Food Preferences

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  • Created by: Ellie
  • Created on: 01-06-15 16:14
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  • 'Discuss evolutionary explanations of food preference
    • Taste receptors
      • Bitter
        • Poisonous
        • Research shows the bitter taste has evolved as a defence mechanism to detect potentially harmful toxins
          • Sandell and Breslin
      • Sweet
        • Identify foods rich in carbohydrates - energy
      • Salt
        • For cell functioning
      • Umami
        • Indicates protein in savoury food
      • Sour
        • Identify foods that have gone off/contain harmful bacteria
    • Ancestors
      • Chimps, gorillas, monkeys
        • Herbivores
          • Humans are omnivores
            • How did humans become hunters?
              • Meat - good source of protein and good for brain functioning
                • Over time, larger brains in humans would require more protein to keep them running effectively
              • Hunting encourages group participation, social co-operation, navigation etc
                • Language
        • 'Gatherers', not hunters (like humans)
        • Stanford - when apes come close to starvation, they'll immediately go for the fattiest part of a food
      • Two digestive systems
        • Apes - long large intestine, specialised for digesting and absorbing plant material
        • Humans - small intestine specialised for eating meat
    • Adaptive food preferences
      • Innate preferences
        • Sweet foods - fruit - contain calories for energy
        • Salty foods - sodium balance
        • Food Neophobia - a fear of new food - stick with food that you know are safe
        • Food preferences in the modern world
          • Food is no longer scarce - we eat more sweet/salty foods because survival isn't an issue - preferences for these foods arose from eating excess amounts of them
    • Food receptors and a hunter gathering society are well places for evolutionary purposes
    • The division of labour
      • Buss - in some modern gatherer societies, women will still divorce men who don't provide food
      • Skilled hunters - extra power, resources, sexual favours etc
      • Anthropologists have suggested that "Males who share meat with females double their mating success"
        • Females increase in calorific intake
    • Evaluation
      • Reductionist - doesn't consider cultural/social changes in food availability/choice
      • Nature side of debate - born with pre-determined taste receptors?
      • Real life application
    • Taste aversion
      • Garcia et al
        • Rats and radiation poisoning
      • Nesse and Williams
        • Babies and aversions towards broccoli and sprouts (toxic to young children)
      • Buss
        • The Embryo Protection Hypothesis
          • Profet - Hyperosmia

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