Picky eater or victim of Hypersensitive Taste Bud Syndrome?

vegetables.jpgThere was an article in the paper a few years back noting that picky eaters may have overly sensitive taste buds. Having been a lifelong choosy eater I quickly latched onto this new victim status.

You see, my eating habits are somewhat legendary (though not in a good way). I never met a vegetable I liked, though now I do consume spinach and carrots after they have been liquified in my Veggie Boy shakes.

But it turns out that I’m not really picky! Those of you who don’t have Hypersensitive Taste Bud Syndrome (HTBS) are eating lots of foods that taste bad, but you just don’t know it. If you want to know if something really tastes good or not, just ask.

Remember, I’m part of a protected class now, so careful with the picky eater jokes.

Just in case you thought I was making this up, here’s a related article.

41 thoughts on “Picky eater or victim of Hypersensitive Taste Bud Syndrome?

  1. Pingback: Spinach recall! « 4Simpsons Blog

  2. Saw this was a top post of yours. Had to check it out. Nifty! I too have HSTBS, though I am now OK with raw spinach in a salad w/ Ranch Dressing and raw carrots with Ranch Dressing (also copper penny carrots are good, though they are cooked–in lots of butter and brown sugar!)

    Thanks for giving me some defense when Mom asks why I don’t like such and such, and thanks for stopping by my blog!

  3. I found a more recent link and added it to the original post. Maybe we need a support group where we meet weekly and eat breakfast cereal or something plain.

  4. Pingback: Political Cowboy Now I Know What’s Wrong «

  5. Pingback: Hypersensitive Taste Bud Syndrome Support Blog « Hypersensitive Taste Bud Syndrome Support

  6. LOL! I like the new blog.

    We’ll have milk on the side during our boring breakfast cereal meeting. ;)

    I’m vegetarian, so you can only imagine how much fun it is to feed me. Of course, everyone laughs at the veggie who hates broccoli, but whatya gonna do?

  7. I can’t stand the feel of soggy cereal in my mouth! As Neil said, we’re not mad, maybe a little irritated, and I’d add to it in need of some understanding support from one another. We’re gonna have some good thoughtful HSTBS+ (HSTBS Positive) discussion over there. Remember,m you can be HSTBS+ at any age, so keep that in mind when you comment on postings. ;-)

  8. Thanks, I’m enjoying the new layout as well. Oddly, this one doesn’t show bullets, but I like everything else about it. The double columns provides symmetry and appeal to my Monk-like nature.

    TheoBromophile, don’t feel bad about being a broccoli hater. My youngest daughter thought she wanted to be a vegetarian until I pointed out to her that 1) she really like Chicken McNuggets (OK, not much meat there) and bacon and that 2) she hates vegatables.

  9. Pingback: Introductions « Hypersensitive Taste Bud Syndrome Support

  10. Neil,

    One of my friends’ daughters announced, at age 15, that she would be a vegetarian. She didn’t much like vegetables, so she basically became a cheese-atarian, which did not appeal to her parents.

    I’m really picky about my vegetables – mostly, I don’t like cooked green veggies (spinach, broccoli, peas). For what it’s worth, I did eat more of them when I stopped eating meat. For what it’s worth, you can get soy bacon AND most bacon bits are completely vegetarian. So your daughter can make the transition to the Dark Side.

  11. Neil,

    When I was a kid, I hated oatmeal. My mom made it every weekday morning, because it was economical. I had to eat it. There was no option. She over-cooked it so that it stuck in my throat. I always felt like I was choking to death…but you DID NOT defy my parents.

    I got in trouble for even making a face.

    My throat always felt constricted for hours afterwards.

    When my husband took me to meet the in-laws for the first time, my MIL made oatmeal for breakfast. I ate the whole bowl with a smile that never wavered.

    Years later, I can still choke it down, but I’m still amazed that anyone eats it at all if they have any choice what-so-ever.

  12. Hi Teresa,
    Mmmmmm . . . oatmeal! I actually like it – provided there is plenty of milk and sugar on it.

    LOL about the MIL. You’re a good sport!

