It turns out there's a picky eater gene. How many of you had it as a kid? If you have a child, have you passed it on? (No word on whether the gene is dominant or recessive.)

A new study says that 78 percent of picky eating is caused by genetics and the other 22 percent is caused by environment. This is a shock to me because I always thought my own picky eating was due to the fact that my late mother was an unspeakably bad cook. Mom, wherever you are, I apologize for complaining about the food that was put in front of me. I know now it wasn't your fault. Actually, maybe it was your fault, if your side of the family supplied the picky eater gene to the four Levine boys.

My son, Will, was not a particularly picky eater. To this day, the only thing he will not eat is mushrooms, although I managed, Jessica Seinfeld–style (she's written a book, Deceptively Delicious, with recipes to trick picky eaters into eating fruits and vegetables), to sneak some chicken-mushroom sausage by him this weekend.

Related: Picky Eaters in Serious Eats Talk


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