Adult Picky Eaters UK

For Picky-Eating Adults in the UK and worldwide

Fighting The Haters January 20, 2008

Filed under: adult picky eaters — Claire @ 1:51 am

Did you know there’s a Facebook group called Anti-Picky Eaters?  Whaddya think of that, huh?  I don’t know about you, but I’m not impressed.  Here are some delightful snippets of the type of sentiment they endorse:

  • I absolutely friggen hate it when people say they hate a food when they’ve never even tried it before…Eat up you pussies!
  • Picky eating is morally suspect behavior.
  • If one is a picky eater, chances are better that one is, for lack of a better term, a jerk.

Firstly, I object to the prurience of even caring what somebody else does or doesn’t want to eat.  I really don’t get why it bothers them, or why they feel entitled to object to other people’s personal preferences and verbally abuse us on these grounds.  I have asked why it bothers them, but no-one on the group has been able to offer an answer.  They don’t even want to engage with the question.

But secondly, and more importantly, I object because these people obviously don’t get it.  Either it hasn’t occurred to them that we can’t help it (and actually, why should we, if we’re happy like this?), and they genuinely think we do it to piss them off, or, they know fine well that we can’t help it, and they are bullies that just enjoy abusing people, and they see what they think is an opportunity here.  I’ve tried to explain it to them, but to no avail.

It strikes me that this group is actually in contravention of the Facebook Terms of Use.  Attacking an individual or group.  Abusive or objectionable content.  I’ve reported them.  If you object to being dissed for being picky, feel free to do the same.


A Juicy Biscuit? January 16, 2008

Filed under: Reducing Pickiness — Claire @ 12:45 am

One factor that seems to be important in the domain of picky eating is texture.  Texture has a lot to do with whether or not I’ll be ok with a particular food item.  Of course it’s not the only factor.  Things like structure complexity, cost-benefit balance, mood and meaning also play a role for me (in descending order), with actual taste or flavour, or quality of cooking being fairly far down the list of priorities.

But it strikes me that one of the upsetting things about accidentally getting a piece of a vegetable in your mouth is the particular kind of crunchiness.  Now, I know it isn’t crunchiness per se that’s the problem.  I can eat other things that are crunchy – CornFlakes I can eat no probs, and crisps too, and crackers and biscuits, and crunchy toast (though I like it less that way).  But I notice two things about these kinds of crunchy foods:

  1. They are thin
  2. They are dry

I think the thinness is incidental to things.  I think this because a) I like Crunchies and b) even if you sliced an apple wafer thin, I still would gag on it.  So what this boils down to is a dry crunch is ok, but a wet crunch is not.  These are different kinds of crunchiness, aren’t they?

Now, what do I know about other picky eaters?  I know that some of them only eat dry stuff (nothing mushy), and others only eat wet stuff (nothing crunchy).  Whichever one of these groups you fall into, fruit and veg are likely to be excluded, because of their combination of texture features from both categories.  Neat, huh?  Even if you can do both of these categories, if this is the dimension along which you categorise and understand your edible foods, then a wet-crunch will still be excluded, because it falls between two stools, so to speak.

Something like this sort of a theory would also be consistent with the link with autistic-spectrum disorders.  I understand there is some evidence that high-functioning autistic people process or attend to similarities and differences among stimuli in a way that is different to the rest of the population.  Relevant?  I don’t know.

But this makes me think of a new idea.  If fruit and vegetables are excluded because they are borderline members of one’s existing food categories, could it be possible to make a conceptual leap and focus on their similarities to one’s existing food categories rather than their differences?

So, if I did slice an apple very thin, couldn’t I just pretend to myself it was a juicy biscuit?  Of course, there’d be the taste to get used to as well, and a juicy biscuit does seem like an oxymoron, but I wonder if it would work…