saying that for the sake of saying it, either. They actually had a point—our food is something to be respected. In this world, you're fortunate to be able to get three meals a day. Sadly, some people often take that for granted. Other times, they take full advantage. Here are some of the worst food sins people have seen someone commit:


#1 Crazy Lady Salad

There was a crazy old lady named Lala who was a server for 10+ years at a restaurant that I used to bartend at. Super nice lady, but she always smelled like dirty cats and was generally unhygienic. Customers loved her though, so management kept her around. Anywho, instead of scraping guest's food scraps into the garbage, she would fill carryout boxes with the scraps. She saved nearly EVERYTHING. I'm talking half a tomato slice, crusty old fries, a single bite of a burger. She would just throw it all in a box. Then, at the end of her shift, she would mix it all together and eat it like a salad.


#2 Garbage Digging

When I waited tables, I had a coworker who would do this. Except, he wouldn't bother with the to-go container. He would bus tables and then eat the scraps while standing over the trash next to the dish room. A couple of times, he was caught actually pulling food out of the trash and eating it. At first, we all wondered if he was homeless, but it turns out he was a rich kid with a nice car and stuff. His nickname was "The Dog" because he wouldn't quit eating out of the garbage.


#3 Piping Hot Requirements

My ex-wife would refuse to eat a meal unless it was served "piping hot." She also would refuse to come to the table to eat unless the food was already sitting there waiting for her. In fact, she wouldn't begin her come-to-the-table routine—which included winding up whatever she was doing—unless the food was already on the table, even if I gave her several warnings that she should start getting ready because the food would be ready soon.

So given these two delightful qualities, at dang near every meal we ever had, she would sit down, take a bite, pronounce the food too cool for her liking, get up and microwave the heck out of it. It didn't matter what was on the menu—a dish with a delicate cream sauce, an expensive cut of steak, sauteed fish, whatever—into the microwave it went.


#4 Tastebuds Of Steel

We had a guy who did this at our restaurant every day. Food was prepped while the server waited. The server put it into the microwave for one minute, then the food comes out at a boiling temperature and it was served immediately. The guy ate it in 90 seconds flat. He always tipped well, so we tried to accommodate him. The only thing I can imagine is he has lost all his taste buds, so scalding his mouth is the only way to feel anything when eating.

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#5 Dry Turkey

My dad used to start the Thanksgiving turkey ridiculously early, like 9 a.m., but we didn’t eat until normal dinner time. So he’d take the delicious turkey out of the oven, toss it in the fridge for five hours, carve it at dinner time, pile it onto a platter, then stick the platter in the microwave. I usually slept in on Thanksgiving, so I didn’t catch on to this abhorrent practice until I moved out and started coming over for Thanksgiving. I’m married and own a house now, so I host dinner now. Last year, everyone was amazed at how moist my turkey was. Yeah, it turns out not microwaving the heck out of it makes it taste pretty good. Who knew?


#6 Leather Bird

I know a family that does this, except that they make their entire Thanksgiving meal the day before, eat some of it, then give family and friends reheated leftovers for Thanksgiving dinner while bragging about how good it tasted the day before. My ex-husband's mother was so proud of how she would "get the turkey started before bed the night before." Um... Are we eating Thanksgiving dinner at 6:00 am?!?! No. She would let it cook all day too! That bird was leather.


#7 A Bad Fruit Cocktail

I've got this one beat. I was staying at a relative of my cousin's and this old woman poured a fruit cocktail (the nasty kind with those weird grapes) in a styrofoam cup with milk. MILK. This was not condensed milk. It was not sweet or carbonated. It didn't integrate with the weird fruit cocktail (which I normally love) at all. It tasted really bad, especially as a kid.


#8 Spaghetti Bolognese Smoothie

On behalf of my wife, I tell this story about myself. I once had a really sore mouth and couldn’t chew food. My wife made spaghetti bolognese and I told her I still couldn’t eat, so she just ate alone and put the rest in the fridge. I was so hungry from not eating properly for a couple of days though, so later I put it in a blender and drank a cold spaghetti bolognese smoothie. She almost threw up watching it but it was actually okay.


