Comfort Food & Culture Food

There goes that excuse for stress-eating a pint of ice cream.

Comfort food? Tim Sackton|Flickr.
Comfort food? Tim Sackton|Flickr.
I’ve got some reading material for you today.

We all have a go-to comfort food. When we’re upset or stressed, the craving kicks in. Chocolate, pizza, chips. Whatever it is, we’re convinced it improves our mood because we love it so much. Psychologist Traci Mann disagrees. According to her study, our moods just improve over time, whether we’ve eaten our ‘comfort food’, another food, or no food at all. This is a bummer, because now my excuse for chocolate binging has been mercilessly undermined.

It’s common knowledge that different cultural groups eat different kinds of food. Your neighbors or coworkers probably cook differently than you, but it’s not necessarily just a result of family habit. It’s actually partly due to a sociological tendency toward group identity. There are ‘indispensable foods’ that some groups stick to, for example. The article’s author Margaret Marshall quotes her source: “The food you eat, and how you eat it, can identify you as a member of a group, and further identify what smaller group you belong to within that group.”