Part 1: Food Avoidances – 300 wordsFrom the articles: (see attached: Taboos (1).PDF & Acceptance_and_Rejection (1).PDF)What foods of your culture do you reject and why?Which quality in foods most affects your acceptance or rejection of a food? Use the reasons suggested in the Food Acceptance/Rejection article.Do children’s tastes in foods change over time? Why?What food/s did you hate as a child, but like now?List 3 specific examples of where our food likes and dislikes come from.What is a permanent food taboo? Give a specific example.What is a temporary food taboo? Give a specific example.From the video (minutes 0-29:40): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Cn0xJrerk4What foods were featured?Describe an experience you’ve had with an unfamiliar food.-Part 2: Food and Religion (see attached: Food and Religion.docx) – 300 words1. What 5 new things did you learn about religion and food from this discussion. Please be specific and number your responses.2. If you practice a particular religion, please describe two of the important dishes/foods/beverages served at or prepared for your religious events. Please describe them in detail and explain their origins (you will likely need to use outside sources for this-please cite your source/s). If you are not religious, you may pick one religion and select two foods/dishes/beverages served at or prepared for a religious event (you will need to conduct outside research for this, and as always, cite). -Part 3: Earth and Venus -3 sentences for each question short response1. Give real-world examples of 2 objects with high albedos.2. Give real-world examples of 2 objects with low albedos.3. Were you surprised to learn that Venus actually absorbs less energy from the sun than Earth?4. Why is the greenhouse effect by itself a good thing for Earth?In food culture, we divide religions into two types, Western and Eastern.
Eastern religions originated in India, they generally share the belief in the liberation or
deliverance of the immortal human soul from the bondage of the body in the afterlife.
Many Eastern religions observe vegetarianism. Eastern religions are also polytheistic
(believing in/observing more than one God). Examples include: Hinduism, Buddhism,
and Jainism.
Western religions originated in the Middle East, and they worship a single God that is
all powerful and all knowing and that the present life is a test for everlasting life after
death. Western religions aren’t vegetarian, generally speaking, but they do have some
rules about certain animal products. Examples include: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
EASTERN RELIGIONS
Hinduism
Hinduism is one of the oldest religions known to mankind-at least 4,000 years old. It is
also the basis for other religions, such as Buddhism.
It is mainly practiced in India today, its birthplace, but there are over 1 million practicing
Hindus in the US.
Hinduism is based on the “Vedas” (Hindus religious doctrine/s) and is not practiced in a
uniform way.
Beliefs include:




Reincarnation
Varna or caste system
According to the caste system, people are ranked into castes by their spiritual
progression.
Concept of ritual purity/rituals
Sacrificing foods to the gods is considered very important and what the Gods leave for
the humans is considered the best food. Many plants are associated with Gods. Ghee,
clarified butter, has great religious importance and drops of it “raise the status” of any
food. Ghee has great religious importance-a drop of it raising the status of any food.
Some key Hindu dietary practices:



Foods that hamper the development of the body or mental abilities are to be
avoided.
The “Laws of Manu” originally stated that there is no sin in eating meat or
drinking alcohol, but abstaining from them is better. As a result, many Hindus
are vegetarian.
The cow is sacred and this is a universally held belief.
Hindus believe in a purifying/polluting food systems. Pollution is the opposite of purity
and should be avoided. Running water is used to purify many foods.
Pure ‘foods’=products from the living cow, including milk, dung, and urine, turmeric,
sandalwood paste
Polluting ‘foods’=body products such as feces, urine, saliva, menstrual flow, and
afterbirth (Side note, it is very trendy these days to encapsulate placenta after birth and
take it as a dietary supplement, but it is unlikely that Hindus would do this.)
Hinduism video:

Buddhism
Buddhism originated in India as a revolt against Hinduism and its caste system, but it
retained many Hindu concepts including reincarnation, karma, and enlightenment
through “right” living. Buddha, is considered the ‘Enlightened One’ and the founder.
Buddhism is practiced in many Asian countries including India, China, Japan, Korea,
Tibet, and Mongolia and many non-Asian Westerners have also adopted the religion
According to Buddhism, extremes in life should be avoided. Killing an animal and eating
its flesh is considered wrong, but Buddhism is a flexible religion and not all Buddhists
practice vegetarianism, although many do. Some eat fish, others abstain only from beef.
Others believe that if they didn’t kill the animal, then it is permissible to eat the flesh.
The practices depend on where (country/area) t is observed.
Monks who follow the “8 precepts” eat all their food between sunrise and noon, follow a
simple life, spend much of their time meditating, eat only before noon, put out dishes for
food offerings, and they have no personal property.
Buddhism video:

Jainism
Jainism is another ancient Indian religion. Its followers believe in non-violence towards
all living beings. It is practiced in India, parts of the Far East, Australia, and parts of
North America and Western Europe (typically by immigrant groups). Jains observe the
strictest form of vegetarianism. They walk carefully on the ground so they don’t kill
insects, they avoid eating root vegetables so they don’t kill microorganisms. Jains eat
before night falls (before the bugs come out) so they don’t accidentally consumer any
insects/microbes. They filter their water regularly to avoid eating microbes.
Jainism video:

Jainism article: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-22/meet-the-jains-ofmelbourne/10290302
WESTERN RELIGIONS
Judaism
Judaism is an ancient, monotheistic religion. Jews follow the Hebrew bible, especially
the first five books called the “Torah.” The Torah details the proper way to prepare
foods, give to charity, and how one’s life should be conducted.
The “Kashrut” are the Jewish dietary laws that can be found in the Torah.
Kosher or Kasher foods are the foods that are “fit” to eat. Glatt Kosher foods have met
the strictest standards.
All Orthodox Jews and some Conservative Jews follow the dietary laws, however,
interpretations vary.
Below are the meat/animal preparation laws:
1-Permitted animals are those with completely cloven foot and chews the cud; For
these animals, the milk may be drunk
Forbidden animals include swine, carnivorous animals, rabbits, birds of prey, fish
without scales (including shellfish)
2-Method of slaughter/Shehitah
Shohet (person who kills the animal) must be trained/licensed
Slits the neck, cuts the jugular and trachea and blood drains out
3-Examination
The slaughtered animals is examined for blemishes/disease, etc.
