The Most Avoided Foods – Why are we a nation of fussy eaters?

The Most Avoided Foods – Why Are We A Nation of Fussy Eaters

Last month Mark brought home a very interesting article which was published in the Metro titled – How many foods have you tried? It was based on a poll of 2000 adults. Ok, this might not represent the whole of the population but with this amount of people I would say that results are fairly accurate and should be counted as valid.

They published a list of the 40 most avoided foods. The top five:

  • Oysters
  • Anchovies
  • Goose
  • Lobster
  • Scallops

Can you imagine that 1 in 4 people have never eaten an avocado and 1 in 5 refuse to eat olives, figs or prunes? The list also contains a lot of basic cooking ingredients (at least for me) like: leeks, celery, sweet potato, spinach and even salmon! It seems that we hate veggies, fish and a lot of cheeses, especially feta cheese, brie and goat cheese. Why is that?

Is it because they are exotic and we simply aren’t so adventures and prefer to stick with what we know or is it because they look just a little bit funny?

Some years ago when I was in Turkey I was invited for a very posh dinner / supper. I was told that the meal will be very special and that it is cooked only once a week and you actually need special connections to even be able to order it. Ok, I thought, I will get something rare and yummy, how cool is that? So my dish arrived, it looked a bit funny and grey-is but as I really didn’t want to offend the host I dived in. It was ok, nothing to rave about… it tasted a bit unfamiliar for me but it was eatable. More or less half way through the dinner I was told what I was eating a lambs brain. OMG! This was the moment that my dish stopped being all that yummy and I wasn’t even able to swallow the next bite… It was not a good end to the dinner 🙁

Now when I think about that moment, I still feel that distasteful feeling, I ate the brain… yuck…

But why do I feel this way? Just moments before I was gifted with a deeper knowledge of the dish, the dish was fine and I was happily munching on it… seconds later… not so much…

Isn’t it weird that we actually have to think about what we are eating, instead of just eating and enjoying it? How often when something new or unusual pops up on the dinner table do you hesitate to try it because it looks unfamiliar?

I am really wondering why we aren’t more open to new foods and ideas. Marks motto is a good one I think; well he has two when it comes to food. Number one, as long as it doesn’t move on my plate I’ll eat it and second, try anything and everything at least once and preferably twice. Remember that absolutely amazing food you consider the food of the Gods, well at some point you had to try it for the first time… Through him I am learning to be more adventurous with my palette.

Are you a fussy eater or are happy to try just about anything?

22 thoughts on “The Most Avoided Foods – Why are we a nation of fussy eaters?

  1. I am vegan, and some people consider that a fussy eater, but I beg to differ. I would have been terrified about the lamb situation… ew and oh my! So being intentional, conscious, and purposeful about what you eat is not the same as being fussy.

  2. One thing I could not eat is insects. Besides that I’ve eaten worms, entrails, hooves (both cow and pig), cow’s stomach and tripes, guinea-pig and even dog’s meat (although I don’t want to repeat that experience).

  3. Lobster is on this list too? Ok, then they can send all that guys to me :o) I’m not sure if I could eat lamb brain… but as I was a freshman in france I ordered brain once ( I thought cerveau means something like a calf steak for the “veau”). Fortunately Mark had a heart and ate it for me :o)

  4. I draw the line at insects. Except chocolate covered ants, I would try that. I’ll try most things once. Them again, I haven’t been to China where they eat things I wouldn’t.

  5. I’m middle of the road on this one. I’ll try just about any fruit or vegetable out there, but when it comes to meats I’m far less adventurous. Although, I do have to say that I love lobster & scallops!

  6. I am a big fan of trying different foods for the most part. I am a big fan of duck which I know many people don’t like. I even tried escargot on a cruise I went on and loved it.

  7. A very interesting read and so true. I will absolutely any fruit or vegetable and like most of the ones I have tried so far. However when it comes to bits of animals I’m far more squeamish. There are lots of kinds of seafood that I have yet to pluck up courage to try. I think part of the problem is that we have got used to our food being so ‘sanitised’ these days – it all looks uniform and clean and comes in packets in the supermarket – not a good thing in my opinion but easy to become accustomed to.

  8. This is really interesting. I can’t believe that some people have never tried olives, sweet potato, spinach or celery. I love these so much! I have to admit I stay away from fish as I tried it a few times and didn’t like it. Although I’m fussy I will try things on occasion and then decide!
    You are brave eating brains. I really couldn’t do that.

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