Don’t Worry, Go Ahead and Eat That Apple

Hendrick Holtzius, 1616, "The Fall of Man." Note: Picture has been cropped to keep the cat.Album / National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

I think we can all agree that good food manners are a good idea when you’re in a crowded, confined space like an airplane. Natalie Compton recommends, for example, that you not bring smelly foods like tuna sandwiches on board a flight.

Fine, I guess. But then there’s this:

Avoid: Eating “loud” foods

Before you start chomping into that perfectly crisp Fuji apple, consider the travelers with misophonia, a disorder that triggers physical and emotional responses to sounds like chewing, tapping and gum-snapping. But beyond them, the sound of gnawing on that fruit, or on corn nuts, or carrots, can be just plain obnoxious to everyone. Consider the auditory stimuli of eating your in-flight food, and avoid items that are noisier than most.

Seriously? We should avoid apples on the million-to-one chance that your seatmate happens to have a bizarre aversion to the sound of someone eating an apple? I’m surprised this leaves any food at all that can be eaten on airplanes. Pretty much any food is bound to have at least two or three people in the country who are triggered by its sound, smell, color, or Proust-like associations from youth.

I wouldn’t mention this except that it’s become entirely too common in daily life. We are endlessly being told that we should be sensitive about something we never thought twice about before, usually because there’s some small number of people who have serious reactions to it. Sometimes these people even invent pseudo-Greek names for their conditions even though there’s no known cause; it’s not listed in any diagnostic manual; and researchers make up out of thin air the claim that it’s quite common.

But life can’t be lived this way. We can’t go around avoiding anything that might trigger a reaction in a tiny number of people. Go ahead and eat that apple.

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate