The UK has been making impressive headway in isolating what makes us eat what. Namely, it’s our genes.
“More often than not, our genetic make-up influences our dietary patterns.”
So said Tim Spector, a Professor at London’s Kings College, in this BBC News article about a study he led that suggested identical twins shared the same eating preferences. Among these preferences, coffee and garlic turned out to be strong indicators of the genetic link. (But who doesn’t like garlic or coffee?)
And just a few weeks ago, The New York Times published an article by Kim Severson called, “Picky Eaters? They Get it From You.” Based off similar research from University College in London, the story focused more closely on food dislikes than likes. Finicky kids who won’t eat anything but plain pasta perhaps aren’t just doing it for the attention, it suggested.
The old saying, “You are what you eat” might now be more accurately put, “What you eat is you.” Well, not to mean that you eat yourself…
Anyway, do you have a funky food inheritance? Let’s all play the blame game and pin them on our ancestors. Here are a few of my random food tastes that may have been passed down to me.
Curious food likes: Both my dad and I like eating gristle. It’s fun! Also, I fear I may be developing a serious tolerance for heat. While both my parents savor spicy food, my mom tells me that her own mother used to bring a little jar of hot sauce wherever she traveled – on planes, especially – in order to ensure everything she ate was up to her spicy standards. (Um… that doesn’t sound like such a bad idea…)
Curious food dislike: My aversion to strong-tasting cheese has got to be from my mother’s side, too. I was twenty before I could smell an aged blue cheese without becoming faint or nauseous. (My uncle will go so far as to blame cheese for bad things that happen to him afterward. The last time he ate a speck of cheese, he claimed it made him break out with pimples.)