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Appetite Fatigue

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I think that's what someone called it.


What exactly is this? I'm assuming it has to do with eating the same food day in and day out till you can't eat it anymore. My fil was in the Phillipines during WW2 and said they existed on boiled rice for weeks at a time with nothing else. He won't touch rice of any kind now.


But could that happen with a small variation of foods? Like say you have plenty of beans, rice, flour, and oil. And during the summers you have tomatoes and maybe some greens. Couldn't you prepare these foods in different ways to avoid appetite fatigue?


It seems like some cultures live on limited varieties of foods, and the variations in their dishes come from the way they prepare them, using the same ingredients for soups, fried foods, baked foods, etc.


Tell me more about the phenomena. We eat *very* simply without a lot of variety. I'm not a gourmet cook. Actually, I'm not a very good cook at all. LOL And my husband is a very basic eater. Actually, he's picky. We are a perfect pair, but it does have me wondering about this appetite fatigue thing if (when) we come to severe shortages.

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I'll just say that having tried the Atkins diet... I'm a partial vegetarian. I only eat chicken and turkey. Yeah, try doing that diet for any length of time. What's for breakfast? Eggs. Lunch, chicken, dinner, chicken, breakfast, eggs, lolol... ha ha ha.


Yup, I've experienced appetite fatigue first hand, although I was lucky it was self induced. It is a very real thing. After a while, I didn't crave anything at all, I literally fought myself to bite into that chicken. I didn't want to eat ANYTHING, nothing tasted good to me at all. (I know that's not the healthiest, but when your wedding is coming up, well, you know. :))

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I think I could suffer from that. If I eat basically the same things, like when on a diet, I get burned out, and start looking for something with TASTE. Sometimes I end up grazing, just to find what satisfied me. However, that being said, if worse comes to worse, bet I'll eat most anything-except worms maybe.

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Seasonings will make all the difference in the world.


I can be extremely hungry, even fainting with it and not be able to choke something down. I've also been known to go more than a week without eating because I didnt' have anything to eat that I could stand. Yes I'm picky and no, I'm not thin.


I started cooking when I was 9 because I couldn't stand my mother's cooking. Figured I would starve if I didn't take matters into my own hands.

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A week!!! Good heavens Trish! That sure is picky!


My grandma told me the secret to good cooking was letting them get good and hungry!! Works on kids, my kids anyway.


I found this good article on Appetite Fatigue.




I hope that's clickable....???


This is a good thread and I'm going to look into it some more.


I am trying to remember to add some flavor along the way. A little comfort food can make a big difference, especially when children are involved.



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Appetite fatigue is most pronounced in young children. A former neighbor of mine, who was raised effectively as a sharecropper, liked to say that when he was a kid, his mom would fix a plate for each child, and then sprinkle sugar or syrup all over it to make the child eat. Otherwise the children would just pick at the food and get all sorts of nutrient-based ailments. I knew someone else whose father finally had to sit at the dinner table with a belt to threaten to beat anyone who wouldn't eat. Another person I knew survived a horrible several months called "the pancake summer" where his mother, who had only flour and oil to feed everyone, would fry balls or patties of dough every day. Those children also got horribly thin although they always felt hungry and there was--quantity wise--plenty to eat.


Some people can tolerate very little variety. Some can't.

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Appetite fatigue overrides hunger and can spiral into some very serious issues.


Hunger won't do a thing when one is suffering from AF.

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I have a friend who is a Shoah (holocaust) survivor and all that survived from a garden before Nazi occupation was radishes. To this day, she won't eat anything radish - even if veggies have touched a radish, she won't eat it.


I remember the 80's when the country was in a recession. We were able to get chicken quite cheaply. We ate chicken so many different ways for literally months. We had some canned foods as well, but the main protein source was chicken. I remember when my dad got a bonus at work, he treated us to restaurant pizza and soda pop....we thought it was such a luxury! We had some veggies to supplement, but I SWEAR that for a LOOOOONG time after that, I couldn't look any chicken in the eye.


Right after I got married, my husband requested baked chicken. I get the thing home and forget HOW to cut it up for baking....all I could remember was vague recollections of helping my mom cut up and debone chicken. I ended up calling my mom...we talked about the CHICKEN YEAR. She said that the reason we survived was because of home canning and buying sale items. smile



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Both my kids were very picky. I was told if I cooked better it would not be that way, but the people who said it found out they were not such great cooks either. They would try something new and love it and then never eat it again. The are 14 and 8 now, so it is different and so glad they LOVE rice. tinfoil I am making sure I will have chocolate for years.

