Do we eat to live, or live to eat?

        When we are born, we have an innate reflex to eat. At first, being mammals, our primary food is our mother’s milk. But as time passes we develop and grow, and as our physical needs for nutritional support increase, we desire to eat different kinds of foods – this is a natural process that is inbuilt into our genetics.

        But sometimes, there are some foods that we just cannot grow to like. Why?

Why do we like or dislike certain foods?

        All foods have important organoleptic, or sensory, characteristics – they are everything we can sense: smell, taste, colour, shape, texture, etc. These characteristics help us to choose which foods we want and, with time, we can decide whether to like or dislike eating something.

        Usually our first impression of the food is the most important, if not crucial. If the food satisfies all of our senses at that moment, we cannot but help liking it. On the other hand, should one of those organoleptic characteristics not appeal to us, we may reject the food.

        Food producers well know that these characteristics are important to consumers. Therefore, with the help of additives and chemical compounds, they seek to trick the senses by increasing the smell and taste intensity, or by changing the colour of the product to make it more appealing. As a result, we can sometimes grow to like – or potentially become addicted to – certain foods.

        But what’s the catch?

The catch

        These Organoleptic characteristics which are so attractive are only important to use before we actually ingest the food. To be sure, we enjoy the smell of the food and the taste while we chew it and this brings us a degree of satisfaction. However, when this food is swallowed, these characteristics are no longer important.

        Rather, the thing that is most important is the nutritional value: its chemical composition. As we highlighted at the outset, we need to satisfy our nutritional requirements in order to sustain the healthy operation of the organism, namely our bodies.

        Regrettably, many people today place too much importance on the food being pleasurable to the senses, rather than being beneficial to the body. One such example is that of carbonated soft drinks. We enjoy the sweet smell and refreshing taste, and are sometimes fascinated by the array of colours. But by taking these into our body, we pump our bodies full of CO2 which it must then expel as soon as possible, as well as receiving excess carbohydrates which can seriously affect our health over time.

Conclusion

        Surely many of us would agree that we love eating – we could even say that we live to eat. But we must concede that we eat to live – it is a vital feature of our ability to survive. Therefore, whilst we always seek to enjoy our food, we must also consider how what benefit or harm it will cause to us. We must bear in the mind that the more processed the product is and the more changes that have been made to its basic ingredients, the less benefit it has to our bodies.

        Our Little Bay and Foodilic restaurants always seek to provide the freshest, most nutritious and delicious food to their customers – freshly preparing all their dishes to retain the organoleptic characteristics as well as the nutritional benefit. View our menus and book your table now.

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