Food Bubble: Does our sense of taste change over time?

Whether its Brussels sprouts or black coffee, odds are you simply haven’t given it enough of a chance.

“Most adults who drink their coffee still find it bitter,” says science writer Bob Holmes, in this episode of Food Bubble with Andrew Campbell, adding it’s a “horrible, horrible drink” but over time, we learn to enjoy it more for its positive association than for its flavour.

In this episode of Food Bubble, host Andrew Campbell speaks with Edmonton-based science writer Bob Holmes, and Elie Chamoun, science analyst at Canadian Food Inspection Agency, about our sense of taste, what influences it, and how to become a flavour connoisseur.

Holmes says we learn taste even before birth, and that babies will eat nearly anything until they’re more mobile.

And that makes sense from an evolutionary perspective.

“Bitter often is a signal of toxins in food – lots of poisons are bitter,” he explains.

So what can we do to encourage our picky eaters to…well, eat?

Just keep feeding the offensive food, and be a good role model (at least pretend to like it). Who knows, perhaps in 12 to 15 exposures, the whole family will enjoy Brussels sprouts.

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