I think it is remarkable how we can perceive an individual simply by focusing on what they consume on a daily basis. By considering an individual’s culture, and through the help of science and psychology, we are able to ascertain the different approaches people take when making food choices. The selection of food choices could reflect upon an individual’s personality as well. We all grew up eating differently. We took upon the dishes of our ancestors, which is an important part of us that sticks with us to the very end.
Then it is passed down through generations. People all around the world have adapted to different patterns of eating. It often makes us stop and wonder if perhaps we are able to recognize exactly where an individual comes from by watching what they consume.
To say the least, it is possible. Through embracing our traditions and heritage, we are subconsciously driving other cultures into trying out new cuisines.
Familiarizing people around us with the food we eat gives them a wider perspective of our backgrounds. Thus, it is continuously passed around from person to person. Diversity isn’t constant; however, it is always subject to change. Although there are billions of people in the world, many of us are brought together each day. Culture is something we can choose to share. Through the different ages, people gradually tend to forget their origins and family traditions. With the rise and continuous outgrowth of social media, food photography is certainly something we all are guilty of doing.
Instead of saying grace before eating our meals we turn to our devices and start flashing thousands of pictures per minute. It isn’t until the perfect picture has been taken, that we start to eat. By then, the dish doesn’t look as appetizing, and most often require re-heating.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to understand the logic and reasoning behind these habits? By reflecting on scientific facts, we are able to unravel the answers to the unusual behaviors. First and foremost, as human beings we continuously strive to be on top of those around us. We seek pleasure in competition, which provides us with a sense of accomplishment and self-worth. Secondly, you might have come across the phrase: “Pics or it didn’t happen”. If not, it is often used as to challenge the unbelievable claim by inquiring photographic evidence. It has come to be an addiction. Whether it be sharing our experiences in luxury restaurants or showing off our favorite homemade dishes, being active online portrays us as enthusiastic and social beings. Nevertheless, the positive feedback from the posts keeps us going.
We take picture after picture, taking each one in different angles until it is “illegible” to post. We sit on our couches twisting and twirling, as we wait to here a notification. Any response would be worth looking at. This whole process is the effect of dopamine, which is a chemical produced by our brains, that sends stimulus to the rest of our body when we get any sort of feedback. Those of us who are active online will sense relief and happiness that others are on the lookout for our posts. On the other hand, those who haven’t been active for a while don’t receive that amount of feedback, starving them from that chemical, which makes them feel worthless. They start to imagine how others will now think of them as “boring”. This concludes that the whole idea of the phrase “pics or didn’t happen” deceives most of us into thinking that sharing everything with everyone is necessary, when it is not at all. It is surely a toxic addiction that has almost taken over our actions.
While food continues to tell us whether or not people are active online, could it possibly say anything relating one’s personality? There have been interesting findings that suggest a connection between food choices and personality types. The most interesting lies within spicy food choices. It is argued that the reason people crave and relish the stinging sensation of spicy dishes is the exact reason why people enjoy dangerous activities. This proposes a distinct trait between the two bold desires. Both, individuals who love the taste of spicy food, and those who dare to participate in life threatening acts are most certainly thrill seekers. Taking part in either of these results in the release of “happy” chemicals called endorphins, which gives an instant head-to-toe feeling of pleasure. A feeling that drives people into trying anything and everything. Endorphins are the same chemicals released when exercising.
Spicy isn’t everyone’s favorite. You might skip past the hot chili peppers and find something a little safer for your taste buds. If you find yourself scrolling down the produce isle while out shopping, you are certainly cautious about what you consume on a daily basis. This suggests personal value in the choices made regarding what is consumed. In addition, a healthy lifestyle would probably be a major part in the decisions made when you’re shopping. It is very important to balance out what nutrients are provided from different food sources. Many do not monitor what is labeled. If this is shaped into a regular habit, it could lead to weight gain.
In contrast, the bland flavors of produce are mainly why people don’t get enough fruits and vegetables. And it is why we have been forced to eat our vegetables growing up. Sweets, on the other hand, are a preferable way to go. They are used to ease conflict and tension. Often described as comfort foods. Whether you have a sweet tooth or not is decided by genetics. Our DNA drives us toward the food our taste buds actually want. Again, the chemical dopamine plays an active role in sending out reward signals. This makes it hard to step away from sweets once we crave them. Through further studies, we are able to recognize how eating habits can distinguish between introverts and extroverts. Emotions often play a role in the way people eat.
Many individuals tend to use food as a coping mechanism; however, those who sneak away from public are more in touch with their emotions. Introverts do not like the idea of sharing personal information with people. That is one reason why they turn to food instead of talking to someone about what they might be going through. On the other hand, Extroverts tend to eat out more frequently and engage in group activities. Talking openly about problems is common to extroverts, which indicates that they typically enjoy being the center of attention. In conclusion, I personally view food as a universal language that speaks a lot about a person. Culture should be practiced more often and embraced by its people. I believe that as long as we prioritize sharing our values and traditions with those around us, communication will feel much easier.