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V is for Vegetable
April 26, 2008 7:43 PM   Subscribe

Meet Freddie: He looks up at me and the bargaining begins. "If I eat two peas is that enough?" I am used to him starting the bids low. "Now Fred there are only seven peas on your plate, can't you just eat them? ". He then starts to turn pale. He slumps down into his chair and fiddles with his cutlery, accidentally on purpose knocking them onto the floor to create a diversion. Can one determined woman turn Freddie into a vegetable lover?
posted by bigmusic (66 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, that's made me feel better about my kids horrible diet.
posted by Artw at 8:14 PM on April 26, 2008


Not sure why I understand why a kid would hate every kind of vegetable...I always loved them.
posted by DMan at 8:21 PM on April 26, 2008


I was tricked into liking every kind of vegetable because my parents kept a big garden and I helped with the gardening since I was a toddler. It was a fun science project to plant seeds, watch them grow, then harvest and eat them. The only things I had problems with were raw onions, because they were hot and made my eyes burn.
posted by mullingitover at 8:46 PM on April 26, 2008


Wow. I should try this on my fiance. He's the pickiest eater ever.
posted by FritoKAL at 8:47 PM on April 26, 2008


Can one determined woman turn Freddie into a book deal?
posted by Banky_Edwards at 8:49 PM on April 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


sweet potato calzone: want now.
posted by wobh at 8:52 PM on April 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


I've read where being picky about food has a strong genetic influence--probably the descendants of cavemen who said "There's no way I'm eating that!" and lived.

Glanced through a bunch of the links and it looks lots more like a recipe blog with only passing mention of her son, which made it seem almost like a gimmick. And at least with the few links I looked at, I didn't see much about him liking them. which often happens with professional chefs and their children.

Maybe I picked the wrong links.

posted by eye of newt at 8:55 PM on April 26, 2008


There's a BBC show called Eataholics that follows adults who severely limit their diets. Some of these people can't eat any kind of fruit or vegetable, or can eat only canned pasta, or chips, or pureed food. If they try to eat anything outside of their severely self-limited choices, they gag and cry and appear deeply stressed out. Some picky eaters don't simply grow out of it, apparently, but have to go on British reality shows and get gently but firmly badgered by a nutritionist and a therapist until they manage to eat a standard meal with their family and friends.
posted by maudlin at 9:06 PM on April 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


It seems like Freddie won, in the end, and good on him.

Kids hate the veggies they don't love. Veggies aren't kid friendly, and kids' aversions aren't predictors of their adult tastes.

Rather than forcing things that tasted horrible to Freddie, or giving up and going straight to feeding him hamburgers and french fries, Freddie and his parents explored. Maybe I'll use his book-deal book next time I need to cook dinner for my adult friends who hate veg because they grew up in an "you'll eat it and like it" household.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 9:06 PM on April 26, 2008


I can't imagine hating vegetables to that degree. As a kid, I loved them, especially raw and crunchy mmmm. Except cooked, canned spinach, which I thought looked like dead frogs.

But then, I know grown-ass grown ups who will not suffer a vegetable to pass their lips. One woman I know will not tolerate anything that even resembles a vegetable, except for catsup, which she consumes at an alarming rate (I suppose if it's good enough for Ronald Reagan, it's good enough for her.) Once, when asked by another friend why she would not consume an alcoholic beverage he made for her at a party, she deadpanned, "Dude. It's green."
posted by louche mustachio at 9:07 PM on April 26, 2008


What the fuck is this? Let the kid eat what he wants. What he is being force-fed now is a diet of neurosis that will plague him the rest of his eating life.
posted by ikkyu2 at 9:17 PM on April 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


Some kids grew up with enough food around to hate. But like the song says,
"Black Diamond Strings
Black Diamond Strings
Drinkin’ 1 W. Harper
Playin’ Black Diamond Strings
Black Diamond Strings
Are like white flour and grits
You play Black Diamond Strings
‘Cause it’s all you can get
"

The thought of my young self pushing food away makes me belly laugh. Hell no , you better keep an eye on your plate of beans brother cause when I'm done with mine I'll be looking for more. You got a picky kid, you got a kid that ain't hungry.
posted by nola at 9:23 PM on April 26, 2008 [6 favorites]


Yeah. Seven kids, two parents. We ate. Whatever veg it was--canned, fresh, frozen--we ate it because that is all we had and all we got. And I have never met a veggie I didn't like.
My mother would have had my head if I were seven years old and only ate 5 peas.
posted by oflinkey at 9:33 PM on April 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


The site seemed pretty gimmicky to me too. Pretty much a front to sell her book, it seems.

