Food, Lifestyle

An ode to picky eaters

I know this is an article about picky eaters. But here’s the thing — I wouldn’t even go so far as to call myself that.

My mom started associating me with that term against my will. I grew up with people like my childhood best friend who wouldn’t even eat fruit if it was the last food on Earth, so to me, I’m a totally normal eater.

Smaran Ramidi / DFP Staff

But let’s just start from the beginning to analyze a lifetime full of weird food habits and interesting preferences.

Apparently, when I was a baby, I was a very adventurous eater. My nickname growing up was “Sweet Potato” because I would eat pounds of it as a toddler, but my favorite food wasn’t even as basic as that — it was salmon. 

My mother reports that from ages 1 to 4, I consumed salmon like it was water. Now, this doesn’t necessarily surprise me because I was always a weird child, but it seems like she might be stretching the truth just a little bit. 

I guess I should backtrack here and start by saying that my mother herself is the weirdest eater I’ve ever met. Her diet consists of smoked fish — a lot of it — vegetables, goat cheese, gluten-free pizza and a good amount of wine. She’s not picky whatsoever, but she doesn’t eat gluten or dairy due to stomach issues, and she’s been a pescetarian since she was 18 years old. This means, in turn, that I was raised as a pescetarian, and also, that I was bound to have a weird taste in foods.

As I grew older, into elementary and middle school, I was still a fairly adventurous eater. I would try pretty much anything, except meat, that came my way. My favorite food since I was born has been pasta, and I’ve always loved a classic grilled cheese, but I never limited myself much to the basics.

Here’s another extremely important point — when I was maybe 5 years old, my parents took me to a farm. Now I won’t blame this on them because they had no idea what they were getting me into, but at that farm, I was a witness to a chicken being butchered. 

For a lot of people, this would be a harmless experience. Death is part of the life and food cycle, but the day I saw that chicken being butchered, the chance of ever eating meat was over for me. It wasn’t even just the butchering aspect of the whole situation — it was also the fact that all the chickens were in this little coup together and all their feathers were spread and touching one another in the grossest way possible. To this day, 15 years later, I still cannot get the image out of my head.

Now all of this might be confusing and you may be like, “Why is she telling us any of this?”And to be honest, I don’t really have an answer, but I’m just trying to justify why I am the picky eater I am today. 

You would think that my taste buds would have matured with age, but on the contrary, I’ve really limited the kinds of food I like to eat in the past few years. Pasta has stuck by my side for my whole life — mac and cheese, pesto, anything with noodles involved lives fondly in my heart. 

I love all my fruits and veggies, and I’ll stand by that until the day I die. My diet generally consists of carbs, cheese, fruits and veggies. I don’t really like fish, and I hate meat, and I have a weird aversion to all other proteins. 

I’ll eat beef once in a while, if I can stop thinking about the fact that I’m eating a cow and instead imagine I’m eating a brown mix of vegetables that tastes particularly juicy. 

I love pizza, sushi, sandwiches, dessert and salad — it’s honestly just a wild mixture. 

The point is that as much as I want to argue with the fact that I don’t like a lot of foods, it’s true, and I’m not ashamed of it. If you relate, you know the struggle, and I’m sorry you have to go through the wrath of crazy normal eaters who make fun of you for liking what you like. That last part was directed at you, Mom. 

Embrace being a picky eater. It’s not something to be guilty of.

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