Food Science – Comfort Food

Food Science – Comfort Food

What’s your favorite comfort food? Mac and Cheese? Mashed Potatoes? Apple Pie? The reasons why we love these foods are a blend of taste and psychology. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Duncan: Comfort foods are generally described as providing either pleasure or some recognition of a past positive experience. Many times, they are identified as being high in fat or salt, high in calories, and they are often sought when someone might be under stress or feeling anxious about something.

Susan Duncan is a Professor of Food Science and Technology at Virginia Tech. We asked her about comfort food, and stick around because we want to hear from you, too.

Duncan: I want to know how someone describes the emotional experience, when they’re getting ready to have that first bite of food they think of as comforting. I want to know what that food is adding to the experience right now. I want the food characterization, the textures and the colors and the flavors that you’re getting from that food, if you can describe those but I also want to know what you’re feeling when you experience those. This word “comfort” is there, but I’m experiencing sadness because it’s reminding me of my mother,” or, this comfort that’s coming to me is because when I was little, she would feed this to me when I was ill, and I am now feeling this sadness because she’s not here. But I’m also feeling comforted because she’s with me right now because I’m eating something that she prepared for me when I was little.

So here’s the question: what’s your favorite comfort food and why? Visit us on Facebook and let us know. If we choose your response, you’ll hear it on a future program and receive one of our Pulse of the Planet CDs. Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner

Food Science - Comfort Food

What's your favorite "comfort food" and why?
Air Date:01/17/2014
Scientist:
Transcript:

Food Science - Comfort Food

What's your favorite comfort food? Mac and Cheese? Mashed Potatoes? Apple Pie? The reasons why we love these foods are a blend of taste and psychology. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Duncan: Comfort foods are generally described as providing either pleasure or some recognition of a past positive experience. Many times, they are identified as being high in fat or salt, high in calories, and they are often sought when someone might be under stress or feeling anxious about something.

Susan Duncan is a Professor of Food Science and Technology at Virginia Tech. We asked her about comfort food, and stick around because we want to hear from you, too.

Duncan: I want to know how someone describes the emotional experience, when they're getting ready to have that first bite of food they think of as comforting. I want to know what that food is adding to the experience right now. I want the food characterization, the textures and the colors and the flavors that you're getting from that food, if you can describe those but I also want to know what you're feeling when you experience those. This word "comfort" is there, but I'm experiencing sadness because it's reminding me of my mother," or, this comfort that's coming to me is because when I was little, she would feed this to me when I was ill, and I am now feeling this sadness because she's not here. But I'm also feeling comforted because she's with me right now because I'm eating something that she prepared for me when I was little.

So here's the question: what's your favorite comfort food and why? Visit us on Facebook and let us know. If we choose your response, you'll hear it on a future program and receive one of our Pulse of the Planet CDs. Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner