Influences of Food Choices

By Rachel Crawford

Physical Needs

Early people formed groups known as tribes to hunt for food, at first they ate food raw but as time progressed they realized cooked food was better for them. Farming and herding evolved and also domesticating animals to make a more reliable and better food supply. People learned off of peer's trades and as time went on civilization grew.

For your body to survive you need certain fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. The carbohydrates provide energy for working muscles, provides fuel for the central nervous system, enabling metabolism, etc.

Some types of carbohydrates include monosaccharide's, which are the most basic type of carbohydrates; they include the simplest type of sugar and are usually colorless solids and are sometimes glucose and fructose, some monosaccharide's have a sweet taste. Another type of carbohydrate is polysaccharide, which is a long chain of monosaccharide's. They are bound together by glycosidic linkages. Cellulose is a structural type of polysaccharide, for example, it is found in the cell wall of a plant. Cellulose has said to be the 'most abundant organic molecule on earth'

Lack of nutrition can cause low academic performance, lower successfulness in business and school, and a lot more that contributes to lack of nutrition.

In summary, for survival you need certain fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Some foods of this category include noodles, breads, and grains which are carbohydrates, eggs, nuts, meats, fish, milk, which are protein, and things that have a lot of grease and oil (like fried food) which are fats.

Pyschological Needs

When talking about the psychological needs for food, it consists of good/bad moods, emotions & feelings, and body images.

The first way you eat is with your eyes. There's a lot of different sensory functions that work together, your sense of sight, smell, taste, touch, all create a sensory experience that impacts how you think about food.

For example, a lot of people eat when they feel different emotions. If your sad you may eat a more heavy meal but if your happy you may eat a light meal. It is said cheese gives you nightmare and chocolate makes you feel love.

The way you feel or think about food impacts the way you eat, and what foods you will eat.

Eating food a certain way can change your perspective on your body image. You shouldn't be eating in small quantity's or excessive quantity's. If you learn to make better choices and eat better, you will most likely learn how to control the way you eat and have a better lifestyle.

Personal Food Prefrences

Personal food preference's include the taste, smell, color, associations with food, and favorite foods.

For example, if some food may have a strange smell, then there is a chance that I won't eat it. For color, sometimes if the food is not the regular color that I usually eat it, then I probably wont eat it based on my memories with the food involved in it.

When talking about associations with the food, it has to deal with how well the time you ate the food went. If you had a negative experience with it, there is a high chance you wont eat it, but you can always try the food again and you may like it. For example, one time I tried fried rice and I loved it, but next time I tried it again it wasn't so good so it wasn't awhile until I ate fried rice again.

Some of my favorite foods include, chicken, burgers, and tacos.

Food Availability

Not too long ago, foods were only available in certain seasons and refrigeration was not available so foods would spoil and rot very quickly. In todays global markets, it has made a lot of different fruits, vegetables and various foods available to a larger group of people.

The food supply is a very delicate balance, even in todays world/environment the recent bird flu killed a massive amount of chickens and caused a mass shortage of eggs and many restaurants had to change their menus and adjust to the shortage and create alternatives. The super market's posed a limitation on how many eggs you could buy because of the flu. For example, awhile ago I went to Panda Express and I noticed a sign talking about the shortages of eggs. I then learned there was a bird flu killing chickens so Panda Express had to make a new recipe.

Social Settings

For many people preparing and eating food is a social activity. Some people might feel the pressure to eat food that their other peers are eating. Peers may also encourage you to try new food techniques.

Most major events in a persons life, celebrating their birthday, anniversary, even a death, a lot of people share food. It's a very universal concept shared by all cultures in the world to share a meal together, it's a very social experience. Cultures have very specific customs around food. For instance, my family in Mexico leave work to have lunch at home for 2 hours in the middle of the day.

Society and Culture

Each culture that is part of the U.S society contributes unique customs and beliefs to the nation. Food choices are often a reflection of family values and customs. Many food habits are formed around family customs. Busy lifestyles limit the amount of time family members have to share meals.

In Mexico, at holiday times (around Christmas) they have big parties called posadas where they make certain dishes or drinks. For example, tamales, hot chocolate, they also have piñatas full of candy; they also have little sandwiches. Be careful for the falling oranges! :)

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