That said; kids who are exposed to veggies as part of their regular diet, without it being a tool in a bargaining agreement, eat veggies. Kids will take power wherever you let them, and if you choose to make that battleground about food, then that's where the battleground will be.
posted by dejah420 at 9:36 PM on April 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


I planted and picked and pickled and preserved and froze and chopped and weeded and mulched.

And I STILL hate Swiss Chard, Brussels Sprouts and Asparagus. Especially when boiled into oblivion.

I did like other veggies, though.
posted by jrochest at 9:46 PM on April 26, 2008


"...Especially when boiled into oblivion

Well, who wouldn't? My wonderful Nana's less-than-wonderful boiled Brussels Sprouts convinced me for close to half a century that Brussels Sprouts were completely foul. Then one day I tossed them in oil and roasted them. Damn!
posted by mojohand at 9:55 PM on April 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


The only vegetables I liked as a kid were broccoli and potatoes. Peas were okay.

I grew out of it.

The recipe that cracked me up was one on how to get the kid to eat spinach: add baby spinach to cooked pasta. And bacon. The kid liked it.

Well, duh.
posted by rtha at 9:59 PM on April 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


odd how full this thread of people who can't imagine someone else not liking things they personally happen to like.

When i was a kid my mom would make squash. it made me literally gag. But she kept making it, and kept getting angry at me for not eating it, kept apparently believing i was being purposely difficult.

And the punchline... now as a grown-up, I love squash.


No wait. It still makes me gag. I feel a little sick now just thinking about it. Thanks, mom.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:32 PM on April 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh puke. Pepsi Blue.
posted by autodidact at 11:25 PM on April 26, 2008


This talk of adults not eating vegetables made me think of this article on vegetable free living.
posted by eye of newt at 11:32 PM on April 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


I guess I was a lucky mom, or I must have done something right in the kids-and-veggies department, because both of my kids have always liked vegetables, especially raw vegetables as snacks. I introduced vegetables into their diets the same way I introduced every other kind of food. It never occured to me that they wouldn't like them, so I guess it never occured to them either.
posted by amyms at 11:41 PM on April 26, 2008


I did everything right - offered a variety of fresh and cooked vegetables and fruit, modelled healthy eating habits, didn't bargain, taught them how to cook so they could appreciate food more, and I have two fussy kids that confuse their parents, as we ate what was put in front of us, no questions or arguments. WTF? Huh? How the hell did that happen?

It sucks.
posted by b33j at 11:57 PM on April 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ok, listen. Peas SUCK. They're all mealy and pasty inside, and they are one of the Creator's few mistakes, the other one I can think of offhand being bananas (white turds). I don't CARE about your potassium needs, eat a gotdamn kiwi.


I apologize for not reading this thoroughly, but I was that kid who bargained over a pea or two. I remember sitting at the kitchen table, my mother and father telling me that I could leave the table when I ate the peas. Guess what? I sat there some nights until 9 or 10 o'clock, head in hands, miserable, but determined not to eat that disgusting shit. They'd finally give up and I'd go to bed.

I still pick them out of cans of minestrone or other soups. Fuckin' peas.
posted by exlotuseater at 12:04 AM on April 27, 2008


jrochest writes "And I STILL hate ... Asparagus"

Get it early in the season. Like next month. Young and tender. Steam it lightly. Or try white asparagus.

Oh god it's good!

As to the kid, two possibilities:

One, he's a super-taster. In that case, bland it up with a protein. Some sort of cheese will give it a good mouth feel.

Two, he's not a taster, so spice it up. Add basil or oregano or garlic. Yumm!

Sure, I hated veggies as a kid. Why? What makes veggies bad? Over-cooking. And canned shit. I always hated canned shit. Canned peas and canned spinach especialy suck. Fresh spinach is great. And peas I even like now, so long as they are very lightly cooked.

