Sunday, February 27, 2011

Confessions of a Picky Eater

I have always been a picky eater.  I have never loved veggies (ironic, huh?) and I don't like to try new foods.  For a year when I was little, it seemed like I ate nothing but waffles.  You know, the frozen kind that you pop in the toaster.  It wasn't entirely my fault.  My mom and dad didn't know better. That was before we knew anything about food, back when my parents still took us to McDonald's and drank Diet Coke every day.

When we moved to North Carolina about three years ago, we changed our eating habits.  We cut out HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), trans fats and white flour.  We started shopping at the farmers' markets, too.  My parents liked knowing who was growing our food, and getting produce that was picked that morning.  We started going to regular grocery stores less and less.  Eventually, we only shopped at the Farmers' Markets, Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods.  I hated it.  No more dessert every night?  No more Honey Nut O's for breakfast?

For a while, I sulked and pouted.  Then, my mom gave me a library book to read called Chew on This.  It's the kids' version of Fast Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser.  Chew on This was a huge eye-opener for me.  The book describes how they really make fast food.  I was shocked.  I mean, they put crushed bugs in candy?  Was that really how they slaughtered chickens for McDonald's?  I started to research fast food, and eventually nutrition in general.  I read books like The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Micheal Pollan, The Sheer Ecstacy of Being a Lunatic Farmer, by Joel Salatin, and The Vegetarian Myth, by Lierre Keith.  I watched documentaries: Food, Inc. and Fat Head come to mind.  I wanted to see the whole picture, not just one viewpoint.

Now, I eat what my mom gives me.  I don't do it because I like it.  I'm still picky.  I eat almost everything because I know that it's good for me.  However, I still grumble about things like cauliflower and chili (too spicy!).  I know that veggies are good, and waffles (at least the frozen, processed kind) are bad.  My advice to picky eaters: try everything once.  You never know if you're going to like something, or if it will become your new favorite food.  My advice to everybody: educate yourselves.  Don't just take my word for it.  Do your own research and see for yourselves.  Once you know all the facts, you can make your own decision.


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2 comments:

  1. Hi there, what a great blog, I was forwarded a link to it from the Locavore News. We're having an event next week that I think might be up your alley - it's called the Great Big Crunch - and we get tens of thousands of students and community members across the country to eat an apple at the same time. It would be amazing to have you and all your crunching expertise join us. If you're interested in checking it out you can find information about it on our website www.foodshare.net.

    thanks for your awesome work and keep up your healthy exploration

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  2. Excellent post! I have a picky 5-year-old eater at home. We get her to try new veggies by giving her the power to "change her mind" about liking something new. Slowly but surely, she is expanding her veggie horizons. Maybe, just maybe, she'll like brussel sprouts before she is 40! :) Keep up the great work!!

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