2

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Help, I think most animals taste terrible!

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 10, 2011 at 9:44 PM

I've been on paleo for a couple months now, more or less, and I've got a problem. I'm a terribly picky eater when it comes to meat. I hate seafood. I hate beef, except for the uncured hot dogs I sometimes buy, which don't taste or feel like ground beef or steak. Don't like lamb at all. Don't like pork at all either, except for bacon, which again doesn't taste or feel like most other pork. While I can choke down a couple bites of lamb or pork if I have to, I can barely even swallow beef or seafood. I think I could do okay with beef broth and the like, however.

I've mostly been sticking with chicken breasts, the occasional sausage or piece of uncured bacon, and supplementing with fish oil. Besides the nutritional issues, I'm just plain getting bored with chicken.

Any suggestions, either animals or parts I've been overlooking, or recipes where the meat doesn't, well, taste much like it usually does? No nightshades, please, dairy (tried reintroducing that; didn't go well), or seafood. I know, I know, fish is good for me, but one thing at a time.

D064af8cab4e04cb5e1dea7b990f3948

(134)

on June 23, 2011
at 04:58 PM

I don't think it has anything to do with puberty or maturing. I can't do avocados. I try. I don't dislike the flavor - a few days ago I had avocado mashed potatoes where I only had the flavor but not the texture. They were yums... but guac? Sliced avocados? Just can't do it. I'm 42. I'll keep trying, but I'm not holding my breath. But I feel like the OP is saying something akin to me saying "I hate fruit because I hate avocados".

D064af8cab4e04cb5e1dea7b990f3948

(134)

on June 23, 2011
at 04:52 PM

I agree here. Sounds like he's being harsh or trite, but I don't think so. I think it's entirely possible to psyche yourself out about this stuff. You don't like it because you're convinced you don't / won't like it... Find an excellent cook to make you a couple of dishes. Get a crock pot. Try a well-made gumbo. There's some GREAT food out there, and to say "I don't like meat' is like saying "I don't like fruit / veggies". It's just too broad and subjective a thing to dismiss out of hand.

8c509aac21bdb54b3ca91de2da994b9b

(248)

on June 23, 2011
at 12:35 PM

I've always been very sensitive to flavors of beef, pork etc. if it's been frozen. To me, freezing the meat completely changes the flavor. When I bite into previously frozen meat, the flavor turns me off so much, I can't even eat it. Try only eating meats that have been never frozen and see if it makes a difference.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on June 23, 2011
at 08:48 AM

Sorry that I don't have any helpful suggestions (other than stewing gelatinous meat for hours until it completely breaks down), but I'm curious as to what element of meat it is you don't like. Can you describe what aspect of meats it is that puts you off?

Medium avatar

(5639)

on June 12, 2011
at 01:58 AM

I think it's totally mental! I think empathy is amazing, and often I empathize more easily with animals than I do with humans. But you shouldn't empathize with things that are dead. It's not longer an animal, it's just fuel/food/meat/energy. That video of the meat processor in upstate NY is really informative. He talks alot about when the animal stops being an animal, "when it goes away" so to speak.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on June 12, 2011
at 01:53 AM

Go out to a restaurant, order the braised beef cheek, forget what it actually is, close your eyes, take a bite, and prepare to have your mind blown.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on June 12, 2011
at 01:53 AM

Olivia, I was the same way as a kid, buttered pasta, only rare or raw steaks, white bread, rice krispies and pop tarts and milk were the only things I ate. And what happened? My tastebuds matured, just like you. I grew out of it.

2ff9eae153b88d4515f7bc828fc6c327

(25)

on June 11, 2011
at 02:42 PM

Funny enough, I was actually *less* picky as a child. I enjoyed steak, pork, lamb, and certain kinds of seafood. (Never liked ground beef, though.) But they just started to taste worse and worse as I got older.

2ff9eae153b88d4515f7bc828fc6c327

(25)

on June 11, 2011
at 02:40 PM

Oh, I love rabbit! I just don't know if there's anywhere to get it around here. Duck's okay - not my favorite, but I'll eat it. Goat is something I'd like to try eventually, and I suppose I should give tilapia a shot at some point. Goat's milk doesn't seem to work for me, unfortunately. It causes the same "OMG MORE" reaction other dairy does, and appears to aggravate my rosacea.

