Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Better Safe Than Sorry:" A Gastronomical Cliché

you know, I've never really understood the term "comfort food." The concept of a "foodie" was explained to me a few years ago, and I'm still working on the relation to that one. I've known for years that I come from a family of (and am a classic example of) some of the most picky eaters I think I've ever met. In my case, I have worked hard to not be so, because there are too many things out in this world to experience (and wayyyy too many feelings to be hurt, especially in the area of food) to be bogged down in "I don't like it." In some areas, I can proudly say, though not to my credit at all--and a massive shout out here to Mr. Thomas Seaquist...--that I have in fact come to love a wide(r) range of food than I ever would have imagined I could have.

That being said, I am still a terribly picky eater. The way I see it, there are two kinds of picky eaters: the hyper-sensitives and the overly imaginatives. Translation: those with a seemingly heightened awareness and perception of what they are eating, so that only the best combinations of things are "good," and those that have a really good, some might say "overactive," imagination, so that they talk themselves into imagining various foods in certain ways that cannot then be consumed--(raisins &etc., however beneficially flavorful, will always look like bugs to me.) If there was any doubt as to which category I fall in, that last should resolve it. Imagination has always been my weakness in many areas of my life, but that is a post to itself. I have also noticed that often "textural" eaters, those that have a problem eating substances based on texture alone, are predisposed to be in the imagination category as well, and I find that very interesting. Texture is also one of those things that more than nearly any other food issue is the hardest to overcome. ahem, I might know a little about that, too...

Despite the direction this post is taking, I actually eat a lot. It's not varied much, and it's not very exciting, but I do eat quite a bit. even though I am a bit prone to forgetting it once I've made it, but that's the effect of being an utter space cadet as well. What has brought my attention to it most recently are the discussions I've listened to or participated in on wastefulness and "cootie" fear. I know (and am related to) some people who will do anything rather than throw out food, and I wholeheartedly agree, intellectually. Until it comes to the point where something of questionable age comes into question, or, as I'm dealing with now: reintroducing food after being a bit sick. I become extremely hesitant at all points, and it has confused me to no end for years. I, as the worst liar known to man, am actually reducing myself to lip-service on something??? Ugh... makes me sick all over again. However, (since I've had quite a bit of time to think on it lately), I think I now understand.

First of all, I'm not alone in this; many of the picky eaters I've watched lately, I find to be in the same boat. I no longer believe it to be lip-service. I simply think for some of us, it is that we can't risk losing something that we actually like, because there's not that much to begin with, and therefore losing anything means a substantial dip in the available variety. It wasn't until I considered eating again (this morning...) and actually went so far as to get breakfast, but then proceeded to carry it around with me all morning with the thought, "I like this--what if it makes me sick all over again? Ohmygoodness, ohmygoodness..." that it occurred to me what so many of us might be doing on a regular basis. "Better safe than sorry" ensures that we can still stand to eat, rather than face the horror of liking new things.

I also think about this a lot as I am doing research on a new diet plan that cuts out one of those areas for me: gluten. As I know more and begin to implement it, I'd like to create a discussion thread that covers it. I'm sure there are a lot of people going through similar things that something like that might help. Sure would me, and I can't find it... so, rule #2:

if it's not there, create it.