If “trefah” (which means unfit) whole animal is discarded
4-Forbidden animal parts
Blood
Heleb, or fat that isn’t mixed with flesh-think thick skin of duck or even prime rib
5-Meat preparation
Heleb, blood and its vessels, and sciatic nerve are removed
“Koshering” the meat:
1-Meat is soaked for 30 minutes
2-Meat is drained on a slanted board
3-Meat is covered with kosher salt
4-Salt is rinsed
5-Meat is rinsed again
6-Law of meat and milk
Meat and milk can’t be eaten together
Must wait 6 hours after meat to have dairy, generally
Many Jews are lactose intolerant, but they still have other dairy products besides milk
Separate dishes, pots, utensils, linens, scrub brushes, etc. are used for meat and dairy
Olives, if prepared with lactic acid, are considered a dairy food and can’t be consumed
with meat
7-Products of forbidden animals
They are forbidden as well
Exception-honey, even though bees are forbidden
8-Examination for insects/worms
“K” signifies a food is kosher according to the USD
Judaism video:

Islam
Islam is the dominant religion in the Middle East, Northern Africa, Pakistan, Indonesia,
and Malaysia and its followers are Muslims. It is also prominent in sub-Saharan Africa,
India, Russia, and Southeast Asia. Allah is considered the one true God, and the
Qur’an, Koran (many spellings), contains the sacred writings of Allah as spoken to
Mohammed. There are no priests in Islam-each Muslim is directly responsible to God.
Judaism and Islam share very similar dietary practices/laws.
Forbidden foods include: flesh of animals found dead, blood, swine, flesh and food that
has been offered or sacrificed to idols. Most Muslims also abstain from alcohol.
The “Halal” are the Islamic dietary standards. Here are some key points:












Eating is considered a matter of worship
Eating should be done for survival and good health, not self indulgence
Only eat to 2/3 full
Share foods
Never throw away food or waste it
Wash hands before and after meals
If eating utensils not used, only use right hand, left hand is considered
unclean
Permitted foods are called ‘Halal’
Unlawful foods are called ‘Haram’
Haram foods:
o Swine (four-footed animals that catch prey with their mouths, birds
of prey, and any by-products of these animals)
o Improperly slaughtered animals-processing is similar to Jewish
tradition although they must say “In the name of Allah” at the
instant of slaughter
o Blood and blood products
o Alcoholic beverages, drugs.
o Forbidden food is permitted in necessary situations such as when
someone is unaware it isn’t halal, it is forced, or they may be dying
of hunger.
Halal diet observance varies among muslims
Sometimes foods are labeled Halal
Fasting during Ramadan (9th month of the Muslim calendar) includes obstaining from
evil thoughts and deeds as well as from food, drink, and sex from dawn to sunset. At
sunset, the fast is broken with water and an odd number of dates. Any Muslim past
puberty participates except for the following reasons (if possible, the fast is completed at
a later date):

o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
Illness
Traveling
Pregnancy
Lactation
Menstruation
Elders unable to fast
Insanity
Those who work doing hard labor
After the end of the fast day, people invite each other over for feasts and special foods
are eaten. The last day of the fast finishes with a feast, Eid al-Fitr.
Islam video:

Christianity
Christianity is founded based on the events surrounding the life of Jesus Christ.
Christian’s religious doctrine is the Bible, typically the New Testament. Branches of
Christianity include Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox Christianity, and
Protestantism among other branches.
Christianity is the only religion that it does not have general taboos forbidding Christians
from eating whole categories of food/s. However, abstinence and fasting are
established. One specific example fasting is the Lenten fast that involves giving up
something for a set period of time.
Only Mormons (Church of Latter Day Saints) and Seventh Day Adventists (a Protestant
offshoot) have significant dietary practices associated with their faith.
Mormonism was found in the 1800s in America by Joseph Smith. Mormons follow the
“Book of Mormon.” Brigham Young led the people of the Mormon Church to Utah to
escape religious fled persecution. Roughly 80% of Utah today is Mormon. The religious
food laws prohibits/discourages tobacco and strong drink (alcohol and caffeinated
drinks). Mormons are supposed to eat meat sparingly, and base their diet on
vegetables, fruits, and grains. Mormons must also keep a year’s supply of food and
clothing and they typically fast one day per month.
Seventh Day Adventists believe in Christ’s Second Coming (the Advent) and they
adhere to the bible. The “Sabbath” is observed from sundown Friday to sundown on
Saturday. Food must be prepared on Friday and dishes washed on Sunday.
Seventh Day Adventists dress simply, avoiding ostentation and non-functional jewelry.
Mrs. White, the spiritual guide for Seventh Day Adventists, wrote of diet and health and
as a result, followers believe sickness is a result of the violation of the laws of
health. One can preserve good health by getting enough rest, exercising, and eating
the right foods in moderation.
Seventh Day Adventists discourage overeating and vegetarianism is widely practiced.
No tea, coffee, alcohol, or tobacco consumed. Water is considered the best liquid, but
should not be consumed at meals. Eating between meals is discouraged.
Christianity video:

TABOOS
Quesnel, Michel, Yves-Marie Blanchard, and Claude Tassin.
Nourriture et repas dans les milieux juifs et chrétiens de l’antiquité: Mélanges offerts au Professeur Charles Perrot [Food
and Meals in Jewish and Christian Circles in Antiquity:
Collected Essays in Honor of Professor Charles Perrot].
Paris: Cerf, 1999.
Staffe, Baronne. Usages du monde [Manners in Polite Society].
Paris: G. Havard Fils, 1899.
Toffin, G. Pyangaon, communauté newar de la vallée de Kathmandou: La vie matérielle [Pyangaon, a Newar Community in
the Katmandu Valley: The Materials of Everyday Life].
Chapter 4. Paris: CNRS, 1977.
Visser, Margaret. The Rituals of Dinner: The Origins, Evolution,
Eccentricities, and Meaning of Table Manners. New York:
Grove Wiedenfield, 1991.
Margaret Visser
TABOOS.
A food taboo is a prohibition against consuming certain foods. The word “taboo” (also spelled
“tabu”) is Polynesian and means ‘sacred’ or ‘forbidden’;
it has a quasi-magical or religious overtone. The term
was introduced in the anthropological literature in the
second half of the nineteenth century. In the field of food
and nutrition, food taboos are not necessarily connected
with magical-religious practices, and some nutritionists
prefer to speak of “food avoidance.” In this article these
terms are used interchangeably.
Food is a culturally specific concept. In general, anything can function as food if it is not immediately toxic.
But what is edible in one culture may not be in another.
The concept of food is determined by three factors: biology, geography, and culture. Certain plants and animals are not consumed because they are indigestible.
Geography also plays a role. For example, dairy products
are not part of the food culture of the humid tropical regions since the geographical conditions for keeping cattle are unfavorable. Milk is often a taboo food in such
cultures. Insects are not considered food in Europe and
most of the United States despite attempts to introduce
them in the late twentieth century. This is because there
are few edible insects in regions with temperate climates.
In Mexico, by contrast, insects are packaged in plastic sachets, cans, or jars for sale. Cultural reasons for food
taboos often have a geographical basis—unknown or exotic foods will be rejected as unfit for consumption.
