1B) ARE PICKY EATERS BORN OR CREATED?

I predict the future to contain a lot more picky eaters. To cut straight to the pint, picky eater are made, not born. Within western culture individuals are provided with the ability to customize different properties and aspects of their food, adding or removing layers to their food, determining the way their food would like to be cooked and even how they would like their food to be presented. “A most America element of the American psyche: customization”. The future to customize food has been implemented in order to cater to the increasing amount of food enthusiasts and picky eaters. Alyssa Giacobbe states in her article, ‘Are Picky Eaters Born or Made?’ (2016), “the real reason most kids are picky eaters is simply … because they can be”. Picky eating is a result of privilege. I believe this was the same for me. I Was extremely picky when I was a child. I remember as a far back to when I didn’t want to eat fettuccine simply because it was green and not yellow. I would have a fit, most of the time this would include screaming, wailing, begging and crying. However, my mother was extremely stern and would not allow me to leave the table until I had finished my plate. Looking back I feel quite embarrassed, as I am a reformed picky eater. I’ll eat everything and anything nowadays, so long as its vegetarian. I believe this change in eating habits, as a result of my mother pushing me to try unique and exotic dishes.

Picky Eating in Pop culture

Supernanny (2004), a show dedicated to teaching adults how to discipline their children.A majority of families that appear on their show are working-middle class families in America. In this particular episode, it features a family during dinner time, in which a child is defiant and refuses to eat the dinner they have been provided. We see the child screaming and wailing. This is an average dinner time routine for most parents. What makes this family privilege is because they have the financial stability to not force their child to not eat everything have been given. Whilst families in lower socioeconomic societies do not have this freedom of choice.

My mother grew up in Peru, South America, to a family of a low socioeconomic status and immigrated to Australia in the early 90’s. Growing up my mother didn’t have the privilege of being a picky eater. She had elven members of her family, therefore everyone had just enough for each meal. Even the food she was provided wouldn’t fulfil today’s nutritional standards. She tells me how amazing it would be to eat mangoes, as that was such a privilege when she was younger. Hearing how her context growing up was so incredibly different to mine it really prompted me now to reflect on my privilege and appreciate everything that I have. This being from the roof over my head to the food I put into my mouth. I believe growing up I really lost this picky eater mentality, not only because of my mother forcing to try different dishes but also a sense of curiosity of what these foods tasted like. It’s really funny to me how much an individual’s culture can reflect/influence what they put in their mouths.

References:

•Giabcobbe, A. 2016, Are Picky Eaters Born or Made?, Boston Globe, February 24, viewed 15 October 2017, < https://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2016/02/24/are-picky-eaters-born-made/7mfRUVteAcMLrO2oTmTeJM/story.html>.

•Supernanny 2004, television program, Warner Bros. Television Productions UK, United Kingdom,  7 July.

Geraldine Buzzo (12565370).