Fear of food
Cibophobia is described as a fear of food. People with cibophobia often avoid food and drinks because they’re afraid of the food itself. The fear may be specific to one type of food, such as perishable foods, or it may include many foods.
People with a food phobia may have a fear of almost all foood and beverages, or their fear may be more specific. The following foods commonly generate a phobia:
- Perishable foods. People fearful of foods like mayonnaise, milk, fresh fruits and vegetables, and meats may believe they’re already spoiled. They fear they may become ill after eating them.
- Undercooked foods. A fear of foodborne illness may drive some people to avoid foods that can be dangerous if undercooked. People may also overcook these foods to the point that they’re burnt or incredibly dry.
- Expiration dates. People with cibophobia may be fearful of foods that are near or past their expiration dates. They may also believe foods expire more quickly once they’re opened.
- Leftovers. Some individuals with cibophobia won’t eat leftovers, believing they may make them ill.
- Prepared food. When people with a food phobia aren’t in control of preparing their food, they may be fearful about what’s served to them. They may avoid eating at a restaurant, a friend’s house, or anywhere they can’t see or control the food preparations.
Coping with fear of Food
Coping with cibophobia can be challenging. Studying recipes, familiarizing yourself with a wide range of foods and cooking techniques, and gradually expanding your horizons may help with mild fears. More serious symptoms might require the assistance of a mental health professional.