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Most of us have at least one phobia. For many, we have a common fear, such as a fear of spiders or fear of heights. There are others, however, who are afraid of something a bit unusual. That includes Emma, a 34-year-old woman who is afraid of vegetables.

Nobody is really sure why Emma, from North Yorkshire, England, has a phobia of vegetables. It has made her somewhat of a celebrity, as she has been on reality TV and she has the unique distinction of not eating anything green or trying anything new in 30 years!

Photo: Pixabay/Steve Buissinne

If you are somebody who loves eating low protein and low fiber meals, you would appreciate her diet. Emma has lived on nothing but cheese sandwiches, garlic bread, chips, and similar items.

When she was on Extreme Food Phobics, she said that she had to confront the fear that she had but she also talked about her lack of social life because of the diet. She was constantly tired because of her unbalanced diet.

Photo: flickr/Dan4th Nicholas

She admits that she wants to try new food but she gets stressed out even thinking about trying them. It began when she was only four years old. Her mother was concerned about her not trying new foods and the fear that she felt so she took her to a doctor. They passed it off as being nothing more than a phase.

Her friends, although understanding of her phobia, are also fearful for her health. She suffers from headaches and has very low energy. That is not unexpected, considering the diet she lives on.

According to the New York Post, one of her friends admitted: “We do worry if she goes on eating the way she does, she’s going to get so unhealthy and obviously we don’t want her to get poorly because of it.”


Emma went to a food phobia expert, Anthony Tait, and started aversion therapy. In order to overcome her phobia, he took her into a room that was full of vegetables.

Emma said that she got stressed out when she saw the room, especially the tomatoes that were sliced on the plate. She describes the feeling in the episode: “I see vegetables, cut up ready to be eaten then the freaking out starts, I just get all clammy and tense and panic.”

Felix Economakis is a clinical psychologist that has put Emma under hypnosis to help her with how she feels about food. Emma was able to eat a few apple slices and even went to a party where she ate pizza with cherry tomatoes.

Photo: Pixabay/zuzana gazdikova

It may not seem like a big deal to most people, she admits, but she finds it difficult to believe that it is actually happening for her.

Emma admits that she continues to make progress. She still has a long way to go, but step-by-step, she seems to be moving in the right direction.

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