#9 Watered Down Savings

I used to share a house with a guy. We agreed to split the bill for the food essentials and buy anything different we wanted ourselves. Every time a sauce bottle got down to be being about 1/3 full, he would fill it up with water and shake it before use to "get my money's worth." I thought it was absolutely disgusting. We had an actual full-blown row about it, which seems very silly looking back, but anyone who has shared a house before will know the small things tend to get amplified.



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#10 Intentionally Raw

I've had raw chicken cuts in Japan. The surface was slightly seared and the insides were completely raw. It was served with a dash of ponzu and some sort of yuzu and shishito paste. It didn't taste bad and I didn't get sick. But I can't recommend folks doing it at home. That's done with very carefully raised chickens intended for that purpose.



#11 Doritos Licker

Not something I've seen, but something my parents said when I was four years old.  I'd sneak into the Doritos bag, lick all the powder off some chips, and put them back in the bag. When my parents would try to eat some, they'd suddenly be horrified by grabbing a cold and soggy chip. I didn't even have anything against my parents that motivated me to do that, I just thought it was funny.

#12 A Special Coating

I worked at a daycare center and was initially charmed when one of the kids kept pressing single peanuts from her packed lunch into my hand. I thought she wanted to share her snack as a sign of affection, so I ate them until realizing one was kinda wet. Turns out, they were honey roasted peanuts and she was sucking off the coating first.


#13 Oreo Crime

I love Oreos. Like, "buy a pack and it's gone that day" a lot. One day I saw one of my coworkers open an Oreo, SCRAPE THE CREAM INTO THE FREAKING GARBAGE, and just eat the cookies. Because she says the cream is "too sweet" for her. I almost called 911. A part of me died inside that day, knowing such evil exists. Disgusting.


#14 A Kid At Heart

I once sat in a meeting and watched a guy take a pack of Oreos and start disassembling them to make a single Oreo that was at least three inches thick with cream in the middle. He then proceeded to lick the cream around the outside for like 20 minutes, very sensually too, if I had to think of a word to describe it. I don't know, it was one of the most bizarre things I've seen someone do in a professional setting.


#15 Lasagna Concoction

I had an insane temporary housemate. We were both in a transitionary state of in lives. If I cooked and had extra, she would have some, no big whoop. I am Italian-American and don't understand portion control, so I make vats of food. She, under her own gumption, decided to make dinner one night, "just for the two of us." I was immediately confused. There was nothing in that fridge worth making dinner over, this I know.

I looked to the counter and she's got out a couple of half jars of salsa from a recent party, a bottle of ketchup, and a jar of olives. "What're you making?" I asked, knowing I was going to hate the answer. "Lasagna. I talked to your fiancé and I know you love lasagna, so I'm making us some." A couple of things: I know for a fact she did not talk to my fiancé. I know for a fact that I don't like lasagna. I know for a fact that you can't mix ketchup and salsa to make pasta sauce.

It was at this moment I knew that the transition time in my life was over and I needed to get out of that house. I knew that I had seen the worst thing ever attempted to be combined into a known food product.


#16 Well Done, Uncle

I had some family come over to my place for a roast dinner. We had a really nice bit of beef that was still a bit bloody (probably rare to medium-rare). My uncle decided it was not cooked enough for him, so he microwaved his piece until it was well done, then covered the whole thing in a 1/2 inch layer of horseradish.



#17 Ketchup... On Steak?

Ketchup on a steak that was ordered well done. Pure torture to my soul. That was my childhood—I love my dad, but I grew up on his grey hamburgers and steak with ketchup. I didn't learn any better until I was in my 20s, after getting scolded by someone in a restaurant. All those years of embarrassment... But at least now I know better.


#18 The Three-Egg Soft Scramble

I'm a waitress. I've seen it all, literally everything. And I don't judge. But this one time... The order started out as a simple three-egg soft scramble. Add spinach and goat cheese. And fresh strawberries. Scrambled. In the eggs. They turned this grey-brown color. She ate every bite and seemingly enjoyed it. To each their own, I guess.


#19 Culinary Psychopath

I swear my dad is insane. He’ll buy a bunch of things that he’s never tried before, usually some sort of seafood, chuck it in a pan with vegetables and oil with no seasoning, fry it for... an indeterminate length of time, have it with rice or boiled spuds, then declare it disgusting. And he’ll do this several times a week. Oh, and I also saw him make a meal of minced beef, curry powder, and plain white rice. The man’s a culinary psychopath.


