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The number of meals we eat a day is widely different across cultures (as many as 5 in some European countries, and as little as 1 in some African countries).

Eating behaviours are culturally determined in that they are influenced by socio-cultural factors such as values, beliefs, attitudes and expectations.


It's clear that there are significant cultural influences on what we eat and what we refuse to. Disgust is a universal trait - every culture has some kind of food stuff that disgusts them, but the cultural trends identified suggest that learning plays an important role in this.

Rozin et al studied that development of disgust by offering children various food that American adults found disgusting. 62% of the toddlers ate imitation dog faeces and 31% ate grasshopper.

Further studies seemed to show that by the age of 4, children were acting pretty much like adults, so it seems that somewhere between the ages of 2-4, this learning taes place; this period may differ cross culturally by learning does seem to explain culture difference. (Nature/nurture - disgust is nature, nurture is what we're dusgusted by).


Various religions forbid certain kinds of food, eg. Judaism has a strict set of rules called Kashrut, regarding what may and may not be eaten.

Harris pointed out that these taboos make ecological and economic sense. The Hebrews and Muslims were originallly desert tribes and pigs are forsett animals; pigs compete with people for water and nutritious foods like…


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