Fresh, crispy, just steamed a bit veggies are super. I'm not a super taster, so please, add onions, garlic, and all sorts of yummy herbs.
posted by orthogonality at 12:19 AM on April 27, 2008


Yeah, ortho, I thought he might be a supertaster too. I love a lot of veggies now, just . . . not . . . peas.
posted by exlotuseater at 12:26 AM on April 27, 2008


I've hated peas for years. Now my other half cooks them properly, with or without bacon, and I love them. Peas cooked by anyone else? Disgusting.
posted by ArkhanJG at 12:32 AM on April 27, 2008


ArkhanJG: Recipe, please.
posted by maryh at 12:38 AM on April 27, 2008


Like exlotuseater, I was picky with food as a kid, and stubborn. To bed without dinner was better than eating a plate of beans. And my parents gave up after awhile.

However, sometime around age 15, I started eating anything and everything. To this day I love weird and/or healthy food.

So if your kid won't eat his vegetables, don't worry. It might work out alright in the end.
posted by anthill at 12:51 AM on April 27, 2008


The only glimmer of a sliver of the merest hint of respect I ever had for Bush senior was when he declared that no longer would he suffer broccoli: dear Christ on a stick but I hate vegetables. I hated them as a kid and I hate them as an adult.

I never 'grew out of' not liking the taste of plants. Neither my parents turning a blind eye and hoping I would suddenly see sense aged 18 nor their cajoling, blackmailing and threatening to take me to hospital if I didn't eat the damn things ever miraculously changed my palate.

And one of the few things I find even more distasteful is people who are mystified when confronted by someone who doesn't like what they like telling me oh, but I'll like them if I only try them cooked in X or Y way / just like their Auntie Lillian makes them; no. I am afraid that even the tenderest and most coquettishly attractive of little baby carrots, cooked in ambrosia freshly squeezed from the most righteous and chaste of God's personal stable of angels still taste like bloody carrots.
posted by Acarpous at 1:48 AM on April 27, 2008 [4 favorites]


For some reason Freddie and mummy's well-documented persistently vegetative state immediately made me think of this.
posted by rhymer at 3:29 AM on April 27, 2008


I didn't know there were other adults who really just don't like vegetables. Not liking vegetables has been at odds with the intuitive eating principles I try to follow. On the one hand, you're told that you can't be healthy if you don't eat vegetables, so according to intuitive eating, your body should crave them at least sometimes. But mine never, ever does, unless we're talking the tomato sauce on pizza and spaghetti. Even then, what I really want is the meat and bread and I just deal with the vegetables. Man I love meat and bread the way some people apparently love asparagus.

The worst fraud perpetrated on the world has to be meat substitutes. Morningstar Farms sausages and hot dogs and that sort of thing. Soy-flavored anything. VEGGIE BURGERS. LIES. The essential vegetableness of these items comes through loud and clear.
posted by Danila at 3:40 AM on April 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


My son hated tomatoes. But I remembered, as a kid, I hated tomatoes. Nasty, acidic.. I still recall how they tasted then. I like them now. I thought, maybe there's a genetic thing. I never tried lima beans on him. I hated those as a kid. They made me gag. Parents would force me to eat them and I would hide them in whatever bread was around and choke them down. One time, there was only lima beans and chicken pot pie (which I like). I mixed them, gagged, and vomited all over my plate. No one ever tried to force me to eat those damn limas ever again. Some day, this woman's child will discover how non-violent tactics can defeat the most absolute of tyrannies.
posted by CCBC at 3:57 AM on April 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Vegetables? My four year old fights with us about eating ANYTHING. I'll trade you mine for yours lady
posted by poppo at 3:57 AM on April 27, 2008


Hate cabbage, brussel sprouts, turnip, swede, cauliflower (unless it's nearly raw) same with broccoli, just the smell of mushy peas nearly makes me puke. Most other veg I like though.

I read somewhere there's a certain percentage of the population that are oversensitive to some chemical in cabbage or similar as it's close to a poison in other plants.

The legend that his Harry Hill on Freaky Eaters, (featuring a man who lives on biscuits)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:03 AM on April 27, 2008


i'm in the " let him eat what he wants" camp on this. I agree that she's creating conflict that will have a greater impact than what is probably a temporary adversion to veggies (or her cooking)....

This kid is being exploited.
posted by HuronBob at 6:17 AM on April 27, 2008


odd how full this thread of people who can't imagine someone else not liking things they personally happen to like.

Yeah, that's bizarre to me too. News flash: other people aren't exactly like you! Sorry you had to wait so long to find out.

I never tried lima beans on him. I hated those as a kid. They made me gag.

