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Science Section => Science General Discussion => Topic started by: Cassia on July 20, 2020, 08:12:18 AM

Title: Food and Pleasure
Post by: Cassia on July 20, 2020, 08:12:18 AM
I was watching our bunny rabbit eating his salad. He really seems to look forward to meals and enjoys them a lot. I started wondering why eating is so pleasurable to us. I remember watching primary schoolmates as they ate lunch (yeah, I am strange) and many were bobbing their torsos back and forth or kicking their legs as they worked on that PB&J sandwich. Sure the senses of smell and taste warn us of potentially toxic and sickening meals, but why would the process need to go way beyond that? Stomach cramps remind us that it is time to eat and that should be enough. I usually wait for my stomach to remind me to eat instead of eating on some fixed schedule. Just the thought of food at that point can get the mouth watering. I started wondering if sharing meals with family and friends eventually trained our brain that the senses of smell and taste are associated with pleasure and to go ahead and release the hormones. Also isn't is just like entropy to use our behaviors during times of scarcity and turn them harmful in times of plenty?
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: Sal1981 on July 20, 2020, 08:23:32 AM
Evolution probably wired every living thing to associate consuming food, whatever it might be, with pleasure. Those who were either indifferent to food or found it distasteful would be selected against in nature.
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: Baruch on July 20, 2020, 09:05:50 AM
Food vs sex.  Extremes are illustrative.  Sex between housecats.  The male cat has to rape the female cat.  The female cat won't ovulate unless she is raped.  Raped in the sense the cat's penis is barbed ;-(  The female cat allows this because she is in a periodic altered emotional state called "in heat".  The first time she doesn't know this will be painful.  Sex between spiders.  The female spider has to decapitate the male spider.  The spider can't ejaculate unless he is decapitated.  Again, some sort of biochemical process (emotion) causes the male spider to approach the female spider (he doesn't know he is going to die).  Analogy?  People eating chili peppers ;-)

Food being pleasurable is a feedback loop, when functional, in a resource scarce environment, the animal survives but doesn't get fat (excepting bears etc who do go thru binges to survive hibernation).  Dis-functionally, humans have anorexia/bulimia.

Normally for humans, sex is pleasurable.  The connection … the strange relationship between women and chocolate.  Neurotransmitters?  Also the source of addiction.
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: SGOS on July 21, 2020, 09:45:12 AM
I've been thinking about this lately, because I've recently come off of an ice cream binge.  I can binge on a lot of unnecessary foods, like potato chips without getting any particular rush.  It's binging for the sake of binging.  Ice cream is different.  When I eat ice cream, every spoonful is exciting and gratifying, while I find myself asking, "How could anything be this good?"  I'm currently off the ice cream wagon, at least for awhile, because it is obviously unhealthy in such large quantities.  Some things are extraordinarily good to eat, like Pizza.  I don't know why.  I buy a large combo from my local pizzeria and take it home.  I eat two slices and then quickly break it into two slice helpings and freeze them.  My hunger is satisfied with two slices, and I'm good for the rest of the night, but I could easily eat the whole pizza just because it's just so enjoyable, but then I'd be up half the night with indigestion.
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: Baruch on July 21, 2020, 10:11:22 AM
Can't keep any carbs around!  On the other hand, for seniors, we have a change in metabolism and taste buds that is diagnostic.  My mother increasingly ate salt and sugar as she neared her end.  And because of poor nutrition, her body wasted away (that and chain smoking didn't help).
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: Cassia on July 21, 2020, 10:17:59 AM
I don't know what Italians do the make their ice cream so fantastic. I had a simple scoop of vanilla in Venice while overlooking the Grand Canal, just listening to folk musicians while people-watching as the setting sun danced on the waves. The combination was unforgettable. I did manage to make a very good batch of homemade Bulgarian yogurt last night.
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: Baruch on July 21, 2020, 10:19:42 AM
From your icon, I would assume Transylvanian yogurt ;-)
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: Cassia on July 21, 2020, 10:29:27 AM
From your icon, I would assume Transylvanian yogurt ;-)
Did some research and yeah I do have Romanian ancestry according to Ellis Island records and I do live in a Victorian house in the wood, protected by dozens of grotesques. Someday I may pay for a proper DNA analysis but I hesitate.
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: Mike Cl on July 21, 2020, 10:51:56 AM
I've been thinking about this lately, because I've recently come off of an ice cream binge.  I can binge on a lot of unnecessary foods, like potato chips without getting any particular rush.  It's binging for the sake of binging.  Ice cream is different.  When I eat ice cream, every spoonful is exciting and gratifying, while I find myself asking, "How could anything be this good?"  I'm currently off the ice cream wagon, at least for awhile, because it is obviously unhealthy in such large quantities.  Some things are extraordinarily good to eat, like Pizza.  I don't know why.  I buy a large combo from my local pizzeria and take it home.  I eat two slices and then quickly break it into two slice helpings and freeze them.  My hunger is satisfied with two slices, and I'm good for the rest of the night, but I could easily eat the whole pizza just because it's just so enjoyable, but then I'd be up half the night with indigestion.
ICE CREAM!!! If we lived in the same household, we'd need two freezers--one for your ice cream and one for yours.  My current favs are cookie dough, mint chip, vanilla bean, rocky road,--there is no really bad ice cream, just some are better than others.  Do you have a fav???
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: Mike Cl on July 21, 2020, 10:53:29 AM
Oh, and I love potato chips--my fav is just plain, original chips, then barbecue.  But like ice cream, there are no really bad chips, just some better than others.   
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: SGOS on July 21, 2020, 11:26:05 AM
Do you have a fav???
I think Cookies and Cream would be the one I reach for most often.  Cookie Dough would be near the top of the list, and in the category of Tracks, Bunny Tracks comes in strong.  I was recently surprised at one of those ice cream counters with 16 or 20 different flavors to choose from.  Flavors like bubble gum don't sound good, and I've never tried it, but this counter was constantly putting out rotating flavors, probably based on what the delivery truck had too much of.  But one night, none of my favorites were there so I thought I would try Birthday Cake, expecting to be disappointed, but it could be a favorite.  I'd have to try it again.  I seldom see it in stores, although I vaguely remember seeing it a long time ago... I think.  There is another counter farther away that has even more flavors, which I can't imagine many people have heard of.  I can't remember the names, but one is something like Carmel Sea Salt.  I don't know what that's like.
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: Baruch on July 21, 2020, 01:51:25 PM
Did some research and yeah I do have Romanian ancestry according to Ellis Island records and I do live in a Victorian house in the wood, protected by dozens of grotesques. Someday I may pay for a proper DNA analysis but I hesitate.

