Marmite keeps me alive: fussy eater kept alive by Marmite addiction that amounts to one kilo per month
A fussy eater says he is kept alive by his MARMITE addiction.
Picky John Pearson will only eat 10 bland foods – including plain crisps, chips and chocolate cake – and has to top up his vitamin intake by eating a KILO of the yeast extract.
Engineer John, from Burton-upon-Trent, Derbys, claims the love it or hate it condiment is the only reason he stays healthy.
The 48-year-old spends a paltry £10 a week on his limited diet and was even nicknamed “Breadroll” when he was at school.
John said: “Marmite has been my life-saver.
“I hate food.
“I don’t eat for pleasure, only because I’m hungry.
“I eat to stay alive.”
John’s kitchen cupboards are virtually empty and he only keeps butter, cheese and milk in his fridge.
There is only bread in his freezer and his cupboards are home to his beloved Marmite and a couple of boxes of cereal.
“I go to the supermarket and buy everything I need for the week and it costs me about £10,” he said.
“Obviously, I get a massive jar of Marmite, loaves of bread, cheese and butter. I get some coke and skimmed milk.”
John believes his problems with food started when he was just 18 months old and a virus meant he vomited everywhere.
John said: “I got ill as a toddler and I think that’s what triggered everything.
“Before I got sick, I ate vegetables and fruit.
“I literally had the same meals as my mum and dad but smaller.
“After I got better, there was nothing I wanted to eat.
“All the food reminded me of being sick.
“Mum tried everything to help me enjoy food but she says I just wouldn’t.
“I had an issue with colours and textures and I just couldn’t eat it.”
As a child he dreaded lunchtime when the dinner ladies would force him to eat his school meal.
As he grew up John was warned that his poor diet could lead to blindness, rickets and scurvy.
John said: “I ate bread and butter and that was about all I could manage.
“I’d sit there feeling really miserable just staring at my plate of food.
“I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat any of it. When the dinner lady took my plate away I’d smile with relief.
“The head teacher at school called my mum in to talk to her about my eating habits.
“She was worried about how little I ate and my mum tried to explain why I hated food so much.
“She told them about my illness when I was little. I don’t think they really understood but life got a whole lot easier when I got to secondary school.”
Hot meals – apart from chips – are out of the question. John does not eat vegetables or meat and hates a traditional Sunday lunch.
John said: “I have chips on a Saturday with my brother.
“But in the week, I pretty much live on sandwiches or toast.
“I like bread and butter so that’s one good thing.
“When I get in from work, I have toast or Marmite sandwiches with a bag of plain crisps.
“Later in the evening, I might have some more.
“In the day, I sometimes have Marmite too. I eat at least one kilogram of the stuff every month.”
He is so fussy that his two ex-wives partly blamed his eating habits on their break-up.
John said: “I hate the fact that I hate food. It really does ruin things.
“My issue with food was never the main reason why my marriages ended but both women said it was a contributing factor.
“I suppose living with someone like me, who has a huge problem with food, takes its toll.”
John rarely goes to restaurants and the most he can achieve is a pint in the pub followed by a bowl of salty chips.
Next month, his parents have invited him out to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.
John said: “Thankfully, my parents like one particular restaurant and they’ve already asked if I can just have a plate of roast potatoes.
“I’ve been there before and I’m sure the staff will help me.
“They know that I’m fussy.”
Despite his huge food fetish, John has not passed his problem to his two children, Chloe, 21, and Michael, 20.
John said: “I remember once, when Chloe was just a baby, I was feeding her beans in her highchair.
“I absolutely hate them but I was doing ok spooning them into her mouth.
“Then the phone rang and distracted me. I picked up the phone and left the bowl and spoon on the tray of her highchair.
“When I got back, she flicked the spoon and it landed in my face.
“I had beans all over my cheek and I literally froze.
“I ran upstairs, stripped off all my clothes and got in the shower.
“Twenty minutes later, when I was clean, I went back down to sort Chloe out.
“She was crying by now and I felt awful, but I had to go and have a wash.”
Sessions of hypnosis and psychotherapy have failed to cure him but, despite his food fad, he is fighting fit and is a 2nd Dan black belt in karate.
After sessions with a psychotherapist, he managed to eat raw carrots, grapes and bananas but couldn’t keep it up.
John said: “I couldn’t keep it up.
“I used to dread going home from work because I knew I had to try and eat some banana or grape.
“Now I don’t care. I am what I am and I can’t change. I know I have a problem with food but I am too old to be cured.
“I’ll stick to my 10 things and that will do for me.”