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Mind Over Matter

When reading the lab meat blog post it made me think of how much our mind actually plays a part in what we find acceptable to eat. We thing that the lab meat is too weird to eat, and when this came up in class last year people said the biggest issue that they had was the  fact that it looked like a blob rather than a T-Bone. We get so used to one form of a food that we do not try other types. Are we missing out because of this?

I am vegetarian and therefore I eat a lot of meat substitutes or veggie-soy proteins. My dad and brother refused to eat them. So one day my mom and I decided to cook with the fake meat and not tell them. They ate it all and did not even notice, my dad even complemented my mom’s cooking. I told my brother what we did and he laughed, my dad never found out. I have had meat and the substitutes and I know they are not the same, there is no veggie version of a steak that is the same but for some things there is a psychological part to not wanting to try the veggie version versus the meat version, especially if you can not even taste the difference.

We have a lot of weird thoughts with food. People will even eat up to 50% more when the food is labeled low fat. This makes it so that people will actually consume more food just because of the label that says low fat. It seems like it is acceptable to eat i since it has less fat, but we end up eating way more. Also many people do not see that a container is not one serving but is 3 or 4, buy they ear all of them in one sitting.

We look at other cultures and question what they eat, or even the utensils they use or lack of utensils and wonder why they do that rather then switching to our way. Do you ever wonder if they think that about us? We always question the chopsticks or the strange animals but we are the culture that deep fries butter and considers that okay to sell. We have restaurants where you can bring in anything you want and they will deep fry it for you. No wonder america is obese. What makes our eating habits seem normal but make another culture’s seem crazy?

How does the way you think affect the way you eat? Should we be more open to other types of foods, or just other experiences in general?

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. October 28, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Psychology definitely gets in the way of me eating or trying new foods. I am a fairly picky eater and a lot of it has to do with how something looks or just the fear of trying something new. When I get Chinese food I always order the same thing, sesame chicken. I know other things are probably just as delicious but I have this block in my mind that trying something new would not be a good experience for me. Or if food just generally looks strange I tend not to try it. There is definitely some sort of psychology behind this weird fear of mine.
    The point about serving sizes and the fact that as Americans we tend to eat more than just the suggested one serving, reminds me of health class in eighth grade. I remember discovering that researchers did an experiment about serving size and how much people actually eat. The end result showed a picture of one serving size which didn’t even fill the whole plate, and the average amount people tend to consume, which did fill the plate and was much more than the one serving size. I remember learning that the bigger the plate or bowl the more the person will eat because they are more likely to fill that entire dish. I found this to be very true when I came to college. I bought a bowl at Target for cereal and it is far larger than the bowls I normally eat cereal out of at home. I realized that I was eating way more cereal here just because my bowl was bigger and I would end up filling it up. The science behind food and what people eat is certainly a large part of Americans.

  2. October 30, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    I believe that Americans have gotten lazy about obtaining food. We have hundreds of chains of grocery stores with hundreds of brands of food. In many places, there are no huge grocery stores. There are only a handful of brands. Many people in other parts of the world grow their own food, and kill their own meat. I think that Americans have largely separated themselves from food. Many Americans can’t tell you where their food comes from or how it was handled and/or prepared before it got to the grocery store. Food does not come from the grocery store, it comes from the ground, or from an animal. So many Americans mindlessly eat meat and have no regard for where it came from. In fact, many people would be disgusted if they ever had to obtain meet for themselves. Of course this is not the case for some people, but I think that the majority of people in America would be vegetarians if they had to kill and cook the meat themselves. I have a saying that I follow, if you can’t kill it, you shouldn’t eat it. Over the summer, i went to a farm camp where I participated in a chicken harvest. I cut the head off of a chicken, skinned it, gutted it and then cooked it myself. Many people would not be able to, or would not care to put in the effort to get the meat they want to eat.

    I think that because Americans don’t eat the whole animal, they are squeamish, which is not necessarily a bad thing, just something we’ve been conditioned to think. American culture seems to emphasize either healthy diets or not so healthy diets. We are obsessed with being skinny because it is considered more beautiful and more desirable, which drives our eating habits.

    Part of what I love about traveling is learning about other countries’ culture, which definitely includes what foods they eat and what they consider to be a delicacy. For instance, when I was in China, the most valued part of the meal was the fishes eyeball. In America, we would probably not consider this part of the fish to be the best. In other parts of the world, there is not a tradition of waste. Eating meat is a huge deal because it is so costly in time and resources. When people do eat meat they use the whole animal. I think that we should be open to experiencing other cultures’ foods, but that does not necessarily mean we have to like it. Like everyone’s parents say you have to try it in order to know whether you like it or not.

  3. October 30, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    In my family, we are taught to save money, and to be thrift. My parents refused to buy me toys as a child and my toy collection was smaller than all my friends’. We never bought anything unless we really needed it. Who needs a new computer? Windows 98 has been proven to work.

    However, when it came to food, we were carefree. We never considered the price of food and we pretty much ate anything we felt like eating, even products that cost a hundred dollars per pound. Ahh… the pleasures of life. (That is a huge problem now that I’m in college.)

    Regarding lab meat, I don’t think it’s a blob. If anything, the meat will probably be more lean since there is probably less fat content, and is it really less humanitarian to eat lab grown meat? We are killing fewer cows, and using up less land. We should wait and try it, then we can judge.

  4. October 30, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    By the way, who can’t love the warm, satisfying of deep-fried butter? mmmm

  5. October 30, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    To Professor Myers- Please delete this comment and the previous comment regarding the butter. There are typos. Thanks.

  6. October 30, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    I do not think I could do what you did and cut off the head of a chicken. But I agree with you in thinking that it is important to know where our food came from. When it gets to the point where you do not know which country your fruit came from, what pesticides are on it and how much work it took to get it to the store then to you, I think we may have a flaw in our system. We need to move back to a more local movement and away from our high consumption, think of how much gas it took to get your food shipped. My family gets a lot of fruit from our fruit trees or our neighbors, we have a cabin in this area that is surrounded by orchards and get our food through our neighbors orchards.
    We have created a system that is meant for efficiency rather than humanitarianism. Look at the factory farms that are in place to get meat, eggs, or milk. These animals are put in horrible conditions and for what? So that we spend a few dollars less at the store. I bring this up because of your comment on the humanitarianism of the lab meat. I agree it would be better with the lab meat and help to keep less animals in these conditions while freeing up so much land. We just need people to get behind it.

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