Known Johnson

November 6, 2006

The test

Filed under: General — Tom @ 4:15 pm

This weekend Alissa and I finally took The Test . . . the supertaster test because we were curious after a flurry of activity lately in the world of picky eaters due to a prominent article in most major newspapers on the subject.

“The test” is pretty simple: blue food coloring, those reinforcement rings for three-ring paper whose holes have broken, and your tongue. Put the food coloring on your tongue, put a ring on, and count the large taste buds that should be easily visible – if they’re big and pink, they’re taste buds (because they won’t turn blue.) (This should help.)

We couldn’t find any of the rings so Alissa just punched holes out of paper with a hole-punch, but we didn’t even really need it – the answer was obvious before we even got to that stage. As soon as she got the dye on her tongue she was wincing from the taste. It was when I put the dye on my tongue that I knew something was wrong. I couldn’t taste much of anything. Looking at Alissa’s tongue and my tongue, the difference was obvious – her taste buds were huge and the surface of her tongue was pretty much covered in them. Mine was not. I put the paper on my tongue anyway, but I didn’t need to do any counting, nor did she – it was plain as daylight that was of us had been right all along about being a supertaster and one of us was wrong. And that person was me.

I’m not a supertaster after all. After years of thinking it, believing it, living it, I’m somehow not. Despite being one of the two pickiest eaters I’ve ever known (Alissa, obviously, being the other,) I’m not a supertaster, and despite sharing nearly every trait with supertasters, I’m missing one that should have tipped me off immediately: I can drink diet soda without problem. And I enjoy dark chocolate (in the days before I swore off chocolate due to migraines, that is – I’m still not brave enough to give it a shot again.) But I’m just as unable to eat “normally” as any supertaster and it has absolutely nothing to do with me simply being stubborn, lazy, or childish. Let me put it another way: does it make a whole lot of sense that I would purposely live my life in such a difficult manner? Going out to eat is a chore – few meals are simple and there is very little food out there that I actually want to eat. I encourage you to read some of the experiences related at Picky Eating Adults – they’re not unique, and none of these people want to be like this, and I feel very similarly, if maybe not as shameful as many of them do.

In that I feel good – it’s just food and I don’t care as much as many others do about how uncomfortable it seems to make many other people feel how I eat. It’s a meal, and I have to figure out how to get it past my tongue so I can get on with my day. That’s about all it is to me. Some people have been truly traumatized by picky eating and I’m glad to say that it’s never been like that for me. A hassle, yes. Trauma, no. Believe me, it is not easy to live this way and if I could change, I would. Regardless, it’s the way I am, and I can’t change it – I’ve tried and failed many times. I’m “just” a picky-eater, apparently, and I don’t have any explainable excuse. Maybe that didn’t make it more sensible to others, but it made it seem like it did to me.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] my mind: “Why don’t I talk about being a picky eater more often?” I’ve mentioned it before but never really bother to expound on it, and that’s a shame because I’d say […]

    Pingback by Eating picky — January 28, 2009 @ 12:32 pm | Reply


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