    I can relate, though. Some foods just make me gag – mainly vegetables like lima beans. Haven’t had one of those for 35 years or so!

  13. Teresa,
    I feel your pain about the oatmeal. When I was a young girl, my father would make a big batch of oatmeal when HE got up at 5:00. By the time my breakfast rolled around (6:30 or so) that oatmeal was something akin to wallpaper paste! These days I like the steel-cut style, but rolled oats are strictly for baking at my house.

    Neil,
    My parents were of the “try at least one” ilk. When I was growing up, I had this hollow plastic booster seat that had removable rubber pads. One day Mom was cleaning the dining room chairs and notices the booster seat rattled. She shook it at bit and out came several lima beans, a few slivered almonds, and some black olives– BUSTED!

  14. Wow! This post has picked up some ground again!

    Kelly, what exactly are steel-cut oats? I stock groceries and noticed that we recently started getting some Irish Steel-Cut Oats recently, but I’ve not had the opportunity to examine them. From the sound of shaking the box, it almost sounds like a Cream of Wheat/Malt O’ Meal substance (if I’m way off here, keep in mind that I’m quite single :-) )

    Anyhow, like Neil, I’m cool with oatmeal as long as it contains enough sugar and milk (same criteria for coffee).

  15. I like a mixture of 1/2 sugar, 1/2 oatmeal. Oddly, I can manage oatmeal, even though I don’t like mushy foods (lima beans, peas, cereal with milk).

    My parents made me “try it.” Whatever “it” was, I had often tried it before and hated it. (This Irish girl has a hate on for potatoes.) I tried, in my very literal way, pointing out that I had tried it on many previous occasions and found it to be lacking. That didn’t get me very far….

  16. We were in the “try it” camp to a degree. I would point out that some things spelled badly, so I didn’t want to eat it. They would say, “But it tastes different than it smells.” I’d reply that I’ve noticed a remarkable correlation between the smell and taste of something (OK, I used different words, but that was the essence).

    They also did the “one green bean (or whatever objectionable foodstuff was there) for every year of your age.” That got pretty bad after I was 5.

  17. I played the mind-games with our kids.

    The oldest came out from his nap one day in October wearing his halloween costume (He was looking forward to Halloween) I was making pea soup. He said “What’s that?” I said “It’s Halloween soup”

    He ate two bowls, and it’s still his favorite. NOBODY likes pea soup, but my kids do. Also, whenever I introduced a new food, I would tell them they were too little to eat it, because they wouldn’t appreciate it enough, and not allow them to have it the first couple of times. Then, I would allow them to “prove” to me that they liked it.

    It worked for everything but mushrooms and summer squash Neither of them will eath those things. The oldest won’t eat black olives.

  18. Pea soup in the guise of Halloween soup!?!?!?!? That is cruel and unusual punishment that makes the reports on the evening news from Gitmo and Abu Grab (sp???) sound tame.

    My parents always did the “try it you might like it” speech. Even after I tried and it was then verifiable that I disliked, they ran the whole “you don’t know what you’re missing” bit. I could at least at that point say that indeed, I did know what I was “missing” and that I wouldn’t be missing it all that much. Besides, it was more for them if they liked it (whatever it happened to be) so much.

  19. There are reports on teh evening news about Gitmo and Abu Garaib? I stopped watching ‘caus eall I saw on there were cute kitten stories and people who wouldn’t stop talking about Anna Nichole Smith and how she was still dead and stuff.

    If they’ve started talking about news I’ll have to tune in again.

  20. I come from I long line of successful brainwashers. My Grandma convinced my uncle that pease were his favorite vegetable just by telling him such– over and over and over again. Mom convinced me that I didn’t like candy by saying, “Oh, you won’t like that- it’s pure sugar.”
    My friends are amazed that I truly don’t like most candy.

    Scott- the steel cut oats are pieces and maintain some structural integrity when cooked. Rolled oats are way processed, you know. Wikipedia has a better explanation than I.