It is of interest to note that food avoidance most frequently relates to animal meat, since in most cultures human beings have an emotional relationship with animals
they have to kill to eat. One of the few taboos of a food
of vegetable origin is the prohibition against alcohol for
Muslims and some Christian denominations.
Food may establish a cultural identity of an ethnic
group, religion, or nation. Food taboos in a society function also as a means to show differences between various
groups and strengthen their cultural identity. Refraining
384
from eating pork is not only a question of religious identity but is likewise an indication of whether or not one
belongs to the Jewish or Muslim cultural community. In
order to better understand the range of food taboos, it is
useful to distinguish between permanent and temporary
food taboos or food avoidances.
Permanent Food Taboos
Foods that are permanent taboos or avoidances are always prohibited for a specific group. The classic example of a permanent food taboo is the prohibition against
pork by Jews and Muslims. The Jewish prohibition
against pork is found in Leviticus 11:1. Some anthropologists point out that food taboos are based on the failure
of these foods to fit into the usual systems of classification. Foods that do not fit into these classifications are
unsuitable for consumption, or unclean. According to the
Qur’an (2, 168), Muslims should not only avoid pork, but
also blood, non-ritually slaughtered animals, and cadavers and alcohol. In the case of both Jewish and Muslim
food taboos, the foods themselves are considered unclean.
A different concept of food avoidance is found in Hinduism. Hindus abstain from eating beef because cows are
considered sacred. Various arguments have been used to
explain the origins of such food taboos or food avoidance
including religion, culture, and hygiene.
Marvin Harris has rightly pointed out that when people reject certain foods, there must be a logical and economical reason for doing so. The pig is an animal of
sedentary farmers and unfit for a pastoral way of life because pigs cannot be herded over long distances without
suffering a high rate of mortality. Herdsmen generally
despise the lifestyle of sedentary farming communities.
In Western society cats and dogs are not consumed
because of the emotional relationships developed with
these pets. Increasingly pets are being “humanized” in
such a way that eating them is seen as an act of anthropophagy or cannibalism. The feeling of closeness to certain animals can also be found in the savannah regions of
West Africa. Certain West African clans consider dogs
clan animals, based on the fact that they have been beneficial to the clan in the past; as clan animals they are
unfit for consumption. Hippocrates (460–377 B.C.E.) regarded dog meat favorably as a light meal, but in later
antiquity, dogs were considered unclean and unfit to eat.
This is still the case in the Mediterranean area and the
Middle East. By contrast, dog meat is popular in China
and the mountainous regions of the Philippines. From a
nutritional point of view, dog meat is an excellent source
of animal protein, and dogs do not require the grazing
area demanded by cattle or other large ruminants.
Temporary Food Taboos or Avoidances
Some foods are avoided for certain periods of time. These
restrictions often apply to women and relate to the reproduction cycle.
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FOOD AND CULTURE
TABOOS
The times of temporary food avoidances related to
particular periods of the life cycle include:
• Pregnancy
• Birth
• Lactation
• Infancy
• Initiation
• Periods of illness or sickness
From a nutritional point of view, temporary food
avoidances are of great importance as they concern vulnerable groups: pregnant women, breast-feeding women,
and infants and children during the period of weaning
and growth. Food regulations and avoidances during
these periods often deprive the individual of nutritionally valuable foods such as meat, fish, eggs, or vegetables.
In a number of African countries pregnant women avoid
green vegetables. They also do not consume fish. When
asked why, women say the unborn child might develop a
head shaped like that of a fish. Some of these avoidances
may seem odd from a scientific point of view, but there
is often an unnoticed logic behind it. In the first place,
women are aware of the critical period and know that
much has to be done to ensure the successful delivery of
a healthy child. Observing the rules of avoidance will give
her the strength of knowing that everything possible has
been done for the benefit of the child.
In Central Africa nutritionists observed that young
children did not eat eggs. They were worried that a nutritious food was not available for this vulnerable group.
The village elders gave a convincing explanation of why
eggs should be avoided by children. In the past the wise
ancestors were much concerned about young children
roaming around the villages searching for eggs and even
chasing the brood hens away from their eggs. In order
to avoid a depletion of the poultry stock, the elderly decided that eggs were harmful to young children and
should be avoided.
A different form of temporary food avoidances involves the rules of fasting. In medieval Christianity the
most important period of fasting was Lent (the period
from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday), during which
meat and animal products were forbidden. There were
also other days (Ember Days, Fridays, etc.) on which people were required to abstain from eating meat. The Reformation broke the tradition of fasting to a large extent.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has a wide and complicated system of dietary rules and fasting, as does the Eastern Orthodox Church. In the Muslim world, Ramadan,
the ninth month of the Muslim year, means strict fasting,
even from beverages, from sunrise to sunset (Sakr).
Do Food Taboos Change and Disappear?
Food taboos may seem rather stable, but they are often
under pressure because the society is changing. Migration is a powerful factor in the process of changing food
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FOOD AND CULTURE
culture. In Europe and North America, most Muslim migrants from the Middle East and South Asia try to maintain their food habits, but some cannot fully resist the
food culture of their new home country. A substantial
number of Muslims begin drinking beer, wine, and even
stronger spirits. Women tend to be less inclined to give
up the avoidance of alcohol. The fear of pollution from
pork often remains strong, however. In some European
countries Muslims refrain from eating in factory canteens
out of fear that meals may be polluted with pork fat or
pork meat. In contrast, many Jewish Europeans and
Americans eat pork from time to time, or even on a regular basis.
Nutrition and health education have reduced the
temporary food avoidances of the vulnerable groups in a
great number of countries. In the humid tropical countries of Africa and Asia, where the raising of dairy animals is unfavorable, the rejection of milk as a food is
diminishing. Despite the occurrence of lactose intolerance among the population, the use of milk and milk
products has extended since colonial times. Primary lactose intolerance occurs from an apparent decrease in the
intestinal enzyme lactase and can occur between the ages
of two and five years. This condition is present in about
75 percent of the world population. However, small but
significant quantities of milk consumed throughout the
day can be tolerated among ethnic groups known to be
lactose intolerant. At the beginning of the twenty-first
century, milk products and a little fresh milk are available for the upper and middle classes. This availability
seems to have increased due to dairy exports from Western countries and dairy food aid during the 1950s through
the 1970s. In a country without a dairy tradition such as
Indonesia, the importation of canned sweetened condensed milk can be traced back to around 1883. In the
high lands of Java, the Dutch introduced dairy farming
on a small scale in the nineteenth century. From the
colonists, a modest use of milk spread gradually among
the emerging Indonesian upper and middle classes.