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When I was 18 I worked on a chicken farm. The chickens were all in cages and the eggs rolled out onto a belt and then the eggs went into this room where they were washed, candled, and then graded for size, and then package, put in cases, and stored in a cooler. WOW. lol First, the chickens would kill each other and peck each other. Some got their legs caught in the wire and would be crippled, or just die and bloat up before found. We had to take the dead ones or hurt chickens out. Some laid eggs with no shells. You could see through them. They were like rubber. The old hens were sold to Campbells Soup company. I knew these old things were going to be in soup and I saw how long the eggs were stored in the cooler, and all the smells, and I could not and would not eat an egg for over a year. I ate chicken, but I did not want chicken soup.

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Combat food rations


The development of new combat food rations was started in 1996. The new food ration was developed and named in compliance with STANAG 2937 terminology as an individual CFR for the combined arms use. In 2002 the first batch of CFR was supplied for the Army of the Czech Republic. The CFRs are supplied in two versions and have got different main dishes. The CFR-Special is a modified CFR with different food components of higher energetic value and an extra set for the heating of food. The consumption is limited to 30 days maximum e.g. during the direct combat operation. Soldiers show so called „symptoms of food fatigue“ in case of long-time consumption of CFR.


from: http://www.militaryfood.org/CzechArmyMilFood.html



I found this paragraph interesting in that 30 days on the same foods, food fatigue began.

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Food fatigue is a constant challenge for him in two ways. First, there is boredom. Of the brands of he can eat, there is but one brand he will eat, and of that few varieties he likes. We do our best to keep our eye out for new ones and to rotate the reliables.

from: http://stateofthecat.wordpress.com/2008/...-love-you-back/



so even an animal can get food fatigue!

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food fatigue in space


FPS 64, Page 85


Development of a ‘Gourmet’ Menu Items for Long-Term Manned Space Missions in an ALSS Environment


Christopher M. Gregson and Tung-Ching Lee


Department of Food Science, the Center for Advanced Food Technology and NJ-NSCORT.

Rutgers University

63 Dudley Road

New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901, U.S.A.


The quality of food in an Advanced Life Support System (ALSS) environment, especially on long-term space missions, is of major importance. In this psychologically stressful environment food-fatigue and nutrition are important considerations. As the diet must be based almost entirely on a small number of food crops and processing methods, devising desirable diets is challenging. The objective of this work was to produce ‘gourmet’ menu items using as few ingredients that cannot be produced from the ALSS crops as possible.


A novel approach was used in this work by combining the techniques available from food science and approaches taken in the culinary arts. An initial study was made of the foods producible using the limited resources. Through nutritional tables, primary physical descriptors (color, texture etc.), professional culinary experience and knowledge of traditional food combination conventions, menu items were devised. These were assessed in terms of preparation time, level of skill required, practicality within the ALSS system and gastronomic quality.


Suitable menu items can be devised using only the available resources with a small number of additions, e.g. salt. Flavoring ingredients, sweeteners and a small number of processing aids that cannot be made from the ALSS crops are essential to improve variety but must be transported from earth. The problems faced in providing a quality diet and ways in which solutions can be implemented by the astronauts are discussed by focusing in on particular examples.


Whereas most previous studies have concentrated on the nutritional and practical aspects of food preparation within an ALSS environment, this study has shown that by combining knowledge from the culinary arts and food science, the quality of food provision can be significantly improved. The approach used in this study could be used to provide high-quality foods for diets from limited ingredients (e.g. vegetarian) on earth.




FPS 69, Page 90


Acceptability of Near-Vegan ALS Foods in a 30-Day Diet Study


David Levitsky, Rupert Spies, Adriana P. Rovers, Ammar Olabi, and Jean B. Hunter


Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University


In order to evaluate the quality and system mass costs of plant based diets intended for bioregenerative life support systems, 225 foods based on ALS crops have been developed and tested for acceptability by panels of omnivores aged 30-55 years. Nearly all scored above 6 on a 9-point hedonic scale and the average acceptability was 6.9. The foods included breakfast items, salads, entrees, side dishes, beverages, desserts, soups and snacks.


A subset of the above foods was re-tested in a short-term closed diet study . Sixteen free-living subjects, 9 women and 7 men from the earlier taste panel, consumed only foods provided by the study for a period of 30 days. The study was divided into three 10-day segments. In each segment the same foods were presented, but in different order. Subjects ate weekday breakfasts and lunches at the study site and carried away snacks and their weekend and evening meals, returning all leftovers to the study site.


