Lachanophobia (from Greek lachaniko, meaning "vegetable") is the fear of vegetables. A phobic person might have been forced to eat vegetables as a child even if he did not like the taste and was maybe even gotten punished for not eating his or her vegetables. Some might have observed vegetables growing in the garden and saw that some of the leaves had caterpillars or worms on them and maybe even insects and they fear that if they eat vegetables, they might accidentally eat one of these creepy, crawly creatures. For others, they might be scared that if they accidentally swallow a seed of the vegetable that it will grow inside them. A lot of Autistics have sensory issues toward Vegetables. Another common cause is from kids who read the book The girl who became a caterpillar , A book where a girl eats vegetables that had bugs in them and turns into a catterpillar.
Lachanophobes often stay away from places where vegetables are present, meaning that they may not go to restaurants or grocery stores. Sometimes it also extends to the point that they might avoid foods with vegetables like pizzas with tomatoes. Symptoms of lachanophobia include shortness of breath, tremors, weeping, screaming, fainting, increased heart rate, increased body temperature, loss of control and urge to flee. Lachanophobia is usually treated using behavioral therapy and anti-anxiety medications, but self-help should be tried first.
Vicki Larrieux from Portsmouth is a notable lachanophobes. She quoted the experiences of lachanophobia, "I have always had an irrational fear of vegetables – even as a child. I used to properly freak out if some carrots or a few peas were on my plate. But as it continued into adult life I started to think it might not just be a dislike of vegetables but an actual phobia. Every time I would see vegetables, not just on my plate but anywhere, I would get feelings of panic, start sweating and my heart rate would shoot up. It is a bit of an ordeal to go to the supermarket as the vegetables are usually right by the door. My boyfriend is very understanding and does his best to accommodate me. It is a good job he's a vegetarian because it's gonna be really funny. I am learning to control my fear but it isn’t easy. I’d love to be able to sit down to a Sunday dinner with a pile of greens and I’m sure one day that will happen.
- The Fear Factor: Lachanophobia The Fear Of Vegetables DirJournal: Health Journal