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espressogirl

Buying/shipping Whey, Fish Oil, Jerky, Etc In Europe, Specifically Germany.

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HALP!? We are flying out on March 23 (I think) and I had planned on packing a carry on with our daily dietary necessities and "safe" snacks, but just realized that meat/dairy can be confiscated upon entry. SO, I was thinking maybe I should order stuff and have it delivered to our sponsor's APO, but I don't know if you can order stuff like that from american amazon and have it delivered, or if I have to find European producers.

Assuming I have to find new suppliers (SO PISSED, btw) can you give recommendations for jerky with out additives and too much sugar, whey protein, fish oil (I like lemon carleson brand over here), mct oil? I assume I can find good nuts/seeds, coconut oil, coffee, fruit/veggies in healthfood stores pretty easily? (Do they do "baby carrots" over there? Kids prefer them over regular. I know, I know...)

I get that this sounds a little hysterical. I've been getting replies on FB like "the food is so much healthier over there anyway, just get stuff when you get there!" but it isn't just about having stuff we "like" it is that we need staples that we know won't hurt me/the kids. I know we can find awesome food once we are there, but knowing we have stuff that I have good reviews of or understand all the ingredients would be really helpful.

Thanks all! I really appreciate any advice here.

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Germany, has a wide range of good fresh food available - even fruit, veg and coffee can be found if you look hard enough.

However Germans are well know to exist almost entirely on sausages and beer, both made to very exacting standards and requiring reams of paperwork to purchase/consume (apparently requiring reams of paperwork in order to get anything done is called 'efficiency') Germans are also well known for their efficiency.

Some other small things which will help:

Germans use a comma as a decimal separator not a dot.

Germans write the date in the correct order unlike americans but use dots to separate days/months/years.

Germans generally don't speak good English as they dub all the american shows into German. Same with France. The rest of Europe all speak English because they don't bother and use subtitles.

Germans have no sense of humour and are puzzled by jokes.

Non sausage based food is also available, and is cheap depending on where you are (Berlin has some excellent food available).

Germans can be incredibly rude, although they can't see it themselves.

Don't try to tell any jokes, they will look at you as if you are completely insane.

Most Germans are incredibly over-precise and have no notion of adding 'ish' to the end of a word to make it less precise. If you try to explain why you might want to be vague, they will look at you as if you are completely insane.

As above, but they have no notion of 'about' or 'roughly' either. 100 yards is not roughly 100M. 100 yards is 91.44M or, as they would write 91,44M.

Germans love efficiency and will generate as much of it as they can.

Don't go to the zoo in Berlin it will make you sad.

Don't drink the brown beer it's fowl.

Irish pubs are available everywhere in the world and sell a close enough approximation of proper beer to be a saviour when you've had enough lager.

Do not be tempted to get brown German beer just because it looks more like proper beer, it's a trick.

Germans think they have a sense of humour, they are wrong.

Hope that helps alay your fears.

To be more serious German food will generally be of better quality than American food. The EU has far better consumer protection laws than the US which prevent us getting as badly screwed over what is acceptable to eat than you guys. You probably won't be able to get the same brands, but there will be equivalent stuff there.

As a bonus German coffee is likely to be far superior to what you're used to unless you buy really high end stuff. I've never had a bad cup of coffee in Germany.

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I do buy the highest end coffee I can afford. (My user name may have hinted at this) I am especially interested in swiss water processed decaf, which is not at all easy to find even in a country where I am fluent in the language and familiar with the customs. "traditional" chemically decaffeinated coffee is apparently also known as "european process" which does not inspire a lot of confidence. I was told elsewhere that it is possible to find organic high end coffee at many shops, but the decaf thing was not something that person knew about. I am interested in knowing what to call this or look for on a label.

I did not expect to find the various north american convenient carrot variants all over the world, but was told that in fact, some stores do carry the small whittled down sticks in the refrigerated section with pre washed salads and salad dressings. This info saved me some time and effort. They are called "Babykarotten" or "Minikarotten".

I was advised that the type of shop that would be most likely to carry the type of supplements we use is called a "Reformhaus".

Apparently jerky is not as popular as it is here, and the stuff available in the commissary almost all has msg, dairy and too much sugar. There was one brand that does not have dairy and msg, which I supposed will be our absoute fall back.

This was also helpful:

"We also now have plenty of Biosupermärkte who will all have supplements as well as only organic foods (big chains are Alnatura which has its own line of cheaper items; Basic; Aleco...). However, organic does not equal healthy, so if you ate looking for sugarfree items you'll have to read the ingredient lists. Manufacturers don't label items as nicely as the UK does, for example, but they are required to state what allergens (milk, wheat, nuts, eggs, mustard, soy..) are in their products. It will read "enthält Milch, Weizen" for these, and if it says "Enthält Spuren von... " oder "Kann Spuren enthalten von.." that means none of the allergens have been consciously added to the product but they were processed at a factory that also handles these items."

I think I must have been unclear in my original questions because I got quite a lot of unhelpful responses suggesting that I would find very nice food in Germany and to not be so fearful, etc... I am not at all fearful of this move, quite the contrary actually, I am doing a bit of research so we can be comfortable and productive when we first arrive and look for a house. The time for exploring and trying new things will come when we are not so intensely crushed for time. (We have 30 days to find, lease and move into a house, get our drivers licenses, receive our shipped vehicle, get new plates, have it inspected, etc, etc, etc, with a 6, 3 & 1 yr old in tow.) We are extremely (perhaps this should have been stressed a bit more?) vigilant about the food we eat b/c the pain, rashes, stomach upset and more that occur when we are not are fairly debilitating. Between the 4 of us with intolerances there are many, many "normal" foods that have harmful ingredients far down the list and are not noticed by most people. I don't care that I can find "equivalent" foods/brands to many things available here in the US, we don't eat most available foods here either.

