For example, what makes one food tasty and one not? Why do some people find one food group palatable, and others struggle with the same food group? Whats the relationship between mood and food?
These are some of the questions tackled by the author in this book. We start with the basics of taste – sweet, sour, salt, bitter, and then “Umami” a (debated) fifth sense of taste which correlates loosely to concept of palatableness. The book progresses to looking at how smell influences taste – surprisingly, very significantly, and if someone looses their sense of smell then they probably find most foods bland and tasteless. Other topics touched on include the visuals of food, sound, satiety and emotional aspects of eating.
There is much of value in this book, and things to think about in our relationship with foods. One – of many – interesting concepts to me was around willpower and mental capacity – why do we get the munches when we are stressed? Its posited that we have a certain amount of mental capacity – ability to do things – and if all that capacity is elsewhere, eg dealing with a stressful situation, or working hard, then we have less capacity to devote to will power and resisting that bag of chocolate or bag of nachos. Makes sense, and brings into focus Yogas wonderful tools around focus, stress minimisation and mindfulness.
The level of this book is pitched very well between science and practicality, and its very readable. Its a book I would endorse to anyone interested in food and our relationship with it.