How important are the senses when it comes to food?


The world has people who are deemed ‘visual eaters’ – they eat stuff if it looks good, and if it looks bad then they do not eat it. (That’s why parents tend to try to make pretty cheesecakepictures with their children’s food in an attempt to get them to eat green vegetables and the such)

Can we, therefore, assume that other senses can come into play when approaching food?

And, if so, would it be possible that this sense reaction could have the same effect?

I was just wondering.

Now, I admit that I can be somewhat fussy in the food department – after all being a vegetarian is never a good starting point with potential boyfriends, especially if they are carnivores and they can’t seem to accept that you just don’t like meat – and I’m not very adventurous either really. Plain, wholesome cooking is a winner in my books.

But to get back to the point, SC is very much a visual eater. If he doesn’t like the look of something, savoury or sweet, he will literally crawl under the table in an attempt to avoid even smelling it, let alone trying it!

Whereas, I have come to the conclusion that maybe I am an “aroma eater” – if it doesn’t smell good I will not go near it.

As an example, I have never eaten Indian food in my life. The reason? Oh, that’s too simple. It’s purely because I cannot stand the smell that wafts out of Indian restaurants. I don’t know what it is, and I know, deep down, that individual dishes will not smell bad, but because of the smell I cannot bring myself even to attempt to cook a curry.

Similarly, parmesan cheese, to me smells like vomit, and I cannot bring myself to use it. Even though I have been told that fresh parmesan smells nothing of the sort!

On the plus side, it has helped me kick my addiction to biscuits. I have not had a biscuit in 2 years. After about a week the smell changed. It went from being a scrummy smell, to me being able to smell only the fats and other industrial components, and as a consequence I now cannot eat them.

This I believe is one the foremost techniques in NLP when trying to get someone to ‘kick a habit’, by getting them to give the habit a different smell or taste. So, if you like chocolate, I believe the idea is that when you take a bite instead of enjoying the chocolatey flavour, you train your brain into thinking it tastes of brussel sprouts, so after a few days when you reach for the afternoon ‘pick-me-up’, your brain screams “YUK! Brussel sprouts!” and you think twice about eating it.

But would it work the other way around?

So, for instance, if SC refuses to eat something because of the way it looks, should I try the blindfold test?

Similarly, should I try to cook a curry and hold my nose in the first instance of tasting?

After all, if you can train your brain to think one way, surely you can train it to think another?

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