2ff9eae153b88d4515f7bc828fc6c327

(25)

on June 11, 2011
at 02:37 PM

Thanks for the suggestion. I did look it up, and only about half the symptoms fit, so I don't think that's me.

535fafe8afe6923870905c707c4f4454

(720)

on June 11, 2011
at 04:08 AM

veggie chunks.. you just made me hungry! Goodluck :)

34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on June 11, 2011
at 12:45 AM

Some people do but in my case my son has Asperger's Syndrome and sensory issues like this are very common. I will still try to break him though! I will win and he will eat things with veggie chunks if it's the last thing I do!

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 10, 2011
at 11:37 PM

LOL. I read that as "suggests *frying* everything seven times." Good link.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on June 10, 2011
at 10:37 PM

it's even in the title of your question! You THINK animals taste horrible. Change the way you think! You went Paleo didn't you? You must be mentally flexible...

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12 Answers

5
Medium avatar

on June 10, 2011
at 10:36 PM

You're overthinking it. You're afraid of it. You ate nothing but bread and pasta as a child, and you haven't grown out of that childish, irrational prejudice about "gross foods."

Stop thinking. Eat meat. Don't be afraid. Eat meat. Grow up...meat is delicious. Find someone that's a good cook to convince you that this is so. Grow up.

Sorry if this sounds harsh, but your language ("I can choke down") is very personal. It's not the meat (which IS delicious), it's you. YOU have to change. The world won't change. "I don't like..." Why not? Fix that and you can eat ANYTHING! Now I'm not saying be Andrew Zimmern and eat testicles for lunch all the time. But really, steak? You're missin' out.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on June 10, 2011
at 10:37 PM

it's even in the title of your question! You THINK animals taste horrible. Change the way you think! You went Paleo didn't you? You must be mentally flexible...

D064af8cab4e04cb5e1dea7b990f3948

(134)

on June 23, 2011
at 04:52 PM

I agree here. Sounds like he's being harsh or trite, but I don't think so. I think it's entirely possible to psyche yourself out about this stuff. You don't like it because you're convinced you don't / won't like it... Find an excellent cook to make you a couple of dishes. Get a crock pot. Try a well-made gumbo. There's some GREAT food out there, and to say "I don't like meat' is like saying "I don't like fruit / veggies". It's just too broad and subjective a thing to dismiss out of hand.

4
D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on June 10, 2011
at 10:05 PM

My recommendation, just eat meat. All kinds and ways of preparing it. You don't like meat now because you aren't eating it. If you just ate it, you may not like it, but you'll get used to it.

I only say this from experience. When I was in boot camp, I ate the worst food for 8 weeks but got used to it. No big deal until my first weekend out of boot camp, I went to a restaurant and had one of my favorite meals. Then, for whatever reason, I had to deploy early and was right back to eating the same crap. The food was worse the second time because I had a break from the crap food. After another 2 weeks on deployment, I was eating my fill of crappy tasting food and enjoying it - because there was nothing else.

3
116d23135449332a8bf9106220cf632b

on June 11, 2011
at 12:17 AM

I had this "problem" after being a vegetarian for 5+ years and needing to eat meat for my health. I stuck with just plain chicken breast for at least six months before I could stomach red meat. I still don't like pork, and fish grew on me after I hit my 20s (I was a very picky eater growing up).

Try cooking some chicken breast seasoned with salt and pepper in the oven. It's very mild and you can just pick at it during lunch or dinner for the next few days. It helped me get used to the "umami" flavor of meat.

3
1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on June 10, 2011
at 11:53 PM

What about stews? Potroast? Thinly sliced roast beef? If sausage is the only way you can handle it, perhaps find a good butcher or make your own for each meal. My family eats a lot of sausage, it's a delicious way to incorporate protein and fat. Why do you hate fish? Have you ever had really fresh fish? What about bland white fish? My husband refuses to eat salmon, but will eat tilapia, halibut, swordfish, cod, haddock, mahi mahi, and other white fishes. FRESHNESS MATTERS! Un-fresh fish is super nasty. And I can't stand canned tuna, though I love fish. I make patties out of canned salmon and albacore (better quality fish tastes less "fishy" and is less smelly). Future boy was a little harsh, but he's right - you have to grow up. I cannot stand the taste of liver. I spit out foi gras that I didn't have to pay for. Yet, I ordered one (cow's liver, not goose) and will eat it simply because it's good for me. You may be cooking it wrong. You may just be like my sister, and if that's the case, I'm very sorry. Anyhow, I hope this has been of help.

