Don't Yuck Other People's Yum!

October 26, 2007
By Maddie Cetlin, Newton, MA

This is what happens almost every school lunch: The bell rings, and you run down stairs to get in line first. As a result you don’t have to wait in line for ten minutes. Finally, when you receive your food, you find the table with all of your friends and sit down. The first thing that somebody says to you is “Eeeeeeeeew. What is that?”

First of all not everything is bad in the cafeteria. Although most foods look disgusting, they are not. For example, the school’s macaroni and cheese. Many people think that it looks revolting, but it is actually one of my favorite cafeteria foods. Another example is the meatloaf. The first time I bought it for lunch, I stood up to get a napkin. When I came back my friend was looking at it as though she couldn’t tell if it was food or dog chow.
I know that it may be hard to believe, but some people actually like what they are eating. Now there’s a shocker! If somebody yucks my yum then I feel pressured to say, “There was nothing else to eat,” or “It’s so disgusting.” Then one time I did get the same meal again, and another person said, “I thought you didn’t like that.” Yet again I was forced to make up some stupid excuse for why I was eating it. If I didn’t like what the cafeteria is serving then I could bring my own lunch. Not that there isn’t anything else that I could eat. If I didn’t like Chinese food, then I could have pizza. If I didn’t like pizza, I could have salad. If I didn’t like salad then I could have a hamburger. Trust me; there’s a solution to everything. In a way, “yucking other peoples’ yum” is called peer pressure.

Peer pressure can sometimes really hurt. In general, when someone makes fun of me because I like a food, I feel awful. Most people that criticize my food are doing it unconsciously, and don’t even realize that what they are suggesting makes me feel awful. Some people would say that they are stating their opinion, and they are not trying to be mean. That is not what I am talking about. I am talking about the disapproving face, and the, “Eeeeew, what is that?” that happens all of the time in the cafeteria.

An argument that one could make would be to say that some foods are bad for others, so it is O.K. to yuck peoples’ yum. For example, McDonalds and Burger King do not have food that anyone would want to be eating on a regular basis. The movie Super Size Me says exactly that. The movie is about a person who eats food from McDonalds three times a day for a month. This movie criticizes peoples’ eating habits by showing the lack of nutrition in McDonalds, and other fast foods. Most people think that if children are taught things when they are young, they will remember those things and use them to make decisions later in life. This is true, but saying that what I am eating is nasty does not teach me a thing. Super Size Me is a great movie because it tells people what is good for ones health as well as what is bad, but that is different than making a face at a person’s food. In the same year that we watched the movie Super Size Me, we learned about bullying and peer pressure. But no matter what teachers tell you some kids still choose to pressure others anyway.

So, the next time somebody pressures you or somebody else by saying, “Eeeeew, that’s disgusting,” you can say, “Don’t yuck other peoples’ yum!”

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