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In Defense of Picky Eaters

Good Lord, you guys, I’ve had it!

Look, if I don’t like a food, all it means is that I don’t like a food. It doesn’t mean I think people who eat it are gross, or the culture it comes from is gross, or only semi-evolved Neanderthals would be caught dead consuming it, or any of the other bullshit that super-sensitive self-appointed Cultural Protectors holler about. Y’all need to dial it down with that nonsense.


It also doesn’t mean I’ll make your life difficult. I totally own my pickiness and NEVER foist it on anyone else - there’s always something at any restaurant that I’ll be happy to have. So if the whole group wants Thai food, we’ll go get Thai, and I’ll be A-OK with rice and a non-spicy broth. I won’t make you eat grilled cheese just to keep me happy, I swear.

I am a life-long picky eater and have dealt with this shit my whole life. It took well in to my adulthood for me to understand that (for me, anyway) it stems from being hyper-sensate. I experience tastes, and especially textures, much more intensely than a lot of people. (Same with other sensory input, which is awesome when it comes to sex and less awesome when it comes to noise.) Unfamiliar flavors, more often than not, are unpleasant to me, so if I didn’t habituate to a certain food earlier in my life I ain’t gonna be eating it now. This means that there is an almost infinite list of foods to which I will respond with “OH FUCK NO THAT IS GROSS!” (Usually I manage to keep that thought unspoken. But if I do blurt it out, please chill. I’m not insulting you or your grandma or your homeland. Promise.)

Haggis, blood pudding, beef tongue, octopus, balut, guinea pig, snails, insects, all that stuff that’s on the “50 Unusual Foods From Around The World” lists - no no no fuck no. Mushrooms - hell no. Kimchi - nah. Seafood - hate it. Jello - DO NOT GET ME STARTED. Avocado, olives, cauliflower, chicken with bones...

I’ve had the good fortune to travel to many places beyond the United States, and I’ve always made sure to learn about the customs surrounding food and be a respectful guest. I’ve raised children who are now young adults and, despite me, are wide-ranging and adventurous eaters. I’m tired of food bullshit. I don’t judge people who eat all kinds of crazy shit and I don’t expect vegetarians to justify themselves to me, so how about if we all make a deal to lay off the picky eaters among us, huh?


Okay, rant over. I’ll prepare myself for the judgy comments now.

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