In the United States and other countries with
Anglo-Saxon traditions, horsemeat is not part of the food
culture. This is in contrast to continental Europe, in particular France, where horsemeat is a well-known and appreciated food. The history of horsemeat gives insight
into how attitudes toward food avoidance change over
the course of time. In Europe it started with a decree by
Pope Gregory III (d. 714) that the Christian communities of Germany and the Low Countries refrain from eating horsemeat because the horse played an important role
in pagan rituals. The purpose of the decree was that the
Christian community should distinguish itself from the
pagans by avoiding a typical pagan symbol, horsemeat.
Gradually the consumption of horseflesh disappeared.
The meat was considered to be unfit for consumption.
In the nineteenth century the attitude toward horsemeat
changed dramatically. Food emergencies connected with
war and promotion of horsemeat as a food were the
385
TAILLEVENT
driving forces for change. During the Napoleonic Wars,
hungry soldiers were forced to eat their horses. To their
surprise, the meat was fit to eat and even had a reasonably good taste. French pharmacists promoted the idea
that horsemeat was suitable for consumption, and from
a scientific point of view no threat at all to health. Discarded workhorses became a source of good and cheap
meat for the growing working classes in urban France.
The concept of horsemeat as food spread to other European countries, but not to the United Kingdom, where
the horse remained a noble animal, and the idea of eating horsemeat was viewed with disgust.
In periods of emergency, dietary rules including
food avoidances can be temporarily ended. The West
African Fulani pastoralists avoid the consumption of fish.
During the dry season the herdsmen have to move with
their cattle from the northern savannahs to the land along
the Niger River in the south. Because of the seasonal
food shortage, herdsmen are more or less forced to turn
to eating fish. In rural areas with a dry and a rainy season, people will collect in the period of seasonal food
shortage the so-called hungry foods. Hungry foods are
mainly wild foods, often not very attractive and tasty and
as such normally avoided. They are consumed only in an
emergency.
See also Africa; Anthropology and Food; Christianity; Fasting and Abstinence; Feasts, Festivals, and Fasts; Hippocrates; Hinduism; Islam; Judaism; Lent; Middle
Ages, European; Ramadan; Religion and Food;
Shrove Tuesday.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Brothwell, Don, and Patricia Brothwell. Food in Antiquity. London: Thames and Hudson, 1969.
De Garine, Igor. “The Socio-cultural Aspects of Nutrition.”
Ecology of Nutrition 1 (1972): 143–163.
Den Hartog, Adel P. “Acceptance of Milk Products in Southeast Asia. The Case of Indonesia as a Traditional Nondairying Region.” In Asian Food. The Global and the Local,
edited by Katarzyna Cwiertka and Boudewijn Walraven.
Richmond, Va.: Curzon Press, 2002.
Douglas, Mary. Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboos. London: Routledge and K. Paul, 1966.
Simoons, Frederick J. Eat Not This Flesh: Food Avoidances from
Prehistory to Present. Madison: University of Wisconsin
Press, 1994.
Adel P. den Hartog
TAILLEVENT. Taillevent (c. 1315–1395), whose
real name was Guillaume Tirel, was employed in the
kitchens of the French court from the 1320s to until his
death in 1395. The recipes from the manuscript cookbook with which his name is associated, Le Viandier, were
copied and widely disseminated both during and long after Taillevent’s lifetime and had an enormous influence
on French cookery, as evidenced by the different versions
to be found in various existing manuscripts. Toward the
end of the fifteenth century, as the first cookbook to be
printed in France, a greatly enlarged version of Le
Viandier remained in circulation for over a century and
had an enormous influence on French cookery. Because
of the success of his cookbook, Taillevent can rightfully
be called the first chef to achieve “star” status in France,
where his name became synonymous with “master chef.”
Taillevent’s recipes, destined principally for festive
occasions, give us a glimpse of the kind of cuisine practiced in the aristocratic households from the fourteenth
to the sixteenth century. Characterized by the use of a
wide range of spices—in keeping with the dietetic principles of the time that demanded that the cold, wet “humors” of meats, fish, and vegetables be tempered by the
hot, dry “virtues” of spices—they call for such familiar
ingredients as veal, capon, or pike, as well as much more
exotic foods like crane, swan, or sturgeon, prized for the
beauty of their feathers (placed back over them to serve),
or for their sheer size. Among the new recipes included
in the printed Viandier at the end of the fifteenth century, the importance of pâtés and tarts in the French culinary landscape is documented for the first time.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Hyman, Philip, and Mary Hyman. “Le Viandier de Taillevent.”
In Les fastes du Gothique: Le siècle de Charles V. Paris: Editions de la Réunion des musées nationaux, 1981.
Gade, Daniel W. “Horsemeat as Human Food in France.” Ecology of Food and Nutrition 5 (1976): 1–11.
Hyman, Philip. “Les livres de cuisine et le commerce des recettes en France aux XVe et XVIe siècles.” In Du Manuscrit à la Table. Carole Lambert (ed.). Paris: Slatkine, 1992.
Grivetti, Louis E., and R. M. Pangborn. “Origin of Selected
Old Testament Dietary Prohibitions.” Journal of the American Dietatic Association 65 (1974): 634–638.
Laurioux, Bruno. Le règne de Taillevent. Paris: Publications de
la Sorbonne, 1997.
Harris, Marvin. Good to Eat. Riddles of Food and Culture. New
York: Simon and Schuster, 1985.
Mary Hyman
Philip Hyman
Kilara, A., and K. K. Iya. “Food and Dietary Habits of the
Hindu.” Food Technology 46 (1992): 94–104.
Sakr, A. H. “Fasting in Islam.” Journal of the American Dietetic
Association 67 (1971): 17–21.
Shack, William A. “Anthropology and the Diet of Man.” In Diet
of Man, Needs and Wants, edited by John Yudkin. London:
Applied Sciences Publishers, 1978.
386
TAKE-OUT FOOD. Take-out food is food prepared for consumption away from the location where it
is purchased. As a term, its first appearance was in James
Cain’s novel Mildred Pierce (1941), in which the main
character expressed her desire to sell pies to the take-out
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FOOD AND CULTURE
A
ACCEPTANCE AND REJECTION.
Foods vary
along a hedonic dimension, that is, in their ability to
evoke pleasure. A food’s hedonic value can differ significantly between individuals and among cultures. In
developed countries at least, pleasure is probably the
strongest determinant of diet. For most of us, most of
the time, a global emotional response to the taste of a
food determines whether it is consumed. Underlying this
seemingly simple decision is a remarkable range of emotions—from blissful appreciation of haute cuisine to a
profound rejection elicited by feelings of disgust. As with
many other complex human behaviors, the development
of food likes and dislikes reflects the operation of multiple influences—genetic inheritance, maternal diet,
child raising practices, learning, cognition, and culture.
In fact, the development of food preferences may be an
ideal model of the interplay of these influences during
our life span.