#20 Mashed Chicken Roast

I had some wicked mouth sores last Christmas, and could really only eat soft room temperature food. Even water was enough to make me cry, and I couldn't sleep comfortably for a few days. Someone made this absolutely fantastic chicken roast, and I had to mash the heck out of it. It wasn't a pleasant texture, but it definitely did help though. I think the lowest point for me was sitting on the kitchen floor crying in pain while eating cheesecake.


#21 Student Survival Food

There's a guy in my flat at university, and all his meals (not too sure about breakfast, but I wouldn't be surprised if this was also the case) are all chicken nuggets and microwaved rice. Other times, he will "mix it up" by making hot dogs and noodles, but that's all I've ever seen this guy eat. Somehow, this sustains him; he's a lanky guy, but he looks like death warmed up—gaunt facial features, ghostly complexion. I know a diet like that would make me very ill, but I can hardly understand how this guy can just survive on that.


#22 A Dangerously Picky Eater

I used to nanny for a boy who was pretty severely autistic. He would only eat plain chicken nuggets and french fries for every meal and looked pretty sickly. He once screamed in terror when I brought an orange to the table... for me to eat. I mentioned how skinny he was to the mom once and she got really offended, but then at his next doctor's appointment, she was told that her son was severely malnourished. Good on her, though; she got with his therapist and they came up with a plan for him to try a new food each week (like the same item seven times in a row) and to drink a vitamin smoothie every day. I haven't seen then in years, but I hope he's doing okay.



#23 Odd Combinations

My mom puts yogurt on her pizza. Also, I heard this was "normal," but my boyfriend will take a whole spoonful of peanut butter and dip it in milk as if it was an Oreo and milk. He just sucks on the peanut butter with the milk for a good hour until both the milk and peanut butter are gone. I never understood it, but then again, I never tried it either.


#24 Sweet And Savory

I used to put strawberry yogurt on a toasted bagel. The jam was too sweet. I love pineapple and pepperoni too. Sweet and spicy or sweet and savory can really complement each other. Mango salsa is another example. Now, vanilla yogurt on pizza sounds awful, but I’d try a bite before condemning it. You never know.


#25 The Peanut Butter Thing

I do the peanut butter milk thing. It’s actually great, like a “healthier” snack. Peanut butter alone on a spoon is good but it can be very thirst provoking after a while. The milk provides a nice lubricating layer. I put globs of peanut butter in my Honey Bunches of Oats cereal (delicious) and nothing beats peanut butter and a banana protein shake. I suggest you try it.


#26 Unusual Pairings

I used to pour small amounts of chocolate milk on my pizza along with a small chunk of apple on each bite. I can still remember the unique way it tastes and the terrified looks of my classmates every time I ate my masterpiece. The only reason I don’t do it now is that 1) I rarely have chocolate milk or apples at the time and 2) it takes too long to cut the apple chunks. By that point, I’m too hungry to put in the effort.


#27 Weird Preferences

My husband is white and I am Hispanic. He was surprised when he saw that I put ketchup on pizza. He was even more surprised when we visited my hometown and he saw that people pour soy sauce and sour cream on pizza. The thing that's very odd to me is that he'll drink milk with dinner food... I guess everybody has their own weird preferences.


#28 Experimental Pizzas

I used to work at a fancy hotel. The chef in our more casual restaurant liked to do experimental pizzas. They were keen on the roast dinner pizza (complete with roast potatoes and all) and the Greek pizza (lamb, feta, mint, yogurt). Thankfully, they didn’t stay on the menu for long. They weren't exactly the best sellers.


#29 Off The List

I was removed from a 1,500 member “Foodies” distribution list for this one. My friend managed the list at a large San Francisco Bay Area company. I worked a few cubicles down. Someone started a thread on how people dress up their ramen. These folks were hardcore about their ramen. People would set aside a day to get in line at 11 a.m. for work lunch at the best ramen places.

