The Psychology of Comfort Food
Away from home, we seek the foods of home.
A thought-provoking article on the what ties us to comfort foods over on Gilt Taste:
When you begin to eat, your eyes, hands and mouth start the chain of command. Then the brain kicks in.Sugar and starch spur serotonin, a neurotransmitter known to increase a sense of well-being. (It’s what makes Prozac work.) Salty foods spur oxytocin, aka the “cuddle chemical.” …Mice unable to taste the difference between regular and extra-high-calorie food in a recent study preferred the high-calorie kind, which suggests that fattening food appeals simply because it is fattening. Which makes sense, given how much fuel our prehistoric ancestors burned crisscrossing savannahs, fleeing carnivores and chasing prey. Fat is a good balm for the fear of starvation.