Food and controversies go hand in hand. Let’s be honest, we had the bean soup controversy not too long ago, and pineapple on pizza will forever have this world divided. Chances are, everyone has one food that they will avoid at all costs. For me, it’s oranges — weird I know. Growing up, whenever I was sick, my dad would mix cherry-flavored medicine and orange juice. I get the sentiment, he was just trying to help out, but that concoction left me scarred to the point that I can’t smell oranges or cherries to this day. But what was the first food that came to mind for you? Because it could be featured on the most controversial foods in America report released by Instacart, the grocery delivery service. 

The top 3 most hated foods

1. Anchovies (hated by 50% of the respondents)

2. Black Licorice (hated by 45%)

3. Oysters (hated by 41%)

This top three kind of makes sense. I only had black licorice twice in my life and I hated it both times. The flavor is something I didn’t expect and I can only describe it as shocking my tastebuds. Oysters are just a no for me, sorry. They’re slimy and I can’t get past that. However, anchovies have me a bit stumped. They’re the basis of Caesar dressing (a very common salad dressing I might add). Plus, it’s a side ingredient that can help elevate a sauce. This leaves me with the question: Who’s making you eat anchovies by themselves?

Photo courtesy of Instacart

Though different, all three have something in common: texture. “They all present chewy textures that can prove challenging for certain people,” said Laurentia Romaniuk, Instacart’s Trends Expert, in the report. “The complex interplay of these unique flavors and textures is likely why they’re at the top of the list, and it’s also the reason we’re not seeing foods like white bread show up.”

Instacart conducted an online survey among 2,032 adults in America ages 18 and older. The survey found that Americans found foods too controversial for a number of reasons besides texture including smell and how the food makes them feel after eating it.

More hated foods on the list 

Here are the 12 other foods on this list:

1. Beets

2. Blue cheese

3. Okra

4. Capers

5. Brussels sprouts

6. Fennel

7. Olives

8. Mushrooms

9. Cilantro

10. Coconut

11. Pickles

12. Mayonnaise

There are a couple here that I agree with (i.e. okra and mushrooms). But there are also some that I grew to like. I’ll admit, I didn’t start eating pickles until this year, but hey, the younger me just wasn’t feeling those pickles in a jar. Current me wants the viral TikTok pickle jar sweatshirt

Whether you agree with this list or not, it definitely sparks some food for thought (sorry, I had to).