The thread had dozens of responses and I learned the name of a few new vegetables. I responded to the thread with “I put a half packet of Splenda in my Cup Noodle to offset the salt." I was trolling a bit, but it was something I actually did at the time. My friend calls out “Bender, can you come here a sec?” and made me watch as he removed my name from the Foodies list.


#30 Selective Chipping

I almost got in a fight with a friend for this. I bought a bag of Doritos that I was excited about. My friend (a tiny 120-lb girl) asked if she could have some, and I, of course, agreed. She didn't just eat the chips like a normal person, she went in and specifically found the Doritos with the most cheese powder and only ate those. She left me with all the terribly bland chips.

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#31 Compartmental Eating

My mom eats her food VERY weird and it annoys me. She picks apart her food and eats the ingredients separately. For example, for PIZZA, she rips the cheese off and the sausage pieces, She then eats the cheese, the bread of the pizza and the sausages individually. Another example is a sliced beef sandwich. She'll eat all the beef and then the bread individually. IT SUPPOSED TO BE EATEN TOGETHER, that's what makes it taste good. It really bothers me.


#32 Food Wasters

Wasting edible food. Every other food horror story has to do with prejudicial judgment about something someone else enjoyed. Did someone put ranch dressing on something that is usually served without it? Did someone cook an expensive steak beyond medium-rare? Did someone microwave seafood after cooking it the day before? That's scandalous. But seriously, people waste OBSCENE amounts of food. That's a major sin in my eyes.

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#33 Simplicity Is Best

A buddy of mine, a fellow homeless person, offered me one of two cheeseburgers he found in a bag in a McDonald's parking lot. I went on a tirade how I would starve before I ate a parking lot burger, then I ate the burger. It was the best freaking burger I ever had. Even now, thirty years later, once in a while I get a cheeseburger from Mickey D's to remind me how a hundred dollar steak just doesn't taste as well when compared to the joy of that burger.


#34 Making Steak Jerky

I used to work in a fancy steakhouse. One night, we had prime Wagyu beef as a special (this is a $100 piece of meat). My job was to run the food out to the tables, and halfway through the night, an order came back for well-done Wagyu. If you ask any chef, they are going to say this breaks their heart, but people can order steaks how they like if they are the ones spending the money. When I ran the steak out to the table the old man cut into the center and said it needed to be cooked longer. We repeated this two more times until there was essentially a $100 piece of jerky in front of him.


#35 Framing Wendy's

My aunt, in her childhood, would lick the salt off of her Wendy's fries when the family went out to eat. My grandpa would be horrified with her for not eating perfectly good fries. He would eat them himself, not knowing she had licked each one. So basically, my grandma and aunt let him believe Wendy's just had the worst, soggiest fries in the world for years before he caught her in the act.


#36 Loving The Dip

When my daughter was a toddler, she was a super picky eater. Finally, we figured out she'd eat pretty much anything if she could dip it in something else—ketchup, mustard, yogurt, etc. She's mostly outgrown it, but somehow she's morphed into dipping garlic bread into strawberry yogurt. It's the weirdest and grossest combo I can think of that won't make you sick.


#37 A Unique Eating Sequence

A woman my uncle used to date had a really weird eating sequence. We went out to eat with some family only have to witness the horror of her eating a cheeseburger. She started with the top bun, then the onion, then the tomato, then the lettuce. By the time she got to the meat of the burger, she was full. What the heck.


#38 Disrespecting Dad

Every year for Christmas, my dad cooks a horseradish crusted prime rib roast. He's been doing it for decades and he's got it to the point of medium-rare perfection. Whenever my mom's side of the family visits, they proceed to microwave it until its grey and cover it with A1 steak sauce. I cry a little inside...


#39 The Food Cluster

In sixth grade, one of my dumb girlfriends crushed a ham sandwich and various other stuff from her lunchbox into a ball, proclaimed it "The Food Cluster" and demanded everyone from the table give her something to add. It was the grossest thing I'd ever seen, and I almost barfed repeatedly. Seeing her eat it was an even worse sight.


#40 Overdone Steaks

I went with my father and stepmother out to a steakhouse. She proceeded to order a giant cut of prime rib; well done. She sent it back four different times because she could still see pink. I never ate her homecooked steak because she would broil the heck out of it in the oven. My mother also puts ketchup on her steak. Every freaking time.


