Dear Pickiest Of Eaters,
You and I share a funny bond. We are picky eaters that could literally eat the same food every day and never get bored.
You are a chicken nugget, chicken strip, chicken hot dog, mac and cheese MACHINE. It’s pretty much all you want, though I am able to get some peanut butter sandwiches in there as well as some other foods… but, if you had a choice….
The truth is I believe we share a genetic trait that’s kind of fun to learn about.
When I was in college, I had to take some biology classes. In one of those classes, the teacher gave us a small piece of litmus paper and asked us to put it in our mouth to taste it. He said, “most of you won’t taste anything, but a few of you will probably taste something.”
We all tasted the paper and I immediately yanked the paper out of my mouth and gagged and spit. it was the most disgusting, bitter taste I’ve ever experienced. Just horrible!
The teacher then asked us to raise our hands if we could taste something and in a class of about 30 people, me and one other person raised our hand.
He asked us what it taste like and I told him it was unbearably bitter.
He then began teaching the class about people with more tastebuds than most and said we were known as super tasters!
Here’s the definition as I know it now: A supertaster is a person who experiences the sense of taste with far greater intensity than average, with some studies showing an increased sensitivity to bitter tastes. It may be a cause of selective eating. (Wikipedia)
Some of the common hallmarks of super tasters is that they have a limited pallet, prefer sweetness, avoid alcoholic beverages, and avoid cigarettes. All of which are true for me. I can usually only drink one beer before I’ve had enough.
There are lists of foods that super tasters tend to avoid and many are on my “yucky list” as well, including leafy greens, coffee, grapefruits, green tea, carbonated or tonic water, licorice, etc.
So what does this mean for you? Well, a few things actually. One, if you are indeed a super taster, there is a good chance that you may also experience some other related sensory phenomena such as sensory processing sensitivity and possibly synesthesia.
Both of these are related sensory states that I experience. I won’t go into details about those here, but I wanted you to be aware of these ideas for future reference.
Right now, the most important of these quirky things is the one that effects your diet. You haven’t been tested for being a super taster yet and I don’t intend to do that anytime soon, but it does help inform me of how I can prepare food that you like and help me teach you how to eat better.
Right now, there is a lot of stuff you’re simply afraid to try, even though I know you’ll like it just fine… like strawberries and peaches. You like sweet fruits, but you just refuse right now.
Long-term, perhaps the biggest risk is that super-tasters are at higher risk of colon cancer due to not eating as much fibrous vegetables. I have found a few, but not many, vegetables that I like with probably the most healthy being zucchini. It’s got a light flavor that’s actually pretty good, especially with some cheese sprinkled on top.
Soon I’m going to help you learn how to make vegetable dishes that I do actually like, because I think you’ll end up liking a lot of the same dishes if you are indeed a super taster like me!
For now, if you don’t know if you’re a super taster yet when you read this, I encourage you to find out. Right now, there are tests you can simply order online for just a few dollars. You may find out all sorts of things about your food preferences that will help you live a healthier happy life.
Here’s to our picky eating, and maybe exploring other foods from time to time!
P.S. I recently bought a pet snake. He’s a very picky eater. Only eats burgers, hot dogs, and sloppy joes. Apparently, my anaconda don’t known want unless you’ve got buns, hon!
Yes, that’s a terribly inappropriate reference to Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Baby Got Back song. I’ll let you look it up if you’re not familiar….
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