An individual’s satisfaction with a diet depends on the acceptability of the foods in the diet, the subject’s degree of adaptation to the diet, the degree of personal food choice allowed, the variety of foods in the diet, and sensory fatigue or boredom with individual foods. Our hypothesis was that subjects dissatisfied with the diet would reduce their food intake, find individual foods less acceptable, experience more negative mood states, and feel tempted to cheat on the diet.


Subjects’ food intake was measured by weighing individual food dishes before and after meals. Energy intake was extrapolated from these measurements. Subjects rated each food for acceptability on a 9 point scale at each presentation. They were weighed 5x/week. The Profile of Mood Scores test was administered at intervals before, during and after the study. An exit interview with each subject covered dietary infractions and changes in physical activity, among other issues.


This presentation will cover preliminary results of the study, and their significance to the BIO-Plex food system. The study has not been completed as of the abstract deadline.






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81-Day Menu Crew Debrief – Crew Assessment of Food System and Food Choices A formal crew debrief was held for the 81-day menu. Three crewmembers (one male and two female) attended the debriefing. The general consensus of the crew was that the food system was very good. Some food fatigue was experienced

toward the end of the test, especially toward the frozen food entrees. They would have preferred a menu that was a true 20-day cycle with fewer repeating food items.


They would have preferred higher quality frozen food entrees. There were too many bean burritos and grilled cheese sandwiches. Overall, the crew followed the menu fairly closely, although they did make some changes. They did cook and prepare all items on the menu, but some substitutions were made by switching foods either to different times or to different days. One crewmember had a problem with low-fat entrees and felt they were not very tasty and required supplementation with butter.


Some found themselves craving and using more salt than usual. Another member was concerned about the fat content of the menu and did not always eat according to the menu. Clearly these comments indicate that past eating habits influenced the

crewmembers’ perception of the chamber food system.





*note... worth reading the entire article for information about foods and menu. Interesting.

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Good info, Westie. When people say you will eat if you are hungry, they just don't understand what food fatigue can do to you. A friend of mine ate beans and rice day in and day out for years until she just could not get enough down to maintain health. She got thinner and thinner. Finally her daughters began buying food for her (they were just starting to earn their own money) and insisted that she eat something besides beans and rice. She nearly died. Her husband never had a problem with appetite fatigue and couldn't understand why she couldn't eat enough to survive.

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One of the ways to vary foods is to have the sharper tastes like pickled foods [sour or sweet], bitters, hot spicey, etc. The Asians have this down to an art. Just look at all the side dishes they offer....just little bits of this and that but all of them pungent. It doesn't take much quantity.



Good question, Shurleen. It's definitely something to plan for.



MtRider [KimChee, anyone? yumyum ]

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I know that appetite fatigue could be very real problem in hard times, and needs to be explored. This thread addresses it wonderfully, but...


...in a truly austere situation, such as widespread famine, or when on the brink of starvation, I am having trouble imagining the average person would voluntarily starve to death because of appetite fatigue.


Maybe I'm just looking at it a little too deep? I have heard and read of way too many historical accounts of the effects of severe hunger, how it can cause people to override normal responses to food preferences...hence the ability of survivors resorting to eating taboo things like bugs, rodents, etc. to stay alive. American Indian tribes call one of the winter months the "Starvation Moon". Sometimes if the fall hunts were poor, entire villages survived on tree bark and leather and other truly unappetizing fare. Quite likely a very small minority refused to eat...and died as a result.


How to condition the mind against the possibility of the tragedy of being one of the number who refuse to eat? That would be something to explore, f'sure. Spices and variety may not always be available.


I think another serious appetite killer in a severe SHTF situation is mental or physical STRESS. I can personally vouch for this.


During the horrific aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, I could not, no...I WOULD NOT eat, period. Same thing happened during other very stressful times, such as when my young daughter was kidnapped, for example.


I have gone off my feed for a week or two during times like this...eventually I ate something, even though it was literally choked down. Speaking for myself only, I am sure that if my body were to go into a biologically true starvation mode, I would probably eat something. I don't know if it is because of the Cajun in me (we Cajuns are famous for eating anything that don't eat us first), or a strong survival instinct, or both.







