Dr. Laura Rogers
Academic Reading and Writing
Ain’t No Food Good Enough
Being a picky eater, often times, the problem isn’t so much with food; it’s the feelings about food. People whose palate is broad generally have the feeling that food is interesting. They experience enjoyment and ease when they eat. On the other hand, a picky eater does not have that ease. Food tends to ignite strong feelings for me. When a food tastes too creamy, when two foods touch each other on the plate, or when I see the colors red and green at mealtime, my feelings flare. And there is often a matching set of strong feelings, feelings of comfort attached to the select foods that I tolerate. Quite frankly put, rather than being an interesting everyday experience, each food is emotionally charged, with positive and negative poles that are set off by colors, textures, smells and how it sits on the plate.
However, the people who were affected by the aforementioned reasons were none other than my parents, who would go to great lengths just to make me have that portion of greens, or those pieces of potatoes at the corner of my plate, or the tomatoes that I never even look at. They would try pestering, waiting till I was busy, distracted while hoping that I would not notice what is being slipped into my mouth. All these tactics brought short-term successes, but my parents never seemed to have given up.
In some Buddhist scriptures, there are the words, "We eat not for fun, pride, body-building, or beautifying self. We eat just to relieve hunger avoiding overeating or undereating to survive in order to be healthy." I am reminded of this every time I fall prey to these mouth-watering delicacies. I know I must not get captured by the tempting, alluring recipes easily. But everybody has some kind of madness. Everybody has some craziness inside. We cannot deny it. The same applied to me regarding food. Whenever my mother prepared food at home, she had to make it in a certain way because I just would not eat if it does not look appetizing enough to me. I was that particular about food for I have always worried that whatever goes into my mouth would not meet my satisfaction.
As the eldest son having a difference of eight years from my younger brother, I was brought up for long enough to be the only child pampered a lot by the whole extended family, including grandparents and aunts, let alone my parents. Ever since I was weaned, I have always conditioned myself to avoid food. I barely had an appetite for food, rather tend to play around forgetting even to get hungry, let alone to eat. I seldom asked for food even if it was past meal-time. Whenever I was fed, I never swallowed the food bolus, but rather keep it in my mouth for so long that I was thought to not have learned how to swallow down the food. It was incredibly tough to feed me and how hard my family tried but they had to give up eventually. And that was what I used to be!
There was a time when I was five,...