Foods may be selected or rejected for a variety of
reasons, including their anticipated effects on health,
their perceived ethical or environmental appropriateness,
or practical considerations as price, availability, and convenience. However, it is our responses to the sensory
properties of a food—its odor, taste, flavor, and texture—
that provide the underlying basis of food acceptance. This
article will focus on some of the influences that shape hedonic responses to foods, their flavors, and other sensory
qualities.
Tastes
Despite evidence of innate hedonic responses to basic
tastes, the vast majority of specific food likes and dislikes
are not predetermined—no one is born liking blue
cheese, for example. This is not to suggest that basic sensory qualities are unimportant. On the contrary, relatively
fixed hedonic responses to sweet, salty, bitter, and umami
(glutamate taste) tastes, and almost certainly fat, are present at or shortly after birth, and continue to exert an influence on food preferences. The strong affinity that
children show for very sweet foods, and the persistence
of the early development of liking for the taste of salt and
salty foods throughout life appear to be universal. A majority in many Western societies also choose a diet that
is high in fat.
However, innate responses do not account for the
broad range of food likes and dislikes that develop beyond infancy. For instance, humans and many other
mammals can detect bitterness at low levels and find it
unpalatable because it is a potential sign of toxicity. Yet,
while coffee and beer are typically rejected on first tasting, they are ultimately the strongest contenders for being the global beverages. The pungency of spicy foods is
also initially rejected. Worldwide, though, chili is second
only to salt as a food spice. Thus, although innate influences are clearly important in food selection, these are
modified by our experience with foods (although both
physiological makeup and culture will partly determine
the extent to which experience is allowed to operate).
What is more important than our innate preferences is
the fact that we are predisposed to learn to like (and sometimes, dislike) foods. Some other preferences do appear
to be common across cultures whose diets are very different. However, examples such as the widespread liking
for vanilla and chocolate flavor are likely to reflect some
degree of common experience.
Texture
Texture is a crucial criterion for sensory acceptance and
rejection. Certain textures do seem to be universally
liked, crispness, for example—perhaps through its association with freshness. Of course, to some extent, we will
always prefer textures that are compatible with our dentition, and thus we would not expect infants to like hard
foods. Foods that are difficult to manipulate in the
mouth—such as soggy foods—are commonly disliked, as
are foods that require excessive saliva and effort to swallow, such as dry, tough meat. While food texture is often cited as a reason for rejecting food, for example raw
oysters, it is likely that such preferences are also a function of our prior expectations for specific foods.
Color
Food color is also undoubtedly a strong influence on acceptability, but again this is likely to reflect prior expectations. Whether we prefer white (U.S.) or yellow (U.K.)
butter depends on what we have eaten in the past. Some
colors have been thought to be inappropriate for food.
The color blue, for instance, has been suggested as a candidate for a universally inappropriate food color—after
1
ACCEPTANCE AND REJECTION
all, very few foods are naturally blue. But recent marketing of brightly and “inappropriately” colored foods for
children tends to undermine this notion, since the children appear receptive to unusual colors. Removing color
from common foods does reliably reduce liking for those
foods, perhaps by undermining our ability to identify
their flavor, thus making them seem less familiar.
Fear of the New
The fact that humans are omnivores creates a paradox.
On the one hand, we have access to a large range of potential nutrients; conversely (in nature at least), we are
much more likely to be exposed to toxic substances. In
the first two to three years of our lives, we exist in a highly
protected environment, first in the context of breast or
bottle feeding, and then through parental food selection
and supervision. It is therefore adaptive for young infants
to accept a wide variety of foods as the risk of exposure
to potentially toxic nonfoods is low.
In later infancy, greater independence is typical, both
in terms of the wider variety of other people encountered
and also of the potential to come into contact with edible substances, which may be unsuitable for health or
other reasons, outside direct parental influence. At this
point, food neophobia often becomes apparent. Reluctance to consume novel foods at this age is most obviously reflected in statements of “I don’t like it” to foods
that have never been tried. The rejection of unfamiliar
foods can now be seen as adaptive, given the wider risk
of ingestion of potentially toxic substances. Food neophobia is found not just in humans, but also in a variety
of non-human species, including rats, dogs, birds, and
fish. Hence, it may be a universal safeguard against potential toxics.
The trait of food neophobia has been investigated in
different age groups, as has the nature of the “fear” and
how it can be modified. Even in adults, there often remain strong vestiges of childhood neophobia. While
many welcome the chance to sample exotic foods or novel
flavors, others remain unable to even consider consumption of foods beyond their usual repertoire.
Such reluctance is especially strong for foods of animal origin (unfamiliar meats, dairy products, or eggs),
the same foods that elicit reactions of disgust, also
thought to be a protective mechanism. Why this foodrelated personality trait varies so much among adults is
unclear, but it might reflect the breadth of experience
with different foods in childhood.
Interestingly, in both children and adults, food neophobia appears to be mediated less by any conscious
awareness of the potential for danger, than by the much
more immediate fear that foods will taste unpleasant.
Consistent with this, willingness to try a novel food can
be increased by strategies that reduce this anxiety, including providing information about the food’s flavor or
indicating that others have enjoyed it since. Highly neophobic individuals are more likely to choose an unfamil-
2
iar food after they have seen others select it. Specific nutritional information (such as the fact that a food is low
in fat) also encourages selection of novel foods, but only
for those for whom nutrition is important. In each case,
the net effect is to assure the taster that the food is acceptable in terms of flavor and perhaps safety. Neophobia is a major issue for many parents concerned about the
narrow range of foods that their children are willing to
consume. A common strategy is to use one food as a reward for eating another food—one that the adult wants
the child to eat. Unfortunately, these attempts frequently
fail because the relative value of the foods is quite apparent. Rewarding the consumption of spinach by giving
ice cream presents a message simple enough for any
young child: ice cream is a good food (at least in terms
of taste), otherwise why use it as a reward; spinach is bad,
else why do I need to be rewarded for eating it? The unfortunate, if predictable, consequences of such strategies
are increased liking for the reward and a decrease in liking for the target food.
Learning to Like
What does reduce neophobia and encourage consumption? In both children and adults, repeated exposure has
been found to lead to increased acceptability of novel
foods, with greater exposure producing greater liking.
For example, three- and four-year-old children have been
found to accept initially rejected cheese and fruits following ten exposures. It is possible that individuals who
receive repeated exposure to a wide variety of foods as
infants and children are least likely to be highly neophobic as adults, although this has yet to be established. That
is, the more we experience different foods, the more we
are willing to experience different foods.