  21. I am doing a project for school and would like to gain permission from you to have the access to use your images on my website. My project is on eating healthy and your image is rellevent. I would like it if you replied to me with your answer .
    Thank you

  22. I too have HTBS. I’ve been “picky” all my life. I don’t like vegetables, I eat everything as plain as I can. For example, pepperoni & cheese pizza, not all dressed, hotdogs and burgers with ketchup only. I get a gag reflex very easily when I eat something I don’t like. I even get the gag reflex without even having the food touching my tongue… I always though I was very picky, but I guess I’m not picky, it’s just HTBS, that would explain alot.

  23. i have it too i hated alot of things my parents served any they said i was a picky eater, you can find out if your one by going to a museum of science they have little slips of paper that if they’re really bitter then you have it but if you taste nothing then u dont

  24. Wow, this might explain some things. I always noticed EVERYTHING in food. Every. Single. Seperate. Taste.
    I was a very very fussy eater, but thankfully my mom didn’t cram the stuff down my throat because SHE was picky too, once.
    Even though my brothers were (to a lesser extent) too, they didn’t share the same mindset. Yay hypocrisy.

    But anyway, I am always told “Oh try it, you won’t taste it a at all! :D”, I tell them I WILL taste it.
    They tell me, in a more polite way, that I’m just bullshitting. I try it, I immediately spit it out because I taste what I apparently shouldn’t have. (onion, various vegetables, hazelnut or anything I dislike, which is a lot of things)

    I then get the joy of a horrible aftertaste in my mouth for hours unless I drown it out with something incredibly spicy, sour or sweet.

    I also can’t stands foods with certain textures.

    I now believe that I might actually have HTBS, it makes sense.
    Just today I was eating a roll with JUST chicken and pepper (the usual) and I suddenly encountered the horrible tang of ONION in it.
    I struggled to avoid spitting it out in the middle of the computer lab.

    Personally, I hate this, but it’s who I am, I guess.

    • I have been surprised to find people that are more like us. When I see someone suffering with it I feel so bad for them because they are like you…they hate that they have it. I, on the other hand, am totally satisfied with my choices. I like what I like and haven’t missed anything I don’t like. I have no desire to even try any of it.

      By the way…onions are the worst! I can’t eat anything from Subway because even though they use gloves they still have the onions close by and the flavor does travel from the glove to the food. I’ve noticed that some restaurants will take a knife that they’ve cut onions with and rinsed it off and wiped it off and cut watermelon. I can still taste the onion.

  25. I have always been a “picky-eater” but since I underwent chemotherapy 7 yrs ago, it has worsened. Even things I like seem “too much”. I t tastes like these things are overseasoned. Am I crazy?

    • First, let me say that I’m glad you survived chemo and are around 7 yrs. later!

      I’m not familiar with the side effects, but I could see how that might impact your taste somehow.

  26. I also have HTBS and I know this to be true because I was tested in a college biology class. Everyone was given a rectangular piece of tissue type paper coated with a certain chemical. Most everyone couldn’t taste anything, but it was intensely bitter for me. I have identified one thing that is really bitter. Anything that is cooked with 0 trans fat or has any of this type fat in it or on it. I can no longer eat at fast food restaurants (except for Chick Filet). because they all use this. I understand that 25% of the population has HTBS. I know that it is heriditary because many of my relatives also have it. Lets let the FDA know about this before they shove the 0 trans fat down our throats!

  27. I grew up hating just about everything and had a rough childhood because of it. My mother was the type that made me taste EVERYTHING and I do mean everything…(well except oysters and okra) If I cried or gagged I would end up with more. Consequently I became an adult with very few likes of food. Then I had kids and two of them were very picky and I refused to make them even try what they swore they didn’t like. They grew up disliking very little. My youngest daughter is the one that introduced me to the hypersensitive taste bud syndrome and through some searching I found that it is also called Hypergeusia . When I tell people that I can’t eat certain foods I tell them that I have this because they think I should be able to eat whatever they cooked. Now because I have a name for it they know that it’s really a disorder. When they ask me what I do like it’s hard for me to answer. One of my friends helped me out for when we go out to eat…She said to tell them I have severe food allergies. That has worked too. I was just so relieved to know that this was really a condition and not just me being super, super picky.

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