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More adventurous than the average bear

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Smells and Making things taste good

Jon Batiste, Gail Simmons, and Strange Smells | Tell Me Something I Don't Know

"A lot of diseases like cancer and even Parkinson have a scent signature because it does change how the body processes things and there's even the case of a nurse in Britain Joy Milne who actually can smell by the sweat of patients, so she can smell some, whether somebody has Parkinson so it is possible. It's just that we don't pay attention...

You had thirty two Berkeley undergrads, hungry undergrads trying to trace the scent of chocolate. They found it, not only in the same movement as the dog but with training they got better. So it's not that we can't do, it's just that we don't pay attention and we don't crawl on all fours which dogs do all the time and why do they do that, because this is where the scents are...

The neat fact is that in total, take time working for pay, time working at home - men and women in this country and many others but not all rich countries do about the same amount of work in total... [Ed: In other words, the Second Shift doesn't mean women do more work overall]

'They don't like the smell of manure'

'Well we called it fresh country air'...

This idea that smell causes disease is referred to as the miasma theory, which stated that diseases... were caused by bad smell or bad air. Some say the theory extended to other conditions as well... gale. It was once thought that one could become obese simply by inhaling the odor of food...

'Do food companies that you work with, or maybe chefs include flavors that are meant to be difficult, challenging, etcetera, knowing that people may not quite like them or find them pleasurable, but somehow the knowledge that they're consuming, this thing that is challenging or difficult makes them like the product or the dish more'...

'The really classic example is Red Bull... you would find it in a refrigerator next to similar products that cost half as much and were twice the size. So it was trying to do something quite difficult. It had a very strong and specific claim about energy. So they could have made it taste as nice as possible, but they didn't. They made it taste like it worked'...

'They added a lot of sugar... it had a very medicinal, very different distinctive flavour'...

'Cough syrup doesn't actually have to taste bad... they just flavored that way to make us feel like it's making us better'...

It's no surprise that people buy products that taste bad... outside of China, the best selling beer in the world is Bud Light...
Bud Light doesn't necessarily taste great, but it's inoffensive, which works well if you wanna be a global beer...

The best example we've seen of people making purchasing decisions that don't line up with a blind taste test is Pepsi and Coke. So a professor at Baylor performed this blind taste test with subjects, hooked up to an FMRI machine and in blind taste tests most people preferred Pepsi and Pepsi is associated with this higher level of activity in an area of the brain, which helps evaluate different flavors. In a non blind taste, Coke was always more popular.

And the thinking was that it's the marketing and ad campaigns that overrides the taste buds. An alternative, more scientific theory is that while we may prefer sweeter chocolates or the sweeter Pepsi in a taste test with just a small sample that doesn't represent the way we actually consume food or drinks. So while we may prefer the sweeter Pepsi by the sip, we prefer the taste of Coke by the bottle."
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