Exposure appears to be the one mechanism that is
necessary for liking to increase. With novel foods or flavors, repeated consumption might lead to increased liking via a reduction in neophobia—effectively a relief from
the anxiety associated with novelty. It certainly produces
an increase in familiarity, an important aspect of children’s likes and dislikes, and it has been recognized for
some time that sensations of recognition are in themselves positive. However, changes in liking for food ingredients or ingredient levels in already familiar foods
strongly suggest that exposure per se produces liking, and
that a food or flavor does not need to be completely novel.
There are many commonplace examples of this, including the gradual increase in liking that accompanies changing from regular to low-fat milk or low-salt soup, or
reducing sugar in tea or coffee.
Although it is a necessary precondition, by itself, exposure is insufficient to explain why we end up liking
some foods more than others. There appears to be a variety of other processes that operate during repeated food
experiences, producing preferences for the diverse range
of food odors and flavors that we encounter. Whether
sniffed as aromas, or as characteristic flavor qualities in
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FOOD AND CULTURE
ACCEPTANCE AND REJECTION
the mouth, food odors reliably inform us whether we have
previously experienced a food. Odors are thus most likely
to be the source of neophobic responses. However, there
is nothing intrinsic to the odor or flavor of any food that
means we will develop a strong like or dislike for it. During our early infancy (up to about three years old), we
appear to be neutral to most if not all odors, except for
those that also produce nasal irritation, such as ammonia. In contrast to those for tastes, odor preferences are
almost certainly all learned, and rely upon our ability to
form associations with other liked qualities. Pairing a
novel flavor with a sweet taste, for example, reliably increases subsequent liking for that flavor, even when the
sweetness is not present. This process, known as classical conditioning or associative learning, was first described scientifically by Ivan Pavlov. He famously
demonstrated that the sound of a bell, previously associated with the presentation of food, would elicit gastric
secretions in his dogs. While the principles of Pavlovian
conditioning were developed using animal (especially rat)
models, they appear equally applicable to explaining aspects of human food likes and dislikes.
The universal high palatability of sweetness and fat
is a reflection of the ability of substances associated with
these qualities to provide energy to the body. Our bodies find the provision of energy inherently rewarding.
Consequently, repeatedly pairing flavors with ingested
carbohydrates or fats produces increases in liking for associated flavors. Other postingestional consequences
have also been described, including enhanced liking for
flavors paired with the alerting effects of caffeine—a plausible mechanism, together with the energy provided by
the sugar and milk fat sometimes added, for the enormous popularity of coffee.
The effects of conditioning by positive association
and the absorption of energy-rich foods are broad enough
mechanisms to account for very many food likes. One
implication of this process and the body’s response to energy is that we end up showing a liking for foods that are
high in sugar and fat. Clearly, this has implications for
health. We may know that high-fat foods present us with
a risk in the long term, but what drives our behavior primarily is the fact that we like the fat—it gives the food a
pleasant mouthfeel, it carries flavor well, and its provides
the body with energy. The body’s response is to promote
liking for flavor associated with the fat. Eventually, it is
not just the fat or sugar content that we find palatable,
but the specific flavor of the food as well.
Food dislikes may also result from Pavlovian conditioning. Associating a characteristic food flavor with nausea, as sometimes occurs with food poisoning or a
coincidental illness, will promote a rapid, often irreversible, “taste” aversion that actually seems to make the
flavor become unpleasant. The development of aversions
can be seen as highly adaptive—it makes sense to avoid
foods previously associated with gastric illness. Consequently, the conditioned association tends to be very
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FOOD AND CULTURE
This sequence of pictures shows the reactions of babies from
four to ten hours old prior to experiencing food of any sort.
The left column shows their natural response to the sweetness
of sucrose placed on the tongue, while the right column shows
their response to the bitterness of quinine. Their facial expressions resemble those of adults tested for the same responses.
PHOTO
COURTESY OF
DR. JACOB STEINER.
strong. In humans, taste aversions are typically both long
lasting and robust enough to persist even if it is known
that the food was not the source of the illness. As with
neophobic responses, meat seems to be a common target
when aversions do occur. An unfortunate consequence of
the nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy is the
development of taste aversions. Close to three-quarters
of children aged two to fifteen years old undergoing treatment are reported to have at least one aversion. Taste
aversions are not common enough to account for the majority of our food dislikes, since they appear to occur in
only about 30 percent of people. However, they are a
powerful indicator of the role that consequences of food
ingestion can play in shaping our responses to a food’s
sensory qualities.
Odors are not the only sensory qualities in foods for
which preferences are shaped by learning. Our most
primitive sense is the detection of pain—unsurprisingly,
3
ACCEPTANCE AND REJECTION
CRAVINGS
At some time, most of us have experienced a craving for
a specific food—something that we must have now, and
which we will go out of our way to obtain. It is almost
as if the body is insisting that we must have that food.
There is much anecdotal information about craving and
physiological needs, but less hard evidence for such specific appetites. It is clear that we get hungry and thirsty,
but does the body really crave particular nutrients?
The one incontrovertible specific hunger that humans possess is for sodium chloride, common salt. Salt
is metabolically essential and most of the time this need
is both met and exceeded through diet. Clinical studies
have demonstrated that in cases where the body is depleted of salt, humans develop strong appetites for the
taste of salt, and its normal degree of palatability is increased. The same is true in experiments in which volunteers are fed low-salt diets—salty foods increase in
palatability. Hence, it appears that a change in the hedonic value of the taste of salt is the mediator for increased intake when depleted.
Beyond salt appetite, however, there is little strong
evidence that other specific appetites exist. There are reports suggesting an association between pica (the consumption of earth) and mineral (especially iron)
deficiency. This practice appears to be most prevalent
among pregnant women in poor rural communities. Pregnancy is well known to be associated with craving for
foods, but it is not clear whether such “normal” cravings
are related to metabolic needs.
The single most commonly craved food in Western
societies is chocolate. Although chocolate contains
phamacologically active compounds, there is no evidence these compounds are what is craved. Instead, the
craving for chocolate is related to craving sweet foods
generally and to chocolate’s palatability, based on an optimal combination of sugar and fat. Chocolate craving is
more common among women, and hormonal influences
have been suggested as being important. The craving
shows a peak around the time of menstruation and is also
more common during pregnancy. While chocolate and
sweet food cravings do occur among males, cravings for
savory foods are more common.
A less extreme version of craving is the phenomenon of “moreishness.” Again, wanting “just one more
bite” appears to reflect the high palatability of certain
foods, rather than a desire for any specific nutrient. Foods
described as moreish also tend to be consumed in small
amounts. Often their consumption is subject to a voluntary restraint determined by social mores; you may want
another slice of cake, another piece of chocolate, or another potato chip, but will often hold back to avoid seem-
4
FOR
FOOD
ing intemperate. Because of the typically small portion
sizes associated with moreish food, this may be an example of the appetizer effect, which occurs when the initial consumption of palatable foods increases appetite for
further eating.
