Monday, August 2, 2021

Food Preferences (P-2)

 Some of my favorite foods are fajitas, nachos, and burritos. They are my favorite foods because of the flavors they have from the array of ingredients in them and especially how they are cooked in restaurants. Typically the main ingredients in these dishes are beans, corn, tomatoes, and sometimes rice, along with some sort of meat like chicken or steak. Part of me liking this is due to the fact that humans are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and animals. 


One big reason to human eating habits is neophobia towards food. This is when people avoid new foods when offered or shown and stick to their old eating habits instead. I myself tend to exhibit this pattern as my son is vegan and whenever he tries to offer me a vegan meal or substitute to a food I eat regularly I typically decline his offer. I do not even want to try other non vegan foods like when my son and daughter tried to get me to eat vietnamese food and I refused. Another reason I may like to eat what I do is because of what my mother used to eat when I was an infant, being very similar to what I eat now as we are from the same culture and country. 


Another reason I prefer to eat the foods that I do is because of innate fat preference in humans. Many times I will go out to eat lunch or dinner and sometimes I will be at home eating ice cream or other junk foods as snacks, both leading to very high fat consumption in my diet. My eating patterns likely feed into this biological preference. However there is another side to my tastes, being conditioned food preferences, such as mere exposure effect, taste aversion, cephalic responses, and palatability. Mere exposure effect ties in with my preferences in that I have grown up eating these foods since I was young, especially the junk foods as they are higher in calories which is something that is biologically preferred over foods with lower calories. In relation to cephalic responses, my favorite foods usually come fresh off a grill at restaurants which causes them to give off an aroma that I’ve become so accustomed to and enjoy, making me like those foods even more (such as fajitas). Even the palatability of food is a major factor as many of the foods I eat are very flavorful and I tend to not eat foods that are very bland as they do not appeal to me.


A final reason that can account for my eating habits and preferences is stress. Stress can make one eat more than they usually do in order to cope as their body thinks that they are in some sort of danger or serious issue that makes them need more calories. At the same time, I work a full time job and must also balance college alongside it, meaning that I deal with very high stress at times and that I will go for easier foods such as ice cream as I mentioned before. Even at movie theaters though, certain movies like horror ones will induce stress, making viewers more inclined to eat or drink snacks like popcorn and soda. This is especially common in those that place a cognitive restraint on their eating as stress will make this restraint fail and ultimately lead to the person straying off their usual eating patterns.

Overall, eating habits and preferences is a somewhat complex subject. It can be caused either by learning them or from biological factors, however it can also be caused by both which makes them more ingrained within the person. These factors lead a person to develop their unique taste as well as determine what they eat on a daily basis. They will even cause the person to likely avoid certain foods as they are not familiar with them and do not feel comfortable eating them even when offered.

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