What kind of an eater are you?

From locavores to femivores, to fast food junkies and punk domestics, here are 11 labels for every kind of person at the dinner table.

10. Picky eater

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The average American will have consumed 1,500 of these sandwiches by the time he or she graduates from high school. Courtesy of National Peanut Board

Chicken nuggets, white bread pb&j with the crusts cut off, soda, pasta, and maybe carrots if you feel like sitting around and bargaining for a couple hours. The definition of picky eaters may sound as if they are actually little kids but mostly they are people who have been raised on highly processed foods and have a hard time enjoying fresh vegetables because they never learned how. Interestingly, their dietary habits closely resemble those of college students, whose food preferences are limited by economic means, rather than tantrums.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

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