3
34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on June 10, 2011
at 11:26 PM

It sounds to me like it's a mouth feel/texture issue as she said she thinks she can eat beef broth - which tastes like beef. Yeah this is something you're going to have to get over, I've been having this conversation with my son a lot lately too. He refuses to eat a lot of what I cook so he ends up eating hard boiled eggs, deli meat and cheese instead of a good dinner. I keep telling him he's almost 15, it's time to grow up and eat adult food!

3
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 10, 2011
at 10:08 PM

This is an interesting chapter from a book by a food critic who worked on overcoming [his own food aversions] in order to be a more fair reviewer.1

He suggests trying everything seven times.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 10, 2011
at 11:37 PM

LOL. I read that as "suggests *frying* everything seven times." Good link.

2
7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 11, 2011
at 05:01 AM

Not to be too abrasive but I agree with futureboy. Just eat meat. It's just food. And your everyday meals don't necessarily have to be the most mind-blowingly delicious thing you've ever put in your mouth, you know?

That said, I also think you can get over picky eating. You just need to keep pushing yourself and with time the food aversions will probably go away. I used to be a incredibly picky child and drove my parents insane with my refusal to eat pretty much any vegetables or meats/fish until I was in my early teens. But those things now form the vast majority of my diet. Why? Because I sucked it up, realised I couldn't eat like a child (i.e. exclusively for taste) forever, and started eating those foods I used to hate. A lot of them are now favourites. You can change your palate if you want to.

I will say that it's worth taking time to learn to cook really well. Poorly prepared/overcooked meat and fish are pretty gross. You might also try going longer between meals. If you're genuinely hungry surprisingly few things taste terrible.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on June 12, 2011
at 01:53 AM

Olivia, I was the same way as a kid, buttered pasta, only rare or raw steaks, white bread, rice krispies and pop tarts and milk were the only things I ate. And what happened? My tastebuds matured, just like you. I grew out of it.

1
Ca8afbeacc017cf4882eb8aacc4d7551

on June 23, 2011
at 07:27 AM

I feel like I could have written this post! I am about to start this diet under the recommendation of my Dr. I have endometriosis and hopefully this will help. I am practically vegetarian - I haven't had beef in probably 15-16 years, I've never eaten seafood and can't imagine doing so. I occasionally have chicken, turkey or pork - a couple of times a month. I'm having a hard time getting used to the idea that this is the way I'm going to live and, and wondering if I can do it. There's just no way I could ever eat beef, duck, rabbit, anything like that... or any seafood. I wish I could, but it's a mental thing...it's just not going to happen. I'm lucky I haven't talked myself out of chicken yet. My husband is a vegetarian, which doesn't help! I know, however, that for my health's sake, that I need to do this. Maybe I will develop a taste for meat or seafood, who knows? It seems backwards that my body needs the foods that my head tells me not to eat.

Anyways, Miriel, maybe we can encourage each other to keep trying to eat the things we know we should!

1
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 11, 2011
at 03:57 PM

i dont have exactly the same issue, but i didnt grow up eating a lot of meat (we didnt have a lot of money), then i was veg*n for most of my adult life. i did start eating meat about ten years ago, but only out a restaurants or something as my husband has been vegetarian, too. maybe once a month or so. then, i went paleo about 8 months ago or so. it was a HUGE adjustment for me and my whole family to be not only eating meat every day, but buying it and cooking it as well.

i often find myself gagging on meat if i think about it too much. i have to say though, that it has been getting much better with time. two things have helped; just eating it because i know its healthy for me and being paleo has had enormous health benefits. eat whatever meat you can tolerate and when you become accustomed to that, try to add in something new. as you start to experience the benefits of being paleo, its a lot easier to commit.

the other think that helped was just learning more about meat. i got a few cookbooks/food books and i read a ton of blogs about food. i just read and read and read. i still gag on muscle meat sometimes when i think about it too much, and im nowhere even close to offal or sucking on a marrow bone. sometimes i have to just abandon my plate and walk away from it ( i left two of my five little steak tips on my plate last night and couldnt get myself to finish it), but generally things are a lot better. knowing also that its purely psychological helps, too. you do have to sort of just "get over it", but find the path of least resistance. good luck!

