Food Nazis Jess, calm kiwi, yosemite and even sven ... front and center

I seldom pit individual Dopers, but my blood is boiling after reading this thread.

Fuck you all. Guess I’m a lesser person in your eyes, because my diet is less diverse than yours.

Yes, I’m a picky eater, although my diet is much larger than in the recent past. My problem, though, is something embarassing that I absolutely, positively cannot control: gagging. If the taste and texture of a type of food converge in just the right way, for the life of me I simply cannot swallow it. Love cherries, but I can’t eat cherry pie; I simply cannot swallow it. There are some foods I simply will not eat; I’m physically repulsed at their taste and texture. Olives, mushrooms, beans, broccoli, beets … forget it. I can’t stand most salads, although I usually don’t have a problem with ingredients in other settings. Can’t eat potato salad. Can’t eat certain types of cheeses. I don’t mind the use of eggs in dairy products, but I can’t eat them individually, in any form. Just watching someone eat a hardboiled egg will kick in my gag reflex, and may even cause me to retch. (I coughed just now even thinking about it.)

I can find something to eat at just about every restaurant I go to, no matter how exotic, but I’m very careful when trying new foods. I avoid settings where box lunches are distributed, or any environment where I have no control over what food is being served, such as a corporate luncheon. I hate explaining to people like you I’m picking stuff out, or why I won’t eat what is supposedly a wonderful salad.

If there was just one thing I could change about me … just one, it’s that I DON’T WANT TO BE A PICKY EATER. It’s fucking hardwired, though. It’s not because I protested when my parents tried to feed me beans as a toddler, or because I crave the taste of meat. IT’S BECAUSE I SIMPLY CANNNOT SWALLOW CERTAIN FOODS.

As StGermain said in the thread …

It’s considered very rude to harangue those with vegetarian, kosher or halal diets, so why is it okay to force picky eaters to eat something they wouldn’t like otherwise, or judge them as lesser people? Why question them about their eating habits? My friends have learned to stop bugging or polling me about the types of food I like and don’t like. Why can’t the rest of you?

Let me add Stonebow to the list.

Yeah. You’re right. I gag on certain types of food because I’m a fucking attention whore. Look at me! I won’t eat certain foods! Look at me!

Go eat some goat eyeballs or something.

I’m one of the gag-reflex people, too. This makes me terrified to try anything new in front of other people. I just don’t make a big deal out of it. If someone pushes something unfamiliar on me, I’ll politely decline. It’s when they start making an issue of it that I get upset. And in that case, THEY are being rude, not me.

I don’t know if it’s worthy of a Pit thread, though. The chances of me having to cope with my gag reflex here are pretty small. (Although there WAS one TMI thread that did me in.)

Oh for fuck’s sake…

Um, maybe because they didn’t know about our swallowing issues at the time?

One of the people you pit specifically exempts people with health issues (which would cover your gagging issues) and another restricts the annoyance specifically to situations in which pickiness (which not having read the thread I take also to exclude health issues) interferes with the ability for a group of people to go out together. Overall it doesn’t appear that any of the people you pitted would have any issue with your not eating things because to do so would make you ill or because you are unable to swallow them.

Aw, geez, I feel bad for you guys. Really, no BS or sarcasm. I didn’t realize there were reactions that severe to that wide a swath of food. Is there a program or something where people in your condition can start with little stuff and work your way up? Because you’re missing as much or more of the wonders of the world as a person with very severe color-blindness or fear of water.

You know what my favorite kind of sushi is? Flying fish roe.

I love the sweet salty flavor when the little tiny fish eggs crunch between your teeth. And the raw quail egg yolk they put on top compliments the flavor nicely.

I might have some tomorrow. Mondays aren’t good for sushi.

Shhhhh, Otto. Let him play the martyr if he wants.

How about if you absolutely detest the “flavor”? I simply can’t tolarate seafood in any form. It won’t make me ill (as far as I know). And I have tried a number of times to eat it. Nope, no way. If you enjoy it, don’t bother wasting it on me.

elmwood, my post was composed pretty much at the same time as yours, so I was not aware of your specific issues when it was posted.

That said, as long as you realize that your issues are just that- *your * issues- and do your best to minimize the ‘buzzkill’ factor with your friends and acquaintances, then i apologize if you thought that my disparaging remarks were directed at you, because they are not. But please understand that quite a lot of picky eaters use it as a ‘trump’ to maneuver the group into what they want to do. I’m not suggesting you are one, but they do exist, just like evangelical vegans.

I’d like to see some sort of literature on this sort of disorder (I don’t think it’s out of line to label it as such, but correct me if I’m wrong), but I think you need to understand how foreign a concept this is to a lot of us, especially foodies. I can’t think of a necessary function that humans aren’t hardwired to like- sex, eating, even waste removal.

Want to know what hell to me would be? Being kept alive on an IV with nothing by mouth. I had a chance to observe that in the hospital a few months ago, and I think I’d rather die first. What you describe as your food experience runs pretty close to that in my mind.

And, this is not meant to be snarky in any way -have you considered some sort of help for your condition? Is it a purely physical issue, or is there a psychological component?

