Is The Turkey Fergielicious?
Last year, I wrote about the science behind the "turkey coma" HERE.
Recently, scientists tackled the mystery behind our sense of taste. Why do certain foods taste great to some, yet make others want to spit it out? Is it a biological thing? Or maybe it's a psychological thing. Scientists also realized your sense of taste can actually affect your health.
The sense of taste has just recently been understood. It's a complicated process, since it involves the nose and sinuses, the tongue, emotions and psychology, and of course - the brain.
Back in early human's history, McDonalds and 24 hour Super Walmarts didn't exist. Food wasn't so readily available, and our bodies were designed to survive those "lean times" when food was scarce. So, our brains crave fat. But the brain doesn't just want fat to survive. In fact, Michigan scientists recently witnessed pleasure brain cells firing off like fireworks after subjects ate something yummy.
But what about those picky eaters?
One in four people is what scientists are calling a "supertaster." A supertaster is a person born with extra taste buds. The result is that they find vegetables, for example, more bitter than a person with normal taste sensation. So they stay away from a veggies, and Connecticut reseachers found that these supertasters are more succeptible to colon cancer as a result. A supertaster's hyper-sensitive taste makes eating different foods a challenge.
I have relatives that seem to have to poop immediately after eating. It doesn't make sense since it takes hours to digest. Should I label them as "superpoopers?"
Being a supertaster isn't easy. "They live in a neon taste world,'' as Dr. Bartoshuk, a specialist in the genetics of human taste says.
Supertasters tend to be very skinny because of their pickiness. Reseachers believe supertasters can train their taste buds by combining something sweet to overcome the bitterness of veggies. Also, scientists know that the emotional connections people make with certain foods can be more powerful than biology.
But can too much of a tasty thing be a bad thing?
In the brain is a region called the ventral pallidum, and scientists noticed the cells in this area were firing off like rockets when we eat something delicious. They also notcied the brain fireworks were strongest right when people sat down to start eating their feast.
"At the moment you sit down and start to eat, that's when the firing's most intense and everything tastes delicious, more delicious than it's going to taste at any moment thereafter,'' Dr. Kent Berridge, of the University of Michigan, explains.
But as the feast continues, the cells in the ventral pallidum begin to slow down...and the activity decreases as well. In other words, people got sick of eating the same thing after a while. Maybe three-fourths of the way through the big meal, the food wasn't as "fergielicious" anymore.
And that's why we invented dessert.