People are believed to like food based on their past experiences and regional identity. Parents play a significant role in influencing the family environment as well as shaping their children’s eating habits. In “Polarizing Foods” Berl explains that people are close minded towards trying foods that are not in their normal diet. The more we eat certain foods the more we like it. In “You Are What You Eat” Heard agrees that people grow up rooted in their culture and the food that surrounds them.
In “Polarizing Foods” Berl explains that people like food based on their personal experiences. Every culture is known to have their own identity when it comes to food. Because of this, food affects everyone differently. Linda Bartoshuk, a taste researcher at the University of Florida asserts, “most of what guides our food behavior is past experience.” Bartoshuk’s research showed that genetics play a role in influencing what you like and don’t like in terms of food. For example, Berl argues the food preferences a mother has during her pregnancy can transfer to her child. For this reason, it only makes sense to be comfortable eating foods we have been surrounded by on a daily basis. She furthers her argument by pointing out that people typically won’t be open to trying new foods if they have a different color, feel, or smell that they aren’t used to. Bartoshuk’s research also discovered that some people experience more taste than others. She identifies that these “supertasters” find fatty, spicy, and bitter foods unbearable but can also experience better taste from others. Overall, Berl encourages her readers to… grasp new cultures food traditions by accepting alternate food choices.
In “You Are What You Eat” Heard explains how people will defend the food they love based on their regional identity. Heard explains that in Texas, people take pride in barbecue, because “it’s centered around dry rubbed meats, which are designed to be eaten without sauce.” He goes on to explain that the tradition runs deep and the food you eat significantly contributes to your culture. Heard asserts that non-Texans don’t understand how passionate Texans are about the food they eat. In his article Heard gives an analysis over the responses received in Texas Monthly’s Top 50 list on Twitter. Some will argue that barbecue needs sauce and others will argue that no sauce is needed simply because barbeque in Texas is so good it doesn’t need any sauce or sides, they aren’t necessary. An anonymous tweeter tweeted “I hope they did not give points for pork or sausage. I love them, but they are side dishes. Real BBQ is beef.” Food is euphoric in keeping a person content with what they consume, on a daily basis. What’s in your region identifies and contributes to your culture.