Explanations for craving, moreishness, and appetizer
effects have recently focused on the brain’s biochemistry,
in particular those functions mediated by opioid (morphinelike) peptides. Interfering with the functioning of
this biochemical system using opioid blocking drugs
leads to reduced food consumption overall and also to
attenuation of appetizer effects, apparently because the
foods become less palatable. Conversely, it is possible
that increased opioid levels may induce cravings by making foods more palatable. Such changes may occur in a
variety of circumstances—dieting, stress, exercise, alcohol consumption—all of which are known to influence
the brain’s opioid systems.
Cravings thus tell us little about the body’s nutritional needs, beyond the fact that highly palatable foods
tend to be high in energy. Other evidence also points to
strategies to maximize energy intake. At least in Western
countries, given ample availability, we tend to consume
a diet that contains 35 to 40 percent fat, well in excess
of what we need to survive. Moreover, from early infancy onwards, we will attempt to compensate for reductions in calories at one meal with an increase at the
next.
In addition to energy intake, we seem predisposed,
as omnivores, to seek variety in our diet. As noted in the
section on sensory-specific satiety, this may be one way
of optimizing survival through ensuring adequate nutrient intake. Classic studies on dietary self-selection were
carried out by Clara Davis in the 1920s and 1930s. She
allowed recently weaned infants access to a varied selection of foods and found that they first tasted widely
and then developed preferences for a selection of these
foods. This research has been often misinterpreted to suggest that the body has an innate wisdom, in that the foods
the infants selected represented a balanced nutrient intake. This was inevitable, however, given the range of
foods available.
This is not to say that mechanisms responsive to our
needs are not in operation. On the contrary, the palatability of energy and sodium sources, the avoidance of
toxins through dislike of bitterness, the rapid formation
of aversions to foods associated with gastric illness, and
the maintenance of nutrient variety via sensory-specific
satiety, are all innate predispositions that modulate the
hedonic value of sensory properties of foods to help ensure survival.
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FOOD AND CULTURE
ACCEPTANCE AND REJECTION
since pain avoidance is the simplest key to survival. How
then to explain the fact that at least a quarter of the
world’s population each day consume (and presumably
enjoy) a meal containing an extremely potent irritant,
capsaicin, which is present in chilies? Whatever the
source of our increasing preference for pungency in
foods, it must be a potent mechanism. Apart from the
warning signals for pain, our bodies possess a built-in response to high levels of irritation. This defensive reflex,
as it is known, consists of increased blood flow to the
head, profuse sweating, tearing, and nasal discharge—
physiological changes that are thought to have evolved
as a means of rapidly eliminating toxins. Although frequent consumers of spicy foods experience somewhat less
intense physiological responses and burn than infrequent
users, there is no doubt that the burning sensations are
actually part of the reason these foods are consumed, not
something to be tolerated for other reasons.
Both regular exposure, commencing during breastfeeding, and postingestional energy conditioning are
likely to play a part in the development of liking for hot
foods, particularly in countries whose staple diet includes high levels of spiciness. To explain the recent
increase in liking for hot foods in Western countries,
though, a number of other interesting mechanisms have
also been proposed. These include the hypothesis that
the painful experience may activate the brain’s natural
opioid (morphinelike) biochemical systems, dampening
pain and producing a chili eater’s “high.” Alternatively,
it has been suggested that we derive pleasure from the
“thrill” of the benign but highly stimulating experience
of consuming hot foods.
Where Do Differences in Food Likes Come From?
If exposure, together with resultant learning processes,
can substantially explain food preference development,
what accounts for the differences in which foods we come
to like? Exposure to flavors is now known to begin even
prior to birth. Amniotic fluid, which comes into contact
with the taste and odor receptors in the mouth and nose
of the fetus, carries both taste and odor qualities. There
is good evidence that the maternal diet during pregnancy
can influence food preferences of the child following
birth. Thus, it has been shown that infants whose mothers consumed carrot juice during pregnancy showed a
greater liking for carrot-flavored cereal at six months of
age than did a control group of children whose mothers
consumed only water. Following birth, a wide range of
flavors derived from the maternal diet is carried in breast
milk, and this also influences an infant’s later food preferences, including greater acceptance of novel flavors. In
other words, the variety of a mother’s diet can promote
a varied set of food preferences in the infant. As a result,
breast-fed babies are more likely to develop preferences
following exposure to novel foods as infants. Whether this
reflects early exposure to particular flavors, or a general
effect of previous maternal dietary variety, is uncertain.
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FOOD AND CULTURE
Social Influences
From childhood on, social interactions, whether within
the family or with other groups, provide the context
within which the majority of food experiences occur, and
hence by which learning of food likes is facilitated. The
pleasure associated with such interactions—the conviviality of a meal shared with friends, for example—may represent just as positive a conditioning stimulus for a new
food flavor as sweetness. Thus, it may be that our estimation of the food at a restaurant has as much to do with
the social environment as it does with the chef’s skills. In
children, pairing foods with the presence of friends, a
liked celebrity, or attention by adults all increase liking
for those foods, no doubt reflecting the positive hedonic
value of each of these groups to the child.
This process is strongly evident in the relative impact of different social interactions on the food preferences of children. Surprisingly, despite the enormous
opportunities in a family for exposing children to the
foods eaten by the parents, parental preferences are poor
predictors of child food preferences; in fact, they are no
better predictors than the preferences of other adults.
This suggests that the extent to which these sets of preferences are related has more to do with the wider culture than with any specific food habits within the family.
A child’s food likes and dislikes are much more likely to
be associated with those of peers, especially specific
friends, than those of its parents. Peers may also be as effective as families at helping to overcome neophobia,
since the food choices of both friends or well-known
adults strongly influence a child’s food choices. The ultimate impact of social facilitation of food choice is that
the liking eventually becomes internalized. That is, foods
chosen because others do so become liked for their own
sensory properties.
The Cultural Context
Dietary differences between cultures are almost always
more pronounced than individual differences within a
culture. The relatively limited amount of research that
has been conducted on cross-cultural perceptions of sensory qualities finds fewer differences than are needed to
explain the often markedly different preferences for
foods. More plausibly, it is likely that differences in preferences reflect experiences with different foods. In addition to facilitating liking through exposure and the action
of social influences, cultures act to define what substances
are considered foods.
Foods that are unfamiliar to a culture may initially
be seen as entirely unsuitable for consumption, while certain flavors may be regarded as inappropriate for specific
foods. For example, bean paste is often used as a sweet
filling in Japanese cakes, whereas in many Western countries, beans are expected to inhabit savory, not sweet,
products. Again, porridge is either sweet or savory, depending on your heritage. In other cases, because of different histories of exposure, a preferred flavor in one
5
ACCEPTANCE AND REJECTION
culture may be perceived as unpleasant in another. The
odor and flavor of lamb and mutton are highly liked in
the West but rejected in the many parts of Asia that do
not have the history of consuming sheep meat. Foods
may of course be the subject of religious or cultural
taboos, or even not be defined as food at all. In Western
countries, we are unlikely to ever develop a taste for dog
meat or snake blood.
