Food phobias might at first sound like a funny thing, but to the person suffering, it is not a joke at all. People suffering from phobias are often able to face the problem and work through it with medical help so they live a life free of fear.
A phobia is not a person disliking something about a food, like a vegetarian not liking meat. This is a fear of the food itself. It can be about look, colour, or texture, and sometimes the person is paralysed by the fear it produces.
What is a phobia? According to the dictionary, a phobia is:
“An irrational persistent fear of certain situations, objects, activities, or persons. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive, unreasonable desire to avoid the feared subject. When the fear is beyond one’s control, or if the fear is interfering with daily life, then a diagnosis under one of the anxiety disorders can be made”.
There are more than fifty phobias relating to food, and only the more common ones are listed here.
This is a fear of the food itself and fear of eating. It can come about from a severe allergic reaction or a food poisoning experience.
This is an irrational fear of chopsticks. It could come from a fear of dropping food on yourself or accidentally poking yourself or someone else in the eye.
This is the fear of dinner parties or dining with other people. People suffering from this always prefer to eat alone so they don’t have to worry about making small talk with others.
This is a fear of any vegetable. It could stem from the fear of accidentally swallowing an insect or that if you swallow a seed, it might sprout inside of you.
Another specific food fear this time of fish. It could be the sight of a whole fish with its head and eye looking at you, the smell of the fish, or the thought that fish carry illnesses and heavy metals from the ocean.
The fear of mushrooms and all fungi. It may come from where they grow in dark, musty places or that many are poisonous and deadly to humans. Mushrooms now tend to be grown in better conditions away from old tunnels and such.
There are many other food related phobias and they include:
Fear of food being sour – Acerophobia
Fear of chicken and poultry – Alektorophobia
Fear of onions and garlic – Alliumophobia
Fear of diseases and microbes – Bacillophobia
Fear of bacteria – Bacteriophobia
Fear of meats – Carnophobia
Fear of shellfish – Ostraconophobia
Other phobias relate to what might happen when eating food, such as:
Fear of vomiting – Emetophobia
Fear of gaining weight – Obesophobia
Fear of being poisoned accidentally – Toxophobia
Fear of choking – Pnigophobia
Fear of swallowing – Phagophobia