Evolutionary explanations of food preferance

AQA, evolutionary food preference

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  • Created by: holly
  • Created on: 10-06-12 17:38


.We split from the great ape's 6 million years ago

.We have a relatively long duodenum and small intesting specialised for the absorptionof protein, the great apes have a relatively long duodenum and large intestine for the digestion of plant materials

Hunting would lead to the development of specialised skills: Tool making, Navigation, Communication. 

Our taste receptors are specialised to identify five key taste qualities: Sweet, sour,salt,bitter, umami,

Bitter and sour- to identify things that have gone off

Cultural trasmission: Spices have always been part of the human diet, for killing bacteriaa and would have helped the survival of our ancestors however through cultural trasmission would spread the word that spices help to prevent food poisioning, so are used in hot countries where food goes off quickly and in meat (Sherman and Hash)

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Food Neophobia 'fear of the new' 

Avoid foods that appear unfamiliar as they could be dangerous. We show a greater liking for food as they become familiar (FROST) we do show a preference for variety in foods in which we feel are safe, children will eat more smarties if they are multicoloured than if they are all the same colour.

Taste aversion learning: after a bad experience with a particular food, we shall learn (Condition) ourselves to avoid this in the future. Garcia rusiniak and brett made wolves sick by posisoning sheepskin and wrapping it around lambs meet. After the wolves ate, they began to be sick, and when allowed to approach live sheep, acted afraid and uninterested.

Embryo protection hypothesis: Morning sickness in the early stages of pregnancy evolved to help the mother avoid foods that might be dangerous to the developing baby. The foods most avoided by pregnant women are coffee tea meat alcohol eggs and vegetables (Buss)

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A02 and also IDA

Fossil evidence supports the idea that we have delevloped into omnivores and eat more meat, and the shift to hunter gatherer society, however there is limited fossil evidence available.

Reductionist: do not put emphasis on social and cultural changes, for example, the widespread availability of food. We do not behave as hunter-gatherers in society to this day therefore the approach is extremely limited.

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