The notion of culturally specific flavor principles has
been proposed as a way of categorizing cultural differences in cuisines. Flavor principles are unique combinations of specific ingredients used in a variety of foods
within a culture. This combination provides a characteristic flavor that foods within the culture share, and identifies them as originating from that culture. For example,
a characteristic combination of ingredients in Japanese
cooking is soy sauce, mirin (sweet rice wine) and dashi (a
stock made from flakes of the bonito fish, which is high
in umami taste). While Korea is geographically close to
Japan, its flavor principle could not be less similar, with
the intense flavors of garlic, chili, sesame, and soy dominating many dishes. Flavor principles not only define the
national cuisine, they also perform a social role by acting as an expression of the individuality of the culture.
Flavor principles may help to provide a solution to
the “omnivore’s paradox” and the consequent neophobic
response that novelty can elicit, thus limiting the foods
available for consumption within a culture. A familiar flavor can provide a safe context for new foods, thus maximizing the breadth of the diet. On the individual level,
recent findings suggest that a familiar sauce could increase the willingness of children to consume a novel
food. A characteristic combination of flavorings may also
provide variety and interest in diets dominated by bland
staples such as corn or rice. Although a flavor principle
might contain only a small set of characteristic seasonings, these can be combined in different ways. Moreover,
what may appear to be a single ingredient or spice to an
outsider may in fact have many subtle variations. Different chili varieties, for instance, vary considerably in the
flavor and degree of heat that they impart to foods.
Increasingly, the food industry operates in a global
setting. This is likely to mean that those foods that are
purchased in your local supermarket are, or soon will be,
also available on the other side of the world, perhaps
within a culture whose cuisine is vastly different from
your own. Whether this means that national flavor principles will ultimately be diluted or replaced is uncertain.
Some evidence suggests they will not. Japanese urban
populations have, for many years, enjoyed wide access to
foods from other parts of the world, particularly Europe
and the United States. Yet, while rice consumption has
fallen and red meat and dairy food consumption has increased in recent years, there is little evidence that more
traditional foods are disappearing. Moreover, Western
food companies wishing to export to those cultures whose
cuisines are substantially different are learning that in-
6
corporating aspects of the flavor principles of those cultures is essential for producing acceptable foods.
Food Choice: The Broader Context
Although a food’s sensory properties may substantially
determine what we like, they are only part of why we
choose a particular food on a particular occasion. The
determinants of our diet include factors that are both internal and external to the individual. Food choices are influenced by appetite, which in turn reflects when and
what we last ate, and our overall state of physical and psychological health. In some extreme cases, these internal
influences can render eating itself a pathological process,
as in disorders such as anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Even
in nonpathological circumstances, though, choosing a
high-fat or -carbohydrate food may have more to do with
our mood than anything else.
Liking is also heavily dependent on context. At its
simplest level, cultural practices will determine whether
or not we eat cooked meat or toast for breakfast. The extent to which either of these foods is acceptable will depend considerably on time of day. The same food can also
vary in acceptability depending on where we experience
it. Due to the influence of prior expectations, the same
meal served in a restaurant is likely to be judged as more
acceptable than if it is served in a student cafeteria.
Clearly, also, the reason why we first choose a food
must be based on factors other than direct experience of,
and therefore liking for, the sensory properties of the
food. Food manufacturers and marketers rely on advertising and labeling to create a positive image for products, and attempt to create high (but not unrealistic)
expectations for the product’s sensory properties. If the
food meets those expectations following purchase, then
the consumer is likely to try the product again. Repeat
consumption and the consequent associative and postingestive processes will then act to promote increased liking for the product.
See also Anorexia, Bulimia; Appetite; Aversion to Food;
Disgust; Sensation and the Senses; Taboos.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
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London: Blackie, 1996.
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Acceptance.” In Food Choice, Acceptance and Consumption,
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FOOD AND CULTURE
ADDITIVES
edited by Herbert L. Meiselman and Hal J. H. MacFie, pp.
1–82. London: Blackie, 1996.
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ketchup, please’: Familiar Flavors Increase Children’s
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John Prescott
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FOOD AND CULTURE
ADDITIVES. Food additives are regulated substances and therefore defined in law. Unfortunately, definitions vary among jurisdictions. A typical definition
of a food additive may be: a substance the use of which
in a food causes it to become a part of that food or to alter the characteristics of that food. A list of exceptions
(Table 1) often follows because such a definition is vague
and can include many substances not normally regarded
as additives. Regulations are then required that control
which additives can be added to which foods, and at what
levels they can be added to those foods in which they are
permitted.
In the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21—
Food and Drugs (21CFR170.3), the following definition
appears: “Food additives includes all substances not exempted by section 201(s) of the act, the intended use of
which results or may reasonably be expected to result, directly or indirectly, either in their becoming a component of food or otherwise affecting the characteristics of
food.”
The European Union (1994) defined a food additive
as “any substance not normally consumed as a food in itself and not normally used as a characteristic ingredient
of food whether or not it has nutritive value, the intentional addition of which to food for a technological
purpose in the manufacture, processing, preparation,
treatment, packaging, transport or storage of such food
results, or may be reasonably expected to result, in it or
its by-products becoming directly or indirectly a component of such foods.”
The Codex Alimentarius Commission (a joint Food
and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
[FAO] and World Health Organization [WHO] organization established to develop uniformity of food standards for international trade) has defined a food additive
as “any substance not normally consumed as a food by
itself and not normally used as a typical ingredient of the
food, whether or not it has nutritive value, the intentional
addition of which to food for a technological (including
organoleptic) purpose in the manufacture, processing,
preparation, treatment, packing, packaging, transport or
holding of such food results, or may be reasonably expected to result, (directly or indirectly) in it or its byproducts becoming a component of or otherwise affecting
the characteristics of such foods. The term does not
include contaminants or substances added to food for
maintaining or improving nutritional qualities” (Codex
Alimentarius Commission, 1999).
In the Canadian Regulations, Part B, Food, Division
1, General, B.01.001, p. 16, of the Canadian Food and
Drugs Act (Amendments 1999), “food additive” is defined
as “any substance the use of which results, or may reasonably be expected to result, in it or its by-products becoming a part of or affecting the characteristics of a food,
but does not include (a) any nutritive material that is used,
recognized, or commonly sold as an article or ingredient
of food, (b) vitamins, mineral nutrients and amino acids,
7

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