Me too. And although I've come to love most of the vegetables I hated as a kid (the only one I liked was corn)—if my eight-year-old self could see the joy with which I now consume spinach, he'd pray for an early death—I still hate lima beans with a passion. Don't even like reading the words. Fuckin' lima beans.
posted by languagehat at 6:27 AM on April 27, 2008


I loathed spinach as a kid too but now I love it... although to be fair that'll be mainly fresh spinach not the vile tinned stuff. (See also hating cheap and nasty coffee as a kid but growing to love it after I started drinking half-decent stuff without milk at uni)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:40 AM on April 27, 2008


I'm with Drjimmy11. My mother used to make green peppers stuffed with rice and hamburger. I could NOT stand green peppers. When she was preparing them, I swear I could smell them a block away. She'd scoop out the rice a nd meat, trying to convince me that they didn't taste of green peppers. Makes me gag thinking about it and I still cannot abide peppers of any sort, except for itty-bitty slivers mixed into chili. And I mean really tiny pieces.
And my daughter will eat almost any vegetable, including raw carrots, but cannot stand cooked carrots.
Yum, yum, Language Hat--lima beans!
posted by etaoin at 6:42 AM on April 27, 2008


I never liked vegetables. I'd choke them down the three or four asparagus spears on my plate at a restaurant if somebody else was footing the bill but I'd never eat them or any other vegetable at home. Gradually I found a few things I liked: raw broccoli, raw cauliflower, lightly steamed asparagus. Usually vegetables weren't done a way they tasted good or had a good mouth-feel for me though. My sort-of-sister would visit my folks house and make an awesome broccoli dish and I'd eat it up

My girlfriend who I've been dating almost a year went through culinary school. This resulted in two things. I spend a boatload on good restaurants as opposed to my previous bachelor approach to restaurants: Mmm... carbohydrates! The vegetables at our favourite restaurants are usually done the way I like. She also makes really tasty vegetables, they're not cooked until they become mush, they're cooked until they're done.

I still have a few weird things I don't like. Cucumbers just taste bad to me, unless they're pickles because then they taste like vinegar, mustard seeds and spices. Grilled squash is... almost o.k.

This also means I've had to give up my confirmed carnivore badge, but every silver lining is surrounded by a dark badge.
posted by substrate at 6:46 AM on April 27, 2008


Y'know that Ben Franklin quote about how Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy?

French-cut green beans are proof that God hates us and wants us to be miserable.
posted by Lucinda at 6:55 AM on April 27, 2008


I hated stewed tomatoes as a kid, because I could taste the fermenty-rotting flavor underlying them. As an adult my palate has changed, and they are quite edible. However, I had about a 20 year hiatus in eating them, probably partly because my parents forced me to. I still don't like avacados much though, which I can't explain for the life of me.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:58 AM on April 27, 2008


When I was a kid, from ages 4 to 11 or so, all I ever really wanted was tuna salad. I hated pizza, I hated hamburgers, and yeah, there were plenty of vegetables that I didn't like much. Why would anyone eat those things when one could have tuna salad instead? All cold and creamy and crunchy and fishtastic... it's pretty much nature's perfect food. No wonder our cavemen ancestors used to go to the tuna salad canyon and mine fresh tuna salad every day.

Anyway, it drove my mom nuts. Like the mom in this blog, she tried her best to encourage healthy, diverse eating. And like the kid in this blog, I did my best to eat the bare minimum of what was required. She just kind of resigned herself to always having a son who was a picky eater. And I seized every opportunity to eat tuna salad.

And then at some point, around age twelve, I shifted into full culinary-exploration mode. Now, there's nothing I won't eat. I get really excited about things I've never tried before, I do lots of cooking, I seek out all kinds of new food and drink. Sometimes kids just grow out of it, I guess.

Meanwhile, what happened to the love affair between me and tuna salad? Reader, I married him.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:25 AM on April 27, 2008


Yeah, lima beans still suck. But I try them every once in a while to see if I like them yet.

Also: green peppers? Who invented those? Nasty.
posted by rtha at 7:28 AM on April 27, 2008


The 2nd link is to a recipe for calzones filled with sweet potato, brie, and basil. There's not really anything in that that truly qualifies as a vegetable- it's just a bunch of carbs and fat. Is that some kind of triumph?

Also, is it me, or is this idea that we have to negotiate with our children over food kind of absurd?
posted by mkultra at 8:55 AM on April 27, 2008


I still hate lima beans with a passion. Don't even like reading the words. Fuckin' lima beans.

