The link between food and rituals

Oreo dunking

The New York Times has a fascinating article called Rituals Make Our Food More Flavorful  that provides incentive to mull over how we eat, as opposed to what we eat. Studies published in Psychological Science found that “rituals appeared capable of enhancing the enjoyment not just of treats like chocolate or lemonade but even baby carrots.” Examples of rituals include separating an Oreo cookie and first licking out the inside or deshelling and eating a lobster in a prescribed fashion.

As the article proceeds to point out, this understanding could help in potion control or getting children (or the rest of us) to eat more vegetables. After all, one clue to successful dieting is not to eat sitting at a desk, in front of the TV, or on the run – it’s hard to keep track of how much you’re eating or when you’re full if you’re not concentrating on the food. So it makes sense that creating rituals, which make you focus, should make you more conscious of flavor (although if you don’t like the flavor to begin with, that may be good or bad).

Now if there was only a way to make the flavor of, say, broccoli as delectable as chocolate…

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