Anyway, i probably deserved this pitting, but chalk it up to ignorance rather than any sort of rancor toward you.

The OP’s whiney, psychomsomatic “gag reflex” seems to be exclusive to developed, western cultures. I spent two years in third world Africa and, funny, it doesn’t seem to exist over there. No picky eaters either.
I also loathe those self-absorbed twats who can’t just eat something and shut the fuck up. These are the people who can nevre just fucking order something straight off a menu at the restaurant. They MUST control the world so that the menu is adjusted to then personally.

I sympathize with the OP. Yeah, I’m a picky eater. There’s a whole lot of food that I simply can’t stand the taste of. Virtually all seafood, for example. All fish tastes exactly the same to me, and that taste is exceedingly nasty. I’ve caught flack for this before, which confuses me. It’s not like I make a conscious decision to have my taste buds react in a certain way to certain foods. It’s like getting upset at someone for feeling pain when you burn them. But, apparently, not liking how something tastes is hugely offensive, for some damn reason, so I usually try to avoid situations where someone is preparing food for me, unless I know it’s going to be something pretty basic. Which means I catch flack for being anti-social. Fuck it. Why can’t we just photosynthesize? Eating’s over-rated, anyway.

Add my voice to those who are sorry to hear that you have such an extreme reaction to food, elmwood. I never realised things could get so bad. Puts my problems with peanuts right in th’ shade.

I’m not here to pit any one person, but I do call for some reason re: this subject.

Cry for attention? Put this with the “ugly” thread in IMHO(where it’s all vanity, apparently) and I am not having a good Dope day.

some people are picky eaters, some people will eat anything. One is not morally superior to the other.
Unlike the above, I do not have a gagging problem–I just dislike the taste and/or texture of certain foods. so what?
Put it to you this way: you’re out with family/friends. One has a bad hip, one is a diabetic, one has allergies, one is neurotic and then there is you–picky eater.
Hmmm… we can’t walk up the steps to restaurant A d/t to the bad hip: no-one complains. We can’t just eat ice cream at B b/c of the diabetic: not a peep is heard. We can’t get a picnic and go to the park d/t allergy man: not a murmur. BUT. You pipe in with, “but I hate Thai!” and you’re the asshole?

It gets really old. Really old. I can usually find something on the menu (except Mexican-I’ll go hungry first), so I’m fairly quiet.

What I don’t like is being told that

  1. it’s juvenile or baby-ish to not like everything.
  2. that if I tried it 10 times (insert any number here) that I would like something I have already tried and NOT liked at all.
  3. that I’m PIA b/c I have “issues” with some foods.
  4. that I must not care about my health or nutritional intake b/c I won’t eat the offering in front of me (usually some odd sort of salad with tons of dressing).
  5. that I’ll hurt so and so’s feelings if I don’t eat their meatloaf, pie, salad, drink of unknown liquids.

Guess I’m calling for tolerance–we put up with people on all manner of diets and accomodate them. Just consider “picky eating” a type of diet.

A polite guest will eat what is offered unless it causes hardship. And the guest is the best one to decide whether or not a given food should be avoided.

A polite host will not make mention of their guest’s pattern of eating/not eating.

QtM, former “picky” eater who remembers the horror of being expected to eat foods which I knew I wouldn’t be able to choke down. But now who is willing to eat about any damn thing just for the experience, but would not inflict the horror of “food eating expectations” on a fellow human. My kids, maybe, though. :smiley:

Ah, he’s onto us! My request to hold the mushrooms is but the first step in my plan for world conquest!

I should add, in light of Stonebow’s post, that I’m perfectly content to hang out with people who are sharing a meal and just not eat anything. I don’t like seafood, but if the group I’m with is hellbent on going to a seafood restaurant, I’ll go along for the company, and grab a burger on the way home. I’m not trying to “control” anyone through my finickyness.

Although, this being the SDMB, I’m sure someone (Probably Diogenes) will be along in a moment to tell me how much of an asshole I am for not eating with the pack.

I understand that this cuts close to the bone, but in some cases I think you’re seeing insult where none is meant.

Remember that the OP asked, how do you define picky? What is the line between someone who just dislikes certain foods, and someone who is “picky”?

Take Jess’s answer, which you have quoted out of context:

(S)he then goes on to describe the behaviours that fall into the category of being a pain in the ass. “Picky” as being defined as being rude when refusing certain foods. Are you rude to other people as you deal with your food issues? Then you’re not “picky” by that definition.

Dittoing Stonebow and DtC. I have no guilt about having an extremely low opinion of picky eaters, and an even lower one of people who make up outrageous rationalizations for their childish eating behavior and expect people to buy it.

“our swallowing issues” should be “your swallowing issues.” I don’t have any swallowing issues; I’m just a picky eater.

This is just the kind of retarded garbage we were talking about in the other thread. “Seafood” isn’t a category. Shrimp don’t taste like flounder, flounder doesn’t taste like tuna, tuna doesn’t taste like a crab, etc…

It’d be one thing if you said “I don’t like fish.”, but saying “I don’t like seafood” is about as silly as saying “I don’t like fruit.”