Test for green blood?  If so, you are Vulcan.
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: Mike Cl on July 21, 2020, 01:59:56 PM
I think Cookies and Cream would be the one I reach for most often.  Cookie Dough would be near the top of the list, and in the category of Tracks, Bunny Tracks comes in strong.  I was recently surprised at one of those ice cream counters with 16 or 20 different flavors to choose from.  Flavors like bubble gum don't sound good, and I've never tried it, but this counter was constantly putting out rotating flavors, probably based on what the delivery truck had too much of.  But one night, none of my favorites were there so I thought I would try Birthday Cake, expecting to be disappointed, but it could be a favorite.  I'd have to try it again.  I seldom see it in stores, although I vaguely remember seeing it a long time ago... I think.  There is another counter farther away that has even more flavors, which I can't imagine many people have heard of.  I can't remember the names, but one is something like Carmel Sea Salt.  I don't know what that's like.
Bubble gum does not sound good.  Carmel Sea Salt would be worth a go.  Sherbet is decent.  Love Lime and love pineapple.  Which, for some reason made me remember Orange Julius.  Orange is good, but pineapple is to die for!  Have not had that in ages.
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: Unbeliever on July 21, 2020, 02:06:55 PM
Does anyone make bacon flavored ice cream? That I would love to try!
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: trdsf on July 21, 2020, 02:26:48 PM
Does anyone make bacon flavored ice cream? That I would love to try!

A few years ago the state fair's annual ice cream flavor was Maple Bacon.  I went back to the fair twice just to get more.
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: Hydra009 on July 21, 2020, 02:39:29 PM
Does anyone make bacon flavored ice cream? That I would love to try!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacon_ice_cream

I couldn't find any easy to find, commercially-available bacon ice cream (except for some marketed for puppies, ymmv there) but it's fairly easy to use a bacon weave as the crust in a homemade ice-cream sandwich.
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: Mike Cl on July 21, 2020, 03:12:56 PM
Does anyone make bacon flavored ice cream? That I would love to try!
Actually, that sounds putrid! :)

But--Costco does sell good (well, decent anyway) already cooked bacon.  Get a package of that, crush the bacon and then use it as a topping for your ice cream.  Already turns my stomach.......:)
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: trdsf on July 21, 2020, 03:27:24 PM
Actually, that sounds putrid! :)

