Longbored Surfer

2007.04.17 Picky Eaters

I don't understand picky eaters. That's probably because I'm not one. I've seen a number of different styles of picky eaters. They all have their reasons for choosing to eat or not eat something, and I have chosen to make observations about these things (as you may have noticed by a blog full of these observations).

Let's get right down the various kinds of picky eaters. I'll discuss each type of picky eater, or at least each general categorization for the pickiness, which I have noticed:

Visual Discrimination
These are the people that don't eat something based off of how it looks. It could be that they don't like how something glistens (or doesn't). It could be because the appearance of something brings back some hurtful memory of something they've seen previously which is obviously unappetizing. There are a number of reasons, none of which I can claim to understand or even possibly enumerate, but this is the rough idea.
Textural Discrimination
Grapes remind them of eyeballs, spaghetti reminds them of innards, Rice Krispies remind them of insects, tomatoes remind them of snot… I wish I were making this stuff up. Maybe my imagination has been fried by TV, the internet, and video games… but honestly. Why would these things come to their mind while eating? It's like the memory trick to remember people's names by associating something with somebody based off of their looks, their name, their job, or whatever. It's like that… except all wrong.
Nasal Discrimination
Smell. Again, I think this is all based off of poor association. I can understand how something seriously doesn't smell good (like burnt popcorn). But it seems that people can still be discriminating against food for this reason. This is probably my most forgivable offense, since the nose lies so infrequently.
Touching Food
This is like a toddler. They like to separate out their food into different areas on their plate. Nothing can be touching, otherwise that part of both kinds of food is contaminated and can't be eaten. I know somebody (who very well could read this, and even fess up to it) who would get upset if her salad touched anything else on the plate. You always know when it happens, since the salad dressing is there, staring at you on the other piece of food. Well, she would leave both that piece of food, and the infringing salad on her plate. It's not like her mouth totally cleanses itself of the previous flavors or food residue before her next bite… so what's the difference? Go figure.
Health Conscious
We've seen these people before. Maybe you're one of them. These are the people who can't eat something without consulting the Nutritional Information. They ask for the list at fast food restaurants (which is a miracle that they've even entered). They seem to have information memorized about everything out there? “That cookie? 200 calories. That drink? 150 calories. That sandwich? With all the saturated fat in it, I can't even believe you're still alive.” Don't get me wrong. I can understand why somebody is health conscious to some extent. They're trying to be healthy and not eat things that will make their body shut down in another year or two. There's no problem with that, but these are the people that seem to criticize everything available. They've got issues with everything except rice cakes, which they also probably dislike due to sodium or something like that.
Assumed Knowledge
This is the newest addition to my observations, and possibly the most confusing. These are the people that think they know how an experience with food will be, based off of any of the previously listed things, or based off of prior experience with a similar food, or even with some of the composing foods. For example: if they were to have eaten grilled onions on a previous occasion (and they didn't like them), yet you have made a new recipe with revolutionary onions that nobody has eaten previously… not gonna eat it (say it like Dana Carvey doing his George Bush Sr. impersonation on Saturday Night Live). Those onions you made could be just a small portion of a favorite meal of this person, yet they won't try them, and possibly could even boycott anything involving them. Part of me is really tempted to try to feed these people the nastiest stuff out there, but in miniscule portions in existing foods, and not tell them. Little do they know I've pureed those grilled onions and put them into the sauce which flavored that steak. What I've said so far about these types of people is really just the tip of the iceberg… if even that. Truly perplexing people.

These discriminations have nothing to do with other reasons for being a picky eater. Horribly allergic to peanuts or wheat or dairy or something like that? Be my guest. Vegetarian or vegan or something like that? Although I think they're weird as well, I can understand their scrutiny. Religious restrictions? You're not going to catch any beef from me about that.

I'll admit here that I'm not the least discriminating person out there. I don't particularly care for water chestnuts and jicama. Both are fairly flavorless and pointless. I won't pick them out, but you won't find me snacking on them by themselves (though I haven't tried either one by itself for a number of years).

What's the point here? There is no point. I just think these people are interesting and have chosen this space of mine to comment fully about them. Maybe you're one of them. Maybe you've seen other types of pickiness. I'm more than interested in hearing about it.

Tag(s): food soap_box

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