Medium avatar

(5639)

on June 12, 2011
at 01:58 AM

I think it's totally mental! I think empathy is amazing, and often I empathize more easily with animals than I do with humans. But you shouldn't empathize with things that are dead. It's not longer an animal, it's just fuel/food/meat/energy. That video of the meat processor in upstate NY is really informative. He talks alot about when the animal stops being an animal, "when it goes away" so to speak.

1
967229edcc94a66580110324524feb49

(688)

on June 10, 2011
at 11:34 PM

I can't say that I agree BUT I can see where you are coming from. I like meat but hate fatty oily things ( cut fat off steaks, don't like butter, don't like bacon grease, hate the skin of chicken, so on). I can accept that some of the revulsion is probably in my head from being conditioned to think fat is bad (which might be the same for you) But a large portion is just my taste preference. I've been struggling the last couple weeks to eat more fatty foods and while I have more energy I feel worse overall - bloated and stomach issues. Finally I just decided that maybe I will never be a 50-60% fat eating paleoite.

To me it's not worth it to hate what I'm eating and in order to keep eating paleo I'm just going to have to increase my fat in other ways ( and be happy to reach 30% fat) Maybe this is the same for you. Before giving up on meats though how about try other options like rabbit or other fish. I know many people who hate seafood in general but have a couple exceptions. How about duck or goat? Like other posters cook it many ways since so much depends on the prep. Also, I know you mentioned no dairy ( I am lactose intolerant as well) but have you considered goats milk?

Good luck!

2ff9eae153b88d4515f7bc828fc6c327

(25)

on June 11, 2011
at 02:40 PM

Oh, I love rabbit! I just don't know if there's anywhere to get it around here. Duck's okay - not my favorite, but I'll eat it. Goat is something I'd like to try eventually, and I suppose I should give tilapia a shot at some point. Goat's milk doesn't seem to work for me, unfortunately. It causes the same "OMG MORE" reaction other dairy does, and appears to aggravate my rosacea.

1
1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

on June 10, 2011
at 11:08 PM

Maybe you're a super taster. Google it. I bet there are ways to overcome it. super tasters have a lot more tastebuds per square inch on the tongue and tend to hate strong tastes.

2ff9eae153b88d4515f7bc828fc6c327

(25)

on June 11, 2011
at 02:37 PM

Thanks for the suggestion. I did look it up, and only about half the symptoms fit, so I don't think that's me.

0
535fafe8afe6923870905c707c4f4454

on June 11, 2011
at 12:40 AM

I thought people grew out of not liking the texture/taste of certain foods in puberty/maturing. It just seems silly and wasteful to me now!

edit: I think a good progression would be to explore eating other parts of the chicken rather than breast seeing that you can handle this fine already.

2ff9eae153b88d4515f7bc828fc6c327

(25)

on June 11, 2011
at 02:42 PM

Funny enough, I was actually *less* picky as a child. I enjoyed steak, pork, lamb, and certain kinds of seafood. (Never liked ground beef, though.) But they just started to taste worse and worse as I got older.

34a367e60db77270bd7096dc04270fdc

(4171)

on June 11, 2011
at 12:45 AM

Some people do but in my case my son has Asperger's Syndrome and sensory issues like this are very common. I will still try to break him though! I will win and he will eat things with veggie chunks if it's the last thing I do!

535fafe8afe6923870905c707c4f4454

(720)

on June 11, 2011
at 04:08 AM

veggie chunks.. you just made me hungry! Goodluck :)

D064af8cab4e04cb5e1dea7b990f3948

(134)

on June 23, 2011
at 04:58 PM

I don't think it has anything to do with puberty or maturing. I can't do avocados. I try. I don't dislike the flavor - a few days ago I had avocado mashed potatoes where I only had the flavor but not the texture. They were yums... but guac? Sliced avocados? Just can't do it. I'm 42. I'll keep trying, but I'm not holding my breath. But I feel like the OP is saying something akin to me saying "I hate fruit because I hate avocados".

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