Friday, July 15, 2011

food freak

I have a lot of food issues.

There are many, many things I can't eat, and when I say 'can't' I really mean it. I don't mean that I'm a fussy eater. I have Issues.

I can't eat at most peoples' houses, and it's not always to do with the cleanliness of the house, either. It's like a switch clicks over in my brain, and I just. Can't. Do it.

Any leftovers that have been in the fridge for more than 24 hours go in the bin. Can't eat 'em.

If I think something might have been out of the fridge for too long (like in the shopping trolley and then home) I might not be able to bring myself to eat it. And the thing is, I know it's stupid, a lot of the time, because I can give it to the kids. But I can't eat it myself. And that proves it's in my head, because no way would I risk the kids with food I seriously thought was bad.

It's the same with the pantry. Tin of baked beans been in the pantry for 3 weeks?? bin it. It might be 'bad'.

I can't bear food smells on my hands.
I shudder when I have to cut up chicken, because the smell will be on my hands. I have to scrub and scrub to get all the smells off.
I bought a box of gloves, those thin ones you can get, but I couldn't deal with the smell of them, either. Maybe I'll try a different (unscented) brand.

I use a lot of rubbing alcohol, to kill germs on my hands. See, I totally get how Howard Hughes managed to wig out and become germ-phobic. I'm not a mad house cleaner or child sanitiser, but I have to keep my hands clean-smelling.

I become fixated on certain things I do enjoy eating. And then I eat so much of them, I get sick. Or fat. Or both.

Part of the problem is that I can taste the chemicals in many foods. Sauces, packet foods, tinned foods, pre-prepared stuff -- it often tastes metallic, or overly sweet or too salty. Preservatives in bread, cakes etc make me dry retch.

I avoid anything with a strong odour if it's at all possible. Sometimes I seriously have to tie cloth over my nose and mouth so I can make the kids something to eat, because everything, everything, smells hideous to me.

Sometimes I drive my husband mad. He has a cast-iron stomach, not quite in the Bear Grylls category, but he never has to stop and think about eating. He just enjoys it.
I'm lucky that he really tries to understand, because it's embarrassing and annoying for him that no matter where we go, I'll likely stay hungry rather than eat something that might be 'bad'.

We hear a lot in the media about eating disorders, but I've never read about anyone else like me. I don't know what's wrong with me... and I'm not asking for solutions (unless you really have one).

I just want to know ---- am I the only one?


  1. You are SO not the only one!

    I am like that with a lot of food as well. I can't eat fresh vegies if they've been in the fridge for any longer than 3 or 4 days, even if they still look fresh.

    I can't eat red meat if there is a lot of 'liquid' in the container it is packed in, and I hate the smell of red meat cooking.

    I'd rather my house didn't smell like food, except maybe cinnamom scrolls. I would rather spend an hour grinding spices and herbs and stewing tomatoes to make my own sauce, than to use one out of a jar or carton. I have spent hours in the kitchen making stock and freeezing it in ziplock bags to use later.

    I have trouble eating at places that I don't think are clean aswell. Thats an OCD thing, though.

    You are definately not alone!

  2. Thank you for sharing.
    That's intense.
    The mind is a powerful thing - painfully so at times.
    I've had my fair share of food issues over the years and little flirt with a disorder - but what you describe must be so hard for you.
    I definitely don't have any answers - just admiration.

  3. From the comments above you can see you're not alone. I have a few food problems, but I'm not in your league at all. I don't like lamb, rarely eat red meat, there's only one brand of canned tuna that I will eat. I prefer frozen or fresh vegetables because canned ones taste like can to me, especially canned corn kernels. But I can eat canned creamed corn. On toast with ground pepper sprinkled over. I don't wrry about food being "off", I have my excellent sense of smell to rely on, and canned things like baked beans and tomato soup live in my cupboards for quite a while before I use them. Fresh veg that have been in the fridge more than a few days get made into soups and casseroles.
    I have to say I think your "phobia?" is (a little) extreme. Have you considered seeing a doctor or even hypnotism?
    I can understand the need for clean hands that don't smell like food though.

  4. Oh my goodness, I am the complete OPPOSITE!!!! I eat anything and everthing. Except McDonalds cheese. I can NEVER bring myself to throw things out, even if I know they won't get eaten. As a result my fridge and pantry and kitchen in general resembles a nuclear test site. But worst of all, and I'm a little ashamed to admit it, I sometimes freeze things that are almost at mutation point knowing that by the time I defrost them I will forget! Sounds like a good episode of 'Fake-tidy' (hint-hint) don't you think? From your new friend Emma Sheree ;)

  5. I don't know how you may feel about lemons, but back when I was a deli girl, we used to cut lemons in half and scrub them over our hands to get rid of the scent of raw fish and chicken. Worked really well.
    My food issue is treats at work. On someone's birthday they'll bring in a cake, or donuts or whatever, and put it on the central counter area, behind the wall so it's not visible to the public. Then it's left there, uncovered, until it's all gone. And people look at me like I'm crazy when I say I can't eat something that's been sitting out on a counter for half the day.

  6. Thank you to everyone who responded to this odd post. I really appreciate it, and love it that I'm not alone!
    I'm still processing the issues and I think I most likely will end up trying to get some professional help, at some stage.

  7. I have a similar problem. Just a few seconds ago. My boyfriend took something from the fridge asking "is this old to you" cause it was mine. Thats code for I'll never eat it because its been in the fridge for a few days. Leftovers go to bf, i won't touch them if they've been in the fridge for a day. He actually got me to be a little more lenient. I keep things like cans out of the fridge and in a cuboard now. I still put chocolate in the fridge and bread. I don't cook meat, live mostly with soy. So i wouldn't know about the smell. sorry. but i have a rule of not having anything smelly on my hands with a meal. hand sanitisers or lotions (especially smelly lotions) are my pet peeve at meals.

  8. I keep rice and oats and breadcrumbs in the fridge, just in case. Spins people out.


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