The science behind your dislikes for your own cooking

By Reign Stefany Gabrielle Jimenez Rosales

Have you ever experienced having to prepare your family’s lunch, but end up losing appetite to even taste it? Weird as it may sound, there's a scientific premise behind your dislikes for the meals and dishes that you personally prepare.


Photo Courtesy Elnur/Dreamstime.com/iStock


According to Daniel Kaneman, a Nobel prize winning psychologist, when you are preparing food, you are already predicting its taste — even if you're just thinking of its flavors during the cooking process. This can eventually drain all the excitement and leave you unsatisfied. It turns out that other individuals may still like your cooking; this is simply because they have not preconditioned the food's taste before they were eating the meal.

Many food enthusiasts might doubt this finding, as most of us were always told that imagining a food’s taste can eventually trigger a large amount of desire towards it. When we imagine any form of snack, aren't we supposed to feel hungry and excited towards the taste of this snack? The big difference from it is that preparing food uses our energy, which leads to early "satiation". Meanwhile, if we only imagine ourselves eating the snack without actually cooking it, we do not use up energy or create "satiation" at all.

Our point has been proven by Carnegie Mellon University Researchers stating that exposure to a stimulus affects our psychological response. This means being exposed to the food’s ingredients and making it over time just makes it less special. It also doesn’t matter if the ingredients are tasted or not, the thought of it is enough to fulfil that past desire.  

Mentioning it, there is a filipino term ‘umay’ which describes this feeling of having enough like we mentioned above; the over exposure towards something leads to fulfilment that makes us stop eating or doing something we were revealed to. Our points then will be proven by a situation, if you eat a special dish or order the same thing repeatedly, this may over expose us to the stimulus. The circumstances cause it to lose its charming taste and order us to stop.

Preparing concerns our energy, time and the quality. Things that do not cover the experiences of the consumer that leads them to have the uttermost satisfaction.

Now you know why preparing and eating is different from just eating. This is what we call ‘umay’.

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