The picky eater

By Leila Hashemi Source:Global Times Published: 2017/9/26 13:43:39

One thing I love about China is the food-sharing culture. You can go to almost any Chinese restaurant, order a bunch of different dishes with your friends and get a taste of everything. This reminds me of home. My dad is from Iran, and we grew up eating like this. I feel it brings people closer together and is just a more fun environment.

However, sometimes, this fun environment can be spoiled by a picky eater. Last week, a group of us went to a popular all-you-can-eat teppanyaki restaurant in Sanlitun.

One of my friends brought a very picky guest. She didn't want seafood or meat and complained that her food would taste like seafood if it was cooked on the same grill. 

I also experience many picky foreigners who don't even eat Chinese food. Day in and day out I see them order McDonald's, KFC and Burger King. Seeing adults being so picky led me to wonder why, outside of dietary restrictions or convictions, some people are pickier than others.

Apparently, there is scientific support as to why. One reason is conditioned taste aversion. This theory says that we avoid food or drinks that may have caused a negative experience in the past. This is probably why every time I even look at jagermeister my stomach starts to turn!

 Another theory lies in an individual's taste buds. Linda Bartoshuk, a psychologist at Yale, discovered that people who avoided strong tasting foods like alcohol and hot peppers actually have more taste buds than non-choosy people.

In an article by, a site designed to explain past and present scientific discoveries, adults who are picky eaters are now being recognized as having a disorder. The "selective eating disorder" isn't classifying people who just have a few foods they don't like; instead, it describes a person whose eating habits cause them to have problems in their daily life, such as being a role model for their kids or when in social situations.

Taste buds change over time, and you have to be willing to try new foods. Up until I was 25, you wouldn't catch me even looking at a tomato, green pepper or onion. Now, I can't get enough. So, try something new, experience tastes from different regions and know that there is a chance something you hated before could be your new favorite food.

This article was published on the Global Times Metropolitan section Two Cents page, a space for reader submissions, including opinion, humor and satire. The ideas expressed are those of the author alone, and do not represent the position of the Global Times.


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