I heard this today in response to a vegetable. Yes, a vegetable. Collard greens, to be exact.
Today it was Soul Food Day at work (we get free lunch every Wednesday), and in addition to the fried chicken and corn bread, there was collard greens. Standard southern soul food fare.
But a twenty year-old intern was scared of the food.
This isn’t the first time I heard "I’m scared" in response to a vegetable. At my cousin’s graduation party, I heard several teenagers say the same thing upon a pasta dish cluttered with vegetables. One girl nervously took a spoonful and asked me what the yellow wedge nudged between two white oblongs was. “It’s a piece of zucchini,” I said, appalled.
I realize these kids were being flippant. But scared? Not only are they using the wrong word, but they’re "scared" of food? Of vegetables? Clearly they lead incredibly sheltered lives. The intern hails from the Midwest, but she’s not giving a good impression (although we were all amused when she had never tasted cannoli, pronouncing it a “
There are very few things in the food category that anyone should be scared of. Being scared indicates that your heart rate is rising and you have some sort of fear of the outcome. The worst that could happen when eating collard greens or tasting a piece of cooked zucchini bathed in olive oil and garlic is that you don’t like it, and so you don’t eat it again. The only time, in fact, that it’s acceptable to say “I’m scared” when eating is if A) you are on Fear Factor, Survivor, or another reality show where you are forced to eat something slimy, raw, alive, or not meant for human consumption; B) you are afraid of throwing up, especially if in front of people; C) the food in front of you is or has a strong chance of being poisoned, sour, moldy, rotten, or filled with bugs; D) the food has tentacles, claws, strange bumps, odors, colors, or textures and no, ethnic food does not count.
Basically, if you are served food, especially catered food, and the dish seems normal, it probably is. I could understand being worried about recalls. Fine. Understood. But being scared of cooked vegetables is ridiculous.