Just quoting for truth. Up yours, lima beans! My mother LOVES lima beans and spent years trying to get me to eat them. I still get a little queasy just thinking about succotash.
posted by LeeJay at 9:01 AM on April 27, 2008


One of my favorite episodes of Leave it to Beaver had to do with his aversion to Brussel Sprouts and his mom's equally dogged determination that he should eat them. Long story short, Dad cut a deal with Beav, who promised to eat his sprouts the very next time they were served. In exchange, he was allowed to accompany the family for a fancy evening out on the town. As it would happen, the restaurant brought out their dinner plates and there were Brussel sprouts on every one. Beaver said "I think I can find my way home." The waitress offered to bring him some carrots or corn, but Mom put her foot down and said, "No, I'd prefer that he eats these." An elderly lady at a neighboring table leaned over and said "I never forced my children to eat things they didn't like." The scene went on like that, and I still laugh at that perfect presentation of the constant battle between kids and vegetables.
posted by Oriole Adams at 9:41 AM on April 27, 2008


I was raised by old-school "no one leaves this table until you eat your vegetables" parents, and I'm kind of glad -- there are certainly veggies I don't like (artichokes, I'm looking at you) but the overall lesson I learned was that Things Which Taste Bad Probably Won't Kill Me. This has translated into an adult willingness to try strange new foods.

And lima beans are tiny green pouches of utter yumminess.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:11 AM on April 27, 2008


What the hell do you eat if not vegetables? An exclusively meat-and-starches diet?
posted by five fresh fish at 11:51 AM on April 27, 2008


And lima beans are tiny green pouches of utter yumminess.

My mother never served them to us because she hated them. She called them "little bags of wet sand."
posted by Lucinda at 12:44 PM on April 27, 2008


Have those of you who are bashing this woman for *making* her kid eat vegetables and thusly inflicting all sorts of psychological damage on him actually read this blog?

The project has them going through the alphabet trying different vegetables in a number of different recipes. Along the way, she's taken her kids to the country to pick nettles to eat, they're growing mushrooms themselves, they have been mapping out where the blog visitors are from, and all sorts of other fun stuff. They did even did an experiment to see if he was a supertaster (they decided he's not).
They have a "naming and shaming" area on the fridge, where the kid can move around the vegetables according to whether he likes them or not. His tastes have vastly changed over the course of the experiment. Mom threw a "party for pea haters" when they got to the letter P, and, surprise!, he liked almost everything. (That post I linked to only deals with one recipe. Look to the ones before and after for the other pea recipes).

Basically, what this woman has done, intentionally or no, is design an entire educational unit around vegetables. She's enriching her kids lives with trips to the farmer's market, teaching them to cook, exposing them to veggies from different cultures, and just plain old having fun.

Yeah, it kind of sucks that there's a book attached to the project, but I think this is a fantastic twist to the approach she was using before; making him eat the vegetables didn't do him any good.

They're having fun. She has his buy in. And it's working.
posted by Stewriffic at 12:46 PM on April 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


What the hell do you eat if not vegetables? An exclusively meat-and-starches diet?

Fizz Wizz toasties and grain alcohol.
posted by Acarpous at 1:24 PM on April 27, 2008


What the hell do you eat if not vegetables? An exclusively meat-and-starches diet?

What the fuck? Cheese, man! The perfect food!
posted by Snyder at 1:28 PM on April 27, 2008


As a kid I hated peas and tomatoes. Tomatoes I hated to the point that I would retch (they have the texture of the inside of eyeballs), so I didn't have to eat them, but I was forced to eat peas. Like many commenters, I have not-so-fond memories of sitting at the table alone until past bedtime, because I just couldn't stand putting those, those things in my mouth. What I learned: to love salt. I would dump so much salt on those bastards that they had no taste but salty, and choke them down. Now I love peas, but boy oh boy do I eat too much salt. On everything.

I have a love-hate relationship with tomatoes. Romas are great, sometime beefsteak tomatoes are ok (as long as they aren't too gooey), but cherry tomatoes? Yuck. Like popping an eyeball in your mouth. Mmm... vitreous humor...

