13 Jul 2010 08:55 am
by Patrick Appel
The WSJ profiles adults with limited palates. Jackson Kuhl nods:
We all have likes and dislikes; I don’t care how much of a delicacy they are in Cambodia — I ain’t eating a tarantula. Still, experience with my son taught me that, as the article suggests, picky eating is a neurosis. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that in both cases, the appetites of my guy and the pediatrician’s son expanded at the same age when kids demonstrate greater self-awareness and personal responsibility. Becoming more confident, they realize they have some control of their environment and new foods are no longer as strange or anxiety-inducing. The stakes aren’t as high as they once believed. They recognize a meal is a finite experience and that if there’s some broccoli on the plate, they can just eat and be done with it because dinner will soon be over.
I’m not as judgmental as some people around here about vegetarians (I lean paleo in my diet, which is just another kind of self-selection), but I do think some of the extreme types, like vegans, are adult picky eaters who wrap their neuroses in an ideological flag.
There is some truth in that. Vegetarians are often people who never much liked meat in the first place. There are certainly formerly meat-loving vegetarians, but moral arguments are more compelling the less you like what you are giving up. Veganism doesn't work the same way; none of us inherently dislike all animal products.