The Case Of The Missing Foodstuffs

Posted Sunday, August 30, 2009, 6:21 PM

I don't like food.

Well, that's not strictly true, really I just don't eat properly. But where most people have a great love of eating, going out to dinner and trying some things that are exotic and exciting, or interestingly healthy, or decadently unhealthy, I really don't care about all that. If I didn't have to, I wouldn't eat at all. Except for lollies, probably.

My Mother had a devil of a time getting me to eat anything she made. I just refused to eat most of it. In the end she gave up, and let me eat the stuff I wanted. Which, I must point out, were not treat type foods I was desperate to hold out for; it was things like cheese and bread and eggs and sausages.

Even now I still don't eat vegetables or fruit, and most other things you might have in your own diet. I will eat a narrow selection of meats, and a few starchy kiddie-oriented ready-meals, but even those aren't the ones most people would expect. I don't eat rice or pasta, for example, which most people think of as default staples.

In theory I should be horrendously unhealthy, and to be honest I am surprised I have survived this far as it seems to run counter to general nutritional expectation. But having said that, I am far from unique in my aversion to foods; I have known many people who have similar or even more extreme diets, so perhaps the rules aren't quite as rigid as the experts may claim.

For the most part it's not a big problem to live like this. It becomes a minor issue in some social situations, where a meal is being prepared for me, without my prior input. I generally won't eat whatever it is an average person might cook up, so if I am not expecting it, it can be embarrassing to refuse lovingly prepared food. If I am warned ahead of time, I can sometimes specify what I would like, but usually to save the bother, I will just say no to any food prepared by someone else, and go without until I can get something on my own time. I really feel bad when I do something like that, so I usually try to avoid social or home-based eating situations. It's also why I tend not to invite people over to my place, or offer food and drink when they do come over, because the selection of edibles I have are sad and childish, catered solely towards my own quirky tastes.

When I grew up in the 70s, food was very standard. You wouldn't find much more exciting beyond a sunday roast and potatoes, or meat loaf, and tomato soup. It's the kind of thing that's harder to find, these days, with most people now offered a more cross-cultural, cosmopolitan, healthy, and creative approach to their food choices.

So where does that leave me? Here's my biggest problem - with increased choice, there's decreased interest in those foods from yesterday. And the less they are sought after, the more likely they will disappear completely from the shelves. Those are my foods! I am a sad marginalised entity, and if my favourite foods, the only things I eat, are gone, what will I do to survive? I mean, literally to survive.

I go into a supermarket now and every couple of months a foodstuff or brand I used to get regularly is gone, gone, gone. Never to return. I am a little concerned that my (arguable) choice of eating low-end unhealthy boring food will be my death; and not for health reasons, ironically, but for lack of existence reasons.

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