Picky, Picky PickyAsk my siblings. They'll tell you that I was a major league picky eater as a kid. Most of my family would scarf down anything on their plate. There was the time when my next-older brother and I had a deal - I would take his peas when mom wasn't looking, and he would take my spinach the next time it was served. I think our dog got her RDA of vegetables under the table too. And over time, my picky, um, I mean, discerning palette has served me very well.
Bottom line -- I don't really know why I refuse to eat certain foods. Except that they taste terrible. Unbelievably bad. Like - How could anyone put that in their mouth? On purpose?
I'm talking about battles over whether I would eat something. I don't know remember the other kids in my large family being picky. But maybe I missed it. I don't know what the rest of the family thought. It didn't matter. Some things were just not meant to be eaten. Ever. By me. I didn't understand it any more than they did. And I didn't understand how other people could eat that.
Exasperated, one time my mother called me "Princess and the Pea"!
Bribes and Threats
there until you eat it." Where's the logic in that? It tastes even worse when it's cold! If I don't want to eat it hot, I sure won't want it when it's cold.
When that didn't work, def-con 3 was "You will have it for your breakfast." I just didn't care, I could go for a long time without eating if it meant that my meal had to be creamed corn. The thought of starvation was better than the taste of creamed corn. And the stomach pains that would follow, but I didn't know were connected.
Thank You Taste BudsSometimes I think I must have been a taster in a former life. You know, the person who tastes the king's food to make sure it's not poisoned. That would explain why I won't eat anything bitter. Apparently many toxins are bitter tasting. When I was in high school Chemistry class, the teacher passed around slips of what looked like litmus paper. He had us put them in our mouths. Instantly I cringed at the taste and was asking what the heck it was and why did he give us that. Everyone else in the class didn't get it. It tasted like paper. Turns out it was saccharin. Or maybe it was the stuff that gives saccharin its after-taste. Another thing I can thank my taste buds for. And my sense of smell. They have probably warned me to avoid all sorts of things. Like cigarette smoke. Like gasoline exhaust. I read somewhere the term "super-taster" applied to those of us who taste bitter more easily. That would explain a lot.
It's SAD, so sad.You may have heard the acronym SAD for Standard American Diet. That's what we ate. And that's what I didn't like. I became a vegetarian at 17. I've been reading about nutrition ever since to make sure I get the right mix of nutrients. But I still have this thing with food...
It's the Cheese
I gave up cheese years ago. I had already quit and started back several times before discovering that I am allergic. That explains the battles at mealtime. Mom wanted me to get my calcium. I was small for my age, and she was terrified that I was malnourished.
But I absolutely hated milk. And when my brothers came home from school and drank all the milk in the frig, she would make instant milk from powder. That was the absolute worst. I hated it. More than Spam. More than hash. More than the white part of a hard-boiled egg. I would not drink powdered milk. And don't even get me started on creamed spinach. I would have starved instead.
Well, except for cheese. And ice cream. But try sneaking milk into any vegetable dish, pie, soup, or casserole, and at the first taste my nose crinkled up and my tongue stuck out. No way! Eventually, I didn't even like ice cream because I could taste the milk. Yeah, I know. I'm weird.