As humans, we all crave the finer things in life. That’s just how we’re set up. There’s a little hedonist inside all of us. And that encompasses all things really – the need to be loved and cared for, the desire for physical touch, the common want for more money and fancier things in life, and believe it or not, the obsession with food also stems from that hedonistic nature. And we want all those things because they bring us pleasure.
Food has always been essential to humans, but it’s in the last 50 or so years that we’re seeing the food industry changing and evolving and trying to cater not only to our needs but also to our hedonistic desire for pleasure. Today we thought we’d dive deeper into the science of pleasure that we get from food and how our brains process it.
Hunger – Satiation
This is one of the most basic ways our brain receives pleasure from food. You feel hungry, you want food, and then you get it. Just the process of getting something you want is enough to bring pleasure on a very basic level.
Satiety – Pleasure
Just to clarify, satiation is something that we feel in the process of eating. But satiety comes after we’ve stopped eating. It’s that feeling that prevents us from eating non-stop. It’s the feeling of fullness. Seeking out food and achieving satiety has been an evolutionary need for us since the dawn of time. So by feeding our body to survive we’re also satisfying our instincts and that also brings us pleasure.
Sight Plays A Role
First of all, it’s important to establish that pleasure from food is received not just through taste, it actually involves all of our senses. And the reason why we receive pleasure from food isn’t just as simple as satisfying our hunger. We process food with every sense. We also learn pretty quickly, so we associate tasty-looking things with actually being tasty. There’s a reason you start salivating when you see a tasty treat even before you’ve had the chance to taste it. Sight is important when it comes to food, it also brings us pleasure. Must be the reason food blogging is so huge and why fast food restaurants have pictures of food on the menu.