Otherwise, I eat pretty much everything. I'm very experimentative with food.
posted by arcticwoman at 1:43 PM on April 27, 2008


That supertaster test link is great. A couple of years ago people discovered supertasters and suddenly they are the excuse fussy eaters are for being fussy eaters. Yeah taste bud densities differ, yes at the extremes I'm sure there are problems, but the whole supertaster thing has a strong wiff of the popular science story blown way out of proportion and used as an excuse for embarrassing behaviors.
posted by aspo at 2:02 PM on April 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


"It's like electrosensitivity on my tastebuds!"
posted by Artw at 2:15 PM on April 27, 2008


I never ate many vegetables growing up, and have always been a picky eater. I'm one of the people who would outlast my mother when staring at the lima beans on my plate. She learned quickly not to try to make me eat them. There were tons of things that I'd never try because of how they looked, or especially how they smelled. To this day I won't eat any fish but tuna. How can people eat stuff that smells that bad? Eugh, makes me nauseous just thinking about it.

Anyway, I went to work on an organic farm (a CSA) when I was 24. I tried all sorts of things there that I had never touched. Maybe it was just working hard in the hot sun that created the sort of hunger I needed to be willing to try stuff. Also just seeing the plants all raw and beautiful helped, to be sure.

At the farm, I ate for the first time: cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, green beans (and yellow and purple ones too), arugula, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, radishes, nasturtium, and raspberries. I am probably forgetting a couple things. They even got me to eat a couple edible weeds: sorrel and purslane. And I even chomped down a raw clove of garlic once.

I tried a lot of things (and I liked most of them - but I agree with the poster above that cherry tomatoes are like eyeballs) but nowadays I don't eat them often if at all. My diet is not very varied, but it works.

Getting someone to eat something they don't like is just so fraught with peril. So often it's the type of food that will make the person vomit, or at least feel like they want to. Making a kid eat something they don't want seems to me to violate their personal agency in a particular awful way. Putting something into your mouth, chewing, and swallowing it is a very intimate act. You are literally making some foreign thing part of your body (well, the parts that get absorbed anyway).

And any time someone makes a Big Deal out of trying to get me to eat something I find disgusting, it just makes me dig in my heels even harder. And pisses me off.
posted by marble at 3:47 PM on April 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: If my eight-year-old self could see the joy with which I now consume spinach, he'd pray for an early death
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 3:54 PM on April 27, 2008


Vintage kitchen tables sometimes have a drawer on one side. My aunt and uncle had one but their tablecloth usually covered it and they didn't think about it much; they also had a picky eater in my cousin. My cousin grew up and my aunt and uncle eventually replaced the table. But not before finding a drawer filled with...ick.
posted by Morrigan at 4:11 PM on April 27, 2008


Well, that's made me feel better about my kids horrible diet.
posted by oaf at 4:11 PM on April 27, 2008


I grew up hating vegetables and it wasn't until my early 30s that I discovered that it wasn't the veggies themselves that I didn't like but the consistency when they are overcooked. I especially hated asparagus and broccoli as a kid and now I love them.

I still don't much like tomatoes but that's because they're rarely fresh - real ripe tomatoes are awesome.
Squash is ruined pretty much forever for me, the taste is too tightly bound up with the slimy goop I had to eat all-too-often as a kid.
I had a teacher in elementary school who said, "Lima beans, the more you chew the bigger they get." Lima beans are guh-nasty.
Cooked carrots may taste alright but they're too mushy.

The moral? Vegetables should be fresh, or lightly cooked, and only occasionally canned.


Related story: I hated the taste of beer until my early 20s when I drank something other than Budweiser. I was struck by an epiphany: "Beer is wonderful. Bud sucks."
posted by djeo at 5:34 PM on April 27, 2008


I can understand why someone might learn to hate vegetables, if said veggies were canned or punished to death by boiling.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:44 PM on April 27, 2008


As a kid (growing up in a vegetarian household), I hated Brinjals (eggplant). Just hated them, would eat them only under extreme duress. And then, I had a minor epiphany. I decided that since I'm not the one doing the cooking, I shouldn't complain about anything I'm given, and since then I started eating anything without fuss. And now, I do like brinjals (occasionally-heh)
posted by dhruva at 8:52 PM on April 27, 2008


What the hell do you eat if not vegetables? An exclusively meat-and-starches diet?

The other food groups: fruit, dairy, meat, grains

That's a lot of food actually. Tonight I had chicken and garlic bread, with french fries that I didn't eat. French fries are salty and kind of bland underneath (like so many vegetables), but if I eat potatoes at all, it's fried (not mashed, and I tried sweet potato fries, they were exquisitely awful). But I wasn't feeling it tonight. Too heavy.