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PCS, you brought to mind another issue, which is that the Indians knew of something they called "rabbit starvation" during those winter months. That was when they had all the rabbit they could eat, but still got wasting disease (muscle atrophy) due to lack of fat in their diets. The rabbits were just too lean to survive on. Your bodies need fat to survive, and fats are the hardest things to store. Something for everyone to think about.


I remember a girl I worked with in college in the 80's when low fat was all the rage. She was eating a "no fat" diet, and her skin was sallow, and her hair coarse and brittle. Not sure what happened to her, as I left the restaurant, but I'm sure it wasn't pretty.

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Even if you can force 'some' food down because you are starving, you may be unable to get enough down to stay nourished. My mother used to say she lost 30 pounds carrying me because all she had to eat was cornbread and collard greens. It is bad enough to deal with AF normally, but if you are pg or nursing it is even worse.

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I don't know if it is food boredom or appetite fatigue but about the end of February or the first of March each year I am sick of "winter" meals. I am so ready for fresh fruit, a big ole green salad with all the trimmings something light and fluffy. Then by November and December if I see another green salad I think I would barf.


Thanks for all the good information Westie, I have printed some off especially that article on Crew Food Systems. I need to start moving away from beef burgers and doing more lentil and black bean burgers. I need to add variety to our food so that I can make those dry beans and other prep items more appealing.

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appetite or food fatigue is a real thing. Usually affects the old and very young.


Starvation and Food Fatigue (also referenced as Appetite Fatigue) is not the same. One, Starvation is the lack of food, Food Fatigue is the presence of food but it would be the same rice day after day without any other flavors or textures.


We didn't see too much of this here in America though the very poor are the exception. These people experience eating the same simple foods day in and out.


Sure you can eat bugs.. not me! because you are starving, but food fatigue is completely different.


Make a diet of beans and rice for 30 days and see how you feel about eating another bowl of beans and rice. This is breakfast, lunch and dinner.


You won't be able to look at beans and rice one more time! I worked with a man, his wife is Russian. During the war they only had lintels to eat.. she can't even say the word with out wanting to throw up. If that is all you have to eat eventually you will not want to eat.


Historically, it was discovered that people had stored lots of food but it was all the same.. and yet they were starving with stores of food. It just happened the stores of food was all the same thing, no variety.


I bring this up because it is so important to menu plan, know what you are going to serve, make sure there is variety. If you look up food or appetite fatigue you will find many posts about chicken!




"Everyday chicken freshened up with Asian-inspired wrap


The boneless, skinless chicken breast is suffering from some serious food fatigue.


Sure, it has a well-earned reputation as the go-to ingredient for healthy, speedy eating. And for good reason. Chicken breasts cook quickly and easily, do well with just about any flavor or seasoning, and are virtually fat-free.


But that's part of the problem. Flip through just about any food magazine and you'll likely be inundated by chicken breast recipes. It's all starting to feel a bit tired on the plate."



Beans can be made into burritos, soup, mock meat; meatloaf, burgers, sausage. But beans can be flavored using herbs and spices. Beans can be combined with other beans and made into 3 bean salad with a nice sweet vinegar dressing, and added to salad greens.


Without recipes and other ingredients beans are just beans and one can sure get tired of eating the same thing day after day after day... food fatigue.


I don't care if anyone takes this information and uses it or doesn't use it. I am not trying to talk anyone into varying their diets or adding other herbs and spices or rethinking their menu.


I post this information as information to think about. I presented enough credible links with information about this subject for those that might be interested.


Think about making a huge pot of your favorite meal... you have left overs. By day three what is your husband or kids saying? do we have to have that again?? now extend that same meal for a month, 2 months, 6 months, a year.


All of this to say.. please make sure you have a variety of foods, flavors, and textures.




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Westie, I am going to use the information you provided. I need to add more herbs and spices to my preps. I am storing real meats but one reason I bought a little TVP is for flavor variety. I'd eat the canned stuff first but psychologically, I like to know I have something to fall back on when the canned stuff is gone.


I have lots of rice now but I don't plan to eat it just boiled. I plan on using it under other things like soups, stews, gravy, stir fry etc. I like it just boiled and I like it with a little sugar and milk, sometimes. But I'm mostly going to use it as a meal stretcher. The same thing with noodles!


I also know that I can have mashed potatoes day after day and a hundred different ways; but in the end they are still mashed potatoes. I think that is why texture will be important too. I'm going to think of some soft, hard, crunchy and chewy things to add to the preps and make sure I keep them stored.

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