Don’t judge me by the foods I eat (or don’t)

Published 9:50am Monday, January 13, 2014

By Dr. James Troglen
I read a fascinating article this week in a well-known magazine which validated some of my own feelings.
The author was sharing, or perhaps ranting, about his eating preferences. His focus was there are some things he will not eat and how others react to that fact.
He and I could be blood kin in many areas. Like him, I won’t eat beef that is even pink. I know, I know, some cuts are not meant to be well-done.
Now hear this! If I buy it I decide how it is cooked, not the chef! I have been accused of being a picky eater, but that is only by those who want me to eat their foods.
I don’t eat turnip greens. I’m not eating anything that looks like what I take out of my lawn mower clippings bag. I don’t eat tuna, it smells and tastes awful, like water that has had rusty nails in it for several weeks. Tuna could be seen as grounds for marital separation if served more than once in a marriage. Okay, just kidding about the separation part.
I don’t eat peas; black-eyed, purple hull, Crowder, etc. However I do like green peas. I don’t eat liver or chitlins because I don’t eat innards!
I don’t eat fish. If you saw what I see while diving you wouldn’t either. I don’t eat sushi since I grew up using that stuff for bait and my grandpa would whup me if I ate bait.
I don’t eat lima beans or butter beans. I do like pinto beans, navy beans and black beans. I won’t eat mushrooms because they are called fungi; they taste like dirt and make me feel like I have a mouthful of sputum.
The medical field, according to Marsha Marcus, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, has coined a new disorder after us “picky eaters.” The new name is Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). Great, another thing to write down on my medical history on my next doctor’s visit.
I have people say: “Well, you must not have been raised in the country.” Oh, Puhleeaase! How many of you who like turnip greens can kill a hog, scald it, scrape it, cut it up and render the lard pure snow white? I can. Can you wring a chicken’s neck by grabbing it and flicking your wrist? I can.
Now about food I like and love. While I agree some may feel I am picky, I believe others are as well. I like calamari (squid) and octopus, how about you? I also love mud bugs (crayfish), lobster, crabs, clams and mussels. Brussel sprouts are a delicacy to me as is cabbage and the skin you can cut off a ham hanging up in the smokehouse curing.
Some of my reluctances at certain foods is because I was raised “having” to eat them and now that I am grown – I don’t have to!
I was 15 before I even knew a chicken had a breast! Now I eat chicken breast, but not chicken thighs or legs. Don’t even get me started on chicken wings. Uggghhh! The next thing you know will be buffalo hog lips. Hey what a great idea for a new restaurant!
Okay, I guess I have about alienated most of Elmore County. But I get tired of people judging where I was raised or what kind of person I am by what I will not eat.
I could do the same you know? Scripture is quite clear: “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day” (Colossians 2:16-17).

Dr. James Troglen is pastor of First Baptist Church of ­Wetumpka.

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