11 Of The Craziest Food Phobias People Actually Have

by Shellie Renee'

“Phobia” is a word that most of us have used before. We know that it basically boils down to having a fear of something.

Acrophobia is the fear of heights. Arachnophobia is the fear of spiders. Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns. But out of all the things that we could possibly be afraid of, did you know that there is such a thing as being “scared” of food? Many people don’t realize it, but there are actually several different kinds of food phobias.

It might sound a little crazy at first, but if domatophobia (fear of houses), genuphobia (fear of knees), and ephebiphobia (fear of teenagers) exist, then it makes sense that people can be afraid of food, too.

After reading this list, you might actually realize that you can relate to a couple of these phobias! While food is our friend, sometimes we have more of a love/hate relationship with it than we realize.

What Is a Food Phobia Technically Called?

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If someone were to ask you what “phobia” means, you could probably break that down. It’s an irrational fear of something. The technical word for those who have a fear of food is cibophobia.

What Makes It Different From an Eating Disorder?

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On the surface, you might wonder what the difference is between having a food phobia and having an eating disorder. Although some traits overlap a bit, there also are some clear distinctions.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “Eating disorders are actually serious and often fatal illnesses that cause severe disturbances to a person’s eating behaviors. Obsessions with food, body weight, and shape may also signal an eating disorder.”

People who suffer from food phobias, on the other hand, are often afraid of eating, preparing, or even being around certain kinds of foods.

Food Phobias

1. Mageirocophobia: Fear of Cooking

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Some of us don’t like to cook. Then there are individuals who have a very real fear of cooking, or mageirocophobia. This phobia can manifest itself in many ways, from being afraid of getting sick from cooking to being scared to follow recipes or being scared of how others will respond to the food that’s been made.

2. Food Neophobia: Fear of New Foods

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Question: When was the last time you tried a totally new food or dish? If it’s been a few years, have you ever asked yourself why? Maybe it’s because you’re super picky. Or maybe it’s because you have a legitimate fear of trying new foods.

If this particular phobia is severe enough, it can result in eating the same foods over and over again and never trying anything else.

3. Dipsophobia: Fear of Alcohol

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Some people hesitate to drink alcohol because they think it’s bad for their health. That couldn’t be further from the truth, though. For those who drink in moderation, consuming alcohol is associated with reduced risks of heart disease and diabetes.

Individuals who have dipsophobia are worried on an entirely different level. They think that if they have even a little bit of alcohol, they will become addicts. This could be due to a family history of alcoholism or an unhealthy relationship with an alcoholic.

4. Xocolatophobia: Fear of Chocolate

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Did you read that right? Indeed, you did. While most of us can’t imagine going a week without having chocolate, there are others who are actually afraid of the sweet treat.

5. Arachibutyrophobia: Fear of Peanut Butter

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Actually, this particular phobia isn’t so much a fear of peanut butter itself but rather the fear that peanut butter will stick to the roof of your mouth while eating it.

What’s the problem with that happening? The explanation is that it’s connected to pseudodysphagia, which is the fear of choking. People with arachibutyrophobia think that if peanut butter does stick, it’s a sign that choking is soon to follow.

6. Acerophobia: Fear of Sour Foods

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Most people don’t like biting into super-sour foods, but some people are legitimately afraid of that sour flavor. People suffering from acerophobia are scared to eat any foods that taste sour.

7. Lachanophobia: Fear of Vegetables

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Lachanophobia is a very real thing. While many people don’t like certain vegetables, some people are scared of veggies. People who suffer from lachanophobia might have severe reactions to even just seeing vegetables.

8. Alliumphobia: Fear of Garlic

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It’s kind of ironic that there’s a fear of garlic because there’s an urban legend that garlic is what helps to keep evil spirits away. Even so, some people don’t want anything to do with garlic cloves, garlic powder, or garlic supplements. This is so serious that some individuals will have a panic attack if they smell even a hint of garlic.

9. Mycophobia: Fear of Mushrooms

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Mushrooms are a type of fungus, which could be part of the reason some people have a fear of them. Many people don’t like the taste of mushrooms, but if it’s a more serious phobia, it might be mycophobia.

10. Emetophobia: Fear of Vomiting

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No one wants to vomit, but if there’s something in our system that needs to come up that way, we’re willing to do it. People who have emetophobia, on the other hand, will do anything necessary to avoid vomiting, including avoiding certain foods.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “People who suffer with this phobia often experience significant social and occupational impairment, going to great lengths to make sure they don’t vomit.”

11. Deipnophobia: Fear of Eating in Front of Others

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Some people feel nervous eating around others because they don’t want to be observed eating. When this way of thinking is taken to the extreme, it’s called deipnophobia. This phobia can be classified as a social anxiety disorder or a specific phobia, and it revolves around avoiding dining and dinner conversations.

What Should You Do If You Have a Food Phobia?

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Treatment for food phobias depends on the specific phobia. For instance, if you have a phobia of citrus fruit but you’re getting vitamin C through other foods or a supplement, it might not be that big of a deal. But if a food phobia makes you feel paralyzed when it comes to the quality of your life, or it is causing your health and well-being to suffer, doctors usually recommend therapy.