But--Costco does sell good (well, decent anyway) already cooked bacon.  Get a package of that, crush the bacon and then use it as a topping for your ice cream.  Already turns my stomach.......:)
The key thing is that the bacon should be candied in maple syrup.  Then it works unbelievably well.
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: trdsf on July 21, 2020, 03:29:41 PM
Meanwhile, I've been bingeing on classic episodes of Iron Chef.  Forgot how much I love this show.  :)
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: SGOS on July 21, 2020, 04:05:48 PM
At first when I thought back to being a kid, I remembered chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, but that seemed very limited, and then I started remembering things like butter pecan, and chocolate chip (boring by today's standards).  There were more of course, but it was still much more limited, and some are no longer around like fudge ripple.  I haven't seen fudge ripple for years, and maybe a few other ripple types, but since then there has been an explosion of flavors.  When I was a kid, Howard Johnson's, the restaurant, sold 21 flavors.  It was the magical unheard of number for years.  It seemed amazing, even considering I never went there to see the selection.  Hell, there's a gas station near me today that has at least 21 flavors at their ice cream counter on any given day, and the inventory continually changes with different flavors replacing ones that are sold out.  30 years ago a small delicatessen in Montana sold Baby Ruth ice cream for several years and then it vanished. That was my favorite back then, but I don't think it's around anymore.  I bought some Snickers ice cream thinking that would be almost like Baby Ruth, but it didn't come close to the way I remembered Baby Ruth.  And we we haven't yet even talked about Ben and Jerry's. Granted Ben and Jerry's is probably more about inventing new names for flavors, but I don't buy Ben and Jerry's.  It seems too upscale and fancy pants for me.  Those who buy it, I assume must be ice cream snobs.
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: aitm on July 21, 2020, 07:10:27 PM
There is only one ice cream for me. Ben and Jerry’s pistachio . I will binge that for 4 months and be done for 7 and hit it again....love that stuff.
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: aitm on July 21, 2020, 07:20:31 PM
But as to the OP, taste it seems, as it should, has a higher context among omnivores than either/or. Some fish have more taste buds than we due to a higher and many times much smaller food item. One would wonder if pLants can taste differences in organic residuals such as the fertilization of a decomposing animal.
Non the less, it would seem beneficial if an organism open up its food supply to multiple varieties that a different set of taste “qualifiers”..ie taste buds, would evolve to readily recognize them.

As to the reaction of certain foods, one can suggest that a particular food associated with a happy or pleasant thought would generate a better response in the brain. Having a pb&j with mom will most likely result in happy feet, and as such would do the same by association in other settings, all things being relatively equal.
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: trdsf on July 21, 2020, 07:28:49 PM
IMO, the greatest food pleasure is having something work out either exactly the way you wanted, or better than you planned.  Dinner tonight:

- Put the wok on medium high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil to coat the pan.
- Add two small (or one large) chicken breasts sliced into strips and half a tablespoon of minced garlic and cook.
- When the chicken is mostly cooked through, added a handful each of frozen peas and frozen French-cut green beans, and one leek green (which I had the foresight to freeze a couple weeks ago) sliced like green onions, and a couple grinds of black pepper, a dash of ginger, and a couple dashes of sesame seeds.
- When mostly cooked, add 1 cup of chicken broth and a brick of ramen from one of those cheapo packages, broken into fourths, and a pat or two of butter.  Somewhere around here, I added about half an ounce of the dry martini that was accompanying my kitchen work.
- When the ramen is cooked, thicken slightly with cornstarch (if I used more than a teaspoon, it wasn't by much) -- you want the remaining liquid to cling, not solidify.

I need a name for this, I'm making it again.
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: Mike Cl on July 21, 2020, 08:29:21 PM
As a kid I do remember home made ice cream--mostly vanilla and a time or two, peaches in the vanilla.  Crank, crank that handle and add more rock salt!  Crank, crank that handle and then--omg what a treat!!
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: Baruch on July 21, 2020, 08:37:19 PM
Grandma & grandpa made vanilla and peach ice-cream that way ;-)
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: Cassia on July 21, 2020, 08:51:38 PM
IMO, the greatest food pleasure is having something work out either exactly the way you wanted, or better than you planned.  Dinner tonight:

- Put the wok on medium high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil to coat the pan.
- Add two small (or one large) chicken breasts sliced into strips and half a tablespoon of minced garlic and cook.
- When the chicken is mostly cooked through, added a handful each of frozen peas and frozen French-cut green beans, and one leek green (which I had the foresight to freeze a couple weeks ago) sliced like green onions, and a couple grinds of black pepper, a dash of ginger, and a couple dashes of sesame seeds.
- When mostly cooked, add 1 cup of chicken broth and a brick of ramen from one of those cheapo packages, broken into fourths, and a pat or two of butter.  Somewhere around here, I added about half an ounce of the dry martini that was accompanying my kitchen work.
- When the ramen is cooked, thicken slightly with cornstarch (if I used more than a teaspoon, it wasn't by much) -- you want the remaining liquid to cling, not solidify.

I need a name for this, I'm making it again.
Sounds great! The wok is such an ingenious piece of cookware; that shape. The more you use it the better it gets. I have also come to appreciate the good old cast iron skillets. 
Title: Re: Food and Pleasure
Post by: trdsf on July 22, 2020, 12:43:05 PM
Sounds great! The wok is such an ingenious piece of cookware; that shape. The more you use it the better it gets. I have also come to appreciate the good old cast iron skillets.
A kitchen without cast iron is only a place where food happens to be made.  You won't need it for everything, but for some things there is no substitute.