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I only eat American food. Let’s go somewhere American.

We were speaking with someone we didn’t know very well, and we were trying to choose a lunch spot. Those might be the saddest words I’ve ever heard when it comes to picking out a restaurant. No Thai, Mexican, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, or other ethnic cuisines? At all? Ever?

Now that’s a picky eater.

Or the time my sister’s friend was spending the night and would only eat round waffles for breakfast – not square?

Another very picky eater.

The face I made at any food that wasn’t plain (unless it was covered in cheese).

Growing up, was I a picky eater? Oh yeah.

If it had sauce, I wouldn’t eat it. I only wanted plain chicken nuggets or strips. But I wanted all the “gross bites” taken out before I ate them. Plain bagels. I wouldn’t touch anything mushy (boy, was I missing out on guacamole and Indian food!).

I was very hesitant to try any new edible. Sushi? Heck no. Veggies? Only if they were covered in cheese. (I was Miss Cheese, remember?)

Fast forward to age 23 when I became vegetarian for ethical reasons. Suddenly, I had no idea what to eat.

I perused vegetarian and vegan recipes in books and on websites. Many of them involved unfamiliar food (what is this green stuff, kale?). Hmmm.

So what did I do? I ate pasta until I figured it out (not recommended). My palate either had to expand, or I needed to go back to how I knew how to eat.

With my new knowledge of the horrible lives most animals raised for food endure until they’re slaughtered, I braved new foods. I did not want to contribute to something I so deeply disagreed with.

I tried all kinds of different cuisines, dishes, and recipes. I ordered new things at my favorite restaurants, and turns out…I loved them! Being vegan vastly expanded my food horizons.

Now, as a vegan, I would call myself an adventurous eater.

Some people might laugh at that because my adventurous eating doesn’t include the “Gastronaut” foods of eyeballs, chicken heart, rat, balut, and any other number of cruel (and in my opinion, very icky) foods.

But as long as it fits in my ethical standards of doing the least harm possible to animals, I will try it!

I’m free of my picky-eater cage!

So in short, a picky eater is someone who doesn’t eat certain foods based on likes or dislikes. It’s associated with childhood phases or pain-in-the-neck adults. It’s got a negative connotation for sure.

Some people can’t help it (heard of Selective Eating Disorder?). Some people just aren’t willing to step out of their comfort zone.

Either way, picky-eater-land is a limiting place to be.

A vegan on the other hand is someone who aims to do the least harm to other sentient beings through informed food choices.

Or someone who wants to be as healthy as possible in what they eat.

Or someone who wants to do the least harm to the environment by eating consciously.

No matter the reason, vegans choose not to eat something because of reasons other than not liking the food.

Now, let’s cut those corners off the square waffles to make them round. Does that work?

To gastronomic vegan adventures!

Sarah

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