I can understand why someone might learn to hate vegetables, if said veggies were canned or punished to death by boiling.

I don't know how else to say this, but there is an essential "vegetableness" about them. For me it has nothing to do with how they are prepared. I've tried eating them done "properly" in restaurants. It's like you can't fool my tongue. Just like I can recognize cheese or an orange, I can recognize vegetable.

Either they are bitter or have no real taste at all (i.e. cucumbers and other vegetables that I don't really like but can eat..but why would I do that?? only when I'm feeling guilty). Then there is the texture! It's unmistakable, and if you like vegetables then you like it. If you don't like the vegetableness then you just don't. It's like meat, which has a juicy rowr texture and a wonderful natural saltiness (especially a nice thick roast). Rowr. Makes me want to tear into something right now.

The only way I can eat salad is if it is covered in bacon bits or some other meat. But what is the point of that, really? I'm still trying to hide the taste of the salad, which is not actually tasty at all, not to me. Look, I just don't like vegetables, there's nothing deep about it.
posted by Danila at 9:57 PM on April 27, 2008


I dislike many cows' milk products because I am lactose intolerant. But I can eat them, if I don't mind the resulting bloating &c.

I dislike omlette as I was fed enormous cheese-omlettes by well meaning, but muddle headed people concerned that somehow a vegetarian diet was difficient in some way that could be cured by six eggs and half pound of mild cheddar.

Food is power to some children who want attention. I know I enjoyed being vegetarian in a world of meat eaters due to the contrarian rush, at first. But then I grew up.

I have an old friend who had issues with many foods until he was eighteen and went to a psychiatrist to tackle his phobias. They made a list of easiest to most difficult foods and he started at the easy end. Now he is a very investigative eater, always wanting to try new tastes and textures, not all of which he likes, but at least he knows.

Another friend still hates mashed potato as a result of parental insistance on its consumption at the dinner table. However, just this last weekend she got over her aversion to savoury pancakes that was the result of food poisoning via a roux sauce that she make for savoury pancakes when a child. There is hope for the mash yet!

So, in conclusion likes and dislikes are related to experiences and psychological roots in almost all cases.

If you want to have an experience more like eating an eyeball than a cherry tomato, try the tiny sealed mushrooms in Chinese cooking, they are slimy on the outside. If it weren't for the fact I was in a Buddhist restuarant when I had them, which had signs all over it declaring that no animal had been even slightly inconvenienced for my meal, I would have had to ask the staff if there was a mistake in my order.

Alternatively, why not eat an eyeball? They are 'bueno' according to the only person I have met who has tried them. He also reports that brains, tongue, cheeks, tails, hooves, testicles and intestines are also bueno if you know how to cook them.
posted by asok at 4:35 AM on April 28, 2008


Wow her blog entry should be like 6 lines long:
I made dinner. Couple nuggets, some corn, some broccoli, small glass of milk.
Freddie would not eat corn or broccoli.
Freddie went to bed hungry.
Rinse:Repeat

or, possibly, add

Freddie was offered 1/2 bagel w/ jam, broccoli, and corn for breakfast.
Freddie was offered 1/2 pbj sandwich, OJ, carrots for lunch

ZOMG the torture of the opportunity of choice.
posted by TomMelee at 5:59 AM on April 28, 2008


Me too. And although I've come to love most of the vegetables I hated as a kid (the only one I liked was corn)—if my eight-year-old self could see the joy with which I now consume spinach, he'd pray for an early death—I still hate lima beans with a passion. Don't even like reading the words. Fuckin' lima beans.

Me too! Lima beans, my nemesis. I like any kind of legume now except lima beans. I was a fantastically picky eater as a kid. Loved fruit, but ate NO vegetables. (And not much of anything else, either.) And look, my mom is a fantastic cook -- I didn't dislike vegetables because I only got canned or overcooked stuff. Those lima beans? My grandfather grew them...less than 10 minutes from plant to pot.

I also think some of the vitriol toward the mom-blogger is weird. She made trying new things fun for her kid and it's working. Uh, what's the problem?

I discovered food after I left home. A samosa rocked my world and I was never the same. I now eat very adventurously. My parents are pretty amused.
posted by desuetude at 8:00 PM on April 28, 2008


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