Originally Posted by velochic
I've spent most of my adult life (20 + years) with non-Americans both in their culture and here. Yes, I eat with people from different cultures every single day. And, no, I have yet to find that they are as picky as American kids.
Well, I do too, and if we're going to throw stones I find that British kids are the most hooked on the "white diet" - but I assume this is at least partly sample bias.
I do agree that Americans (and Canadians, although both are a huge range - do we mean Southern Americans? Midwest? Quebecois?) are bombarded with processed foods. And those processed foods tend to taste the same, every time - like campbell's tomato soup. Whereas making my own tomato soup I can taste the changes as the season changes and with different varieties.
This may make a surface kind of habitual pickiness, and I think that part is probably made. But I don't think it's a case of Americans being "lazy" or "catering" or anything like that. I think it's a case of both what the cultural food is (and many people find it disgusting the way "picky" Americans find other things disgusting but when someone can't stand spam or cheeze whiz, we call that smart; when someone can't stand okra and tomatoes we call that picky) and marketing.
And we do resist them in our house. But, I don't give a flying fig what other parents do about that. Having been raised a lot on junk food, I know it's entirely possible to change one's entire diet as an adult. Of course despite the fact that we ate the same 7 meals... every week... for 10 years, I am not a picky eater.
I think picky eaters exist in many cultures (perhaps not where starving is the alternative). They certainly exist in literatures of various areas of the world. (Jack Spratt would eat no fat/his wife would eat no lean).
I think that the assumption that parents who are generally offering nutritious food in their home (if repetitive) are somehow creating risk-adverse sad little people is... not nice. I took that to an extreme, but that's the tone I get in this thread.
I find the judgment in this whole thread depressing and sad. If you all come to my house you're welcome to eat, or not, pick out the onions, or not. I like people, not eating habits.