#41 The World's Soggiest Cereal

I slept over at a "friends" house one time because he insisted. His family had dinner at 4 p.m. which is way earlier than I am used to, so around 8 p.m. I was starving. I asked him if I could have something more to eat and his mom got me leftover cereal and milk from that morning. It was so incredibly soggy I couldn't even pretend to eat it.


#42 How Berry Weird

It probably doesn’t qualify as the worst for a lot of people, but my significant other refuses to eat the tips of strawberries. I can understand removing the leaves and then eating the berry, but he bites off only the very red part and throws the top third of the berry out. I feel like that’s such a waste and it explains why he ends up eating most of them so quickly while I’m still working on my fourth berry. It’s funny how such a little thing can absolutely drive me bonkers.


#43 Offensive Potatoes

I was just out of high school and dating this guy long enough to go to Thanksgiving with his family. I asked his mother if she'd like me to bring anything and she said yes. I suggested mashed potatoes and she said, "That's great!" I used to the recipe that my grandmother did when making mashed potatoes. Her potatoes were so flavorful—full of butter, a little sour cream, some cream cheese.

And she knew how to make them without becoming gummy. Dehydrate the drained potatoes, then use a ricer to get all the lumps out. I made this and brought it to Thanksgiving. Just about when we're about to eat, she saw my potatoes and then proceeded to mix them into her terrible, flavorless potatoes. I couldn't say a dang thing, but I was horrified.


#44 A Bread Crime

Maybe not the "worst" but I went to Jimmy John's for the first time the other day and saw how they rip 90% of the soft part of the bread out and throw it in the trash. Like why?? I opened up the wrapper to find a flat, squished sandwich. It's such a waste. Plus, whose idea was it to dig their fingers into the sub, tear out most of the bread and throw it away?


#45 A Breakfast Mix

I was tipsy one day at home. I wanted a peanut-butter jelly sandwich but had no bread. My thought process was that bread is a grain, so I substituted the bread with food from the same category. I poured a bowl of Cheerios and added the jelly and peanut butter. I’ll probably end up not going to heaven for that.


#46 An Overly Harsh Critic

People can eat whatever they like. If it's good for you, then great! The biggest food sin? Being vague about an order and then throwing a huge fit over the preparation of the food and sending it back more than once. My older sister is like this. For someone that grew up dirt poor at a certain point in her life, it's unfortunate that she does this constantly. Berating waitstaff, complaining about food obnoxiously and asking for the meal to be comped or redone. In all other aspects, she's charitable, kind, a nice aunt (we are both parents of older kids now) but we don't get lunch or dinner together anymore.


#47 Wholly Devoted To Pizza

I used to make fun of my roommate because the only food we ever saw him eat was pizza. He didn’t like the texture of ground beef or beef in general, so he hated hamburgers. He thought that all Asian restaurants were unhealthy, so he hated Asian food. He even went as far as not going to dinner with his girlfriend because the place she was going to was a Japanese restaurant. He was an idiot and a jerk.


#48 The Biggest Mayo Fan

My girlfriend has mayonnaise with everything. She's 5-ft tall and skinny, yet it's mayo every freaking time. The worst is when she just dumps a load of sweetcorn into a bowl and does about a 50/50 mix of mayo and sweetcorn. She doesn't like a lot of traditional foods... But she loves mayo and pretty much anything related.


#49 Ruined Steak Potential

I just recently went to an event where there were hundreds of steaks. I helped lay them all out on tables before they got cooked. I left the room and then returned. Someone had doused them all, every last one, in Costco Italian salad dressing and then absolutely smothered them with some kind of steak seasoning powder. Afterward, they overcooked them in the smoker and then didn't finish with a sear. It wasn't the worst steak I've eaten but it was the worst waste of potential I have ever seen.


#50 Not Under My Roof

I once made fried chicken and waffles. The waffles were fluffy and dope. The chicken had a hint of cinnamon which made it incredible as well. All topped with grand Marnier-infused maple syrup. My roommate asked if he could try some, then proceeded to ask for ketchup... Just so you know, I told him if he used ketchup, I'd kick him out. I did eventually, but for different reasons.


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