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Dr K. Jeffrey Miller

Over the years people have sometimes commented on my eating habits. I find it annoying, especially if I frequently eat with someone who won’t let go. It’s like having a play-by-play announcer at the table calling for action.

“You eat too fast. You don’t like the food on your plate touching each other, do you? You only eat one thing at a time, right? “

The comment makes me feel like I have to apologize for the way I eat and makes eating an unpleasant experience. At 58, I eat the way I eat and I don’t care what people think about it. But this attitude does not protect me from the annoyance of the commentary.

Eating habits are like fingerprints, everyone has them and they are unique to each individual. But, unlike fingerprints, eating habits develop over time.

My first memory of an activity that would develop a eating habit comes from hanging out in a bar with my father. He was taking me to a bar near Shepherdsville, Ky., Located on the banks of the Salt River. He called him Hoot Owl Holler. I don’t know if that was the real name of the establishment. I was four or five years old and couldn’t read.

It was there that I learned the great southern tradition of putting peanuts in my Coke bottle. In fact, for me it was peanuts in my bottle of Orange Crush. The mix of sweet soda and salty peanuts is fabulous.

Pop bought the ingredients, helped me pour peanuts into the bottle, and I enjoyed the mix while he drank a few beers. These outings were a real treat except the times my mom caught us. Mad woman, how could she be upset? We were men!

To further demonstrate her hysterical state, she also had an issue with me sitting in Pop’s lap while he mowed the lawn. Looking back, any rational person should have realized that cupholders weren’t invented yet. Someone had to hold the beer. And it was hot. An occasional sip for the incumbent was warranted.

Looks like we were both drunk, but that was Pop’s drinking limits, and I quit drinking in first grade.

The second habit I remember developing was eating fast. He developed out of necessity. I was not allowed to play after dinner until I cleaned my plate.

I had no idea how the habits of not letting the food on my plate touch each other and eating one thing at a time developed. But exhaustive internet research has helped.

Not wanting your food to touch is called brumotactillophobia. It is a mild form of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The practice is said to develop during childhood. Small children are not allowed to choose most of the foods they eat, so they adapt by controlling the position of the food on their plates.

Note: Based on this information, it should be obvious to anyone that if a child develops brumotactillophobia, hiding peas and other unwanted foods in mashed potatoes can lead to more intensive treatment. late in life.

Eating one item at a time also gives the eater control. The order of selection can change from the least preferred food to the most preferred food. This method can quickly eliminate an unpleasant part of a meal.

I used to be a meter reader and have followed a schedule that always brings me to a particular client at lunchtime. The meter there was unusual as it was in their house.

They were a lovely old couple and always invited me to stay for dinner. I couldn’t, but even if I could, I wouldn’t have. I had arrived several times during dinner and noticed that the gentleman usually loaded his plate and then stirred it all into one big pile. I would have had a seizure halfway through the meal.

I have a few eating habits that are noticeable but not uncommon. There are many more that I don’t have. For example, never drink during a meal, only drink with a meal and never between meals, not like certain foods because of their texture or color, and not wanting to eat from a plate. other person or yours.

Oh! It’s another for me. Trying to eat off my plate is a great way to lose some fingers.

Wow. Eating habits are a long topic and my word count is almost exhausted. We’ll have to review eating habits in a future episode.

By the way, I can’t find the name to eat one thing at a time (I’m sure there is one). For now, I’ll call it foodamixaphobia.

Dr. K. Jeffrey Miller is a chiropractor at the Missouri Orthopedic Institute and author of “The Road to Happiness Is Still Under Construction: 50 Activities to Create a Positive Perspective. His column is published on the first Friday of each month.