Staying in a hotel for any length of time in the US is extremely difficult for us, and takes research and planning. We usually try to get a place with a small stove and refrigerator so we can purchase fresh foods (which I am aware will generally be of better quality in Europe, and am very happy about) to cook for all our meals. Since this is not possible in Mainz we are going to rely on restaurants (which is stressful given the situation) and whatever we can find that will keep, not make a mess, and is minimally processed. I rely heavily on very high quality beef jerky and canned sardines in olive oil (not easy to find here, most are in soy, I hope this will not be the case in Germany) when we need "prepared" foods here. Only feeding my kids (and I) fresh fruit and vegetables is not acceptable for our well being.

I have had such a difficult time finding information actually helpful to our situation that I am going to collect all of what I find in one place so other people with these questions don't have to start from scratch. I'll link back here when I decide where to put it. (My "paleo guide to moving overseas with little kids" or some such thing)

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@ doobedoobedo:

Was this meant to be one of your jokes? Because it sure sounds like a lot of racist shit.

As a german guy,i can say that your statements are stupid stereotypes.

In fact the mayority of germans is not like you said at all.

Maybe the "rude" germans would be quite friendly if not confronted with such bullshit statements?

If this was supposed to be funny,then maybe you are right and we dont understand your type of humour....

@ espressogirl:

Where in Germany are you going? I live in the Stuttgart area and have some US-friends who work at the armee-base. You can order anything from the US and let it be sent there. However, babycarrots and most of the stuff you mentioned can be found here too...

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We will be in Mainz for 30 days and will probably choose a house either there or in Weisbaden. (Frankfurt is possible but we'd probably prefer to avoid lengthening the commute.)

I attempted to order my usual whey protein from amazon last night and set the delivery to APO and they would not allow the order to go through, I'm not sure if it is b/c of the dairy/meat ban or b/c the package would be too large. They did allow my organic coconut oil to ship so that is nice. (I know I can get that there but this is very inexpensive comparatively) The jerky I like is not available to ship, and I doubt it would go through. I am told the meat ban is quite serious. I did find this site that seems to have very good jerky without added crap and it is in Europe so shipping should not be a problem. http://www.buybeefjerkyonline.com/catalog/

Is unpasturized milk and yogurt available easily? It is not here, but when we have been able to get it from a farm it is the least damaging dairy for most of our family. We just call it "raw" here but I can imagine that translating oddly and having it sound like I am asking for uncooked milk....

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@ doobedoobedo:

Was this meant to be one of your jokes? Because it sure sounds like a lot of racist shit.

As a german guy,i can say that your statements are stupid stereotypes.

In fact the mayority of germans is not like you said at all.

Maybe the "rude" germans would be quite friendly if not confronted with such bullshit statements?

If this was supposed to be funny,then maybe you are right and we dont understand your type of humour....

Well that's a bit unfriendly!

This was from observation. I work for a multinational company based in Berlin. I do not believe in stereotypes. There are however large cultural differences (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13545386). Believe it or not there are some people in the Berlin office I get on really well with, I find it amusing when they tell me they cycle to work in 7 1/2 minutes every day. They find it amusing when I ask them how they are.

Said to me by one of my Dutch colleagues: 'You think that was rude? You should hear how they speak to each other.'

I have received company wide emails showing concern with the amount of time spent on paperwork. The solution? Two extra forms to fill in. Now I'm sure people all over the world will say typical corporate bureaucracy, however only my German colleagues couldn't see the irony.

Don't drink the brown beer.

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Just wanted to let you know - Carlson is actually Norwegian fish oil, in Norway it's called Møllers (you can see it is till imprinted on the bottles you get even here in the US, I was very happy when I found out). I don't know if you can get it in Germany though.

(I also think German beer is some of the best in the world :P)

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@ doobedoobedo: "even fruit, veg and coffee can be found if you look hard enough"

????? Maybe you should try something besides the offices candymachines? You know,something like a supermarket,they really do exist! ;-)

"However Germans are well know to exist almost entirely on sausages and beer"

??? This is so not true.....and thats why i called it racist....

And I dont drink beer,i prefer wine ;-)

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@BenjiSteves: The offence you have taken is due to cultural differences and possibly my sense of humour.

"However Germans are well know to exist almost entirely on sausages and beer" = ridiculous overstatement.

There are no French men in France - Proof: last time I went I didn't see a single person in a stripy top, wearing a beret, with a string of onions round their neck riding a bicycle.

This is indeed a stereotype, and stereotypes are funny because they are ridiculous.

"even fruit, veg and coffee can be found if you look hard enough" = ridiculous understatement . I am well aware that Germany has shops which sell produce. I'm sure others are aware of this too (especially if they shop in Aldi or Lidl).

the fact that I'm made to feel the need to explain this to you = no sense of humour...

Right I'm just off to start boiling the veg to go with the roast beef I'm having for lunch next sunday - not quite a week but close enough that nobody will be able to tell they're a bit undercooked ;)

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Reading doobedoobedo's post again, I agree he didn't mean any offense. Comes down to a difference in one's sense of humour. It's much more obvious when presented verbally.

That being said, very interesting article. I find myself very 'German' in my communication with people. It's find it amusing when people say "how are you", I say "fine, what can I help you with?" and they respond "oh I'm doing great thanks".

espressogirl - have you considered making your own beef jerky? It's not hard. I enjoy making my own biltong (a South African version) on occasion.

Good luck on the move. I'm confident you'll find local versions of everything you want and even enjoy new/different things. It will just take time. I tried to do a lot of what you were doing before I moved here to New Zealand... and it just didn't work. We played it by ear. It took time to get settled and develop a new routine. Even longer to adapt to the culture!

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