Discuss two or more evolutionary explanations of food preferences (8+16 marks)

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ESSAY: Discuss two or more evolutionary explanations of food preferences (8+16 marks)

Evolutionary explanations suggest that we crave the food that we do because it provides some use for our survival. It suggests that the decisions we made in the environment of evolutionary adaptation (EEA – when we last majorly involved) shape the decisions we make now about food. This suggests that taste is predetermined and universal.

A preference for meat in modern diets is thought to have developed because humans in the EEA, according to fossil records, primarily consumed animal-based foods eg. Liver, kidney etc. Plants were eaten as well when they were available, but forests were in decline. Meat based diets had advantages, as it provided a lot of energy and proteins, which help the brain to grow.

There has been research to support this, Stanford’s research showed that Chimpanzees were found to go for the fattiest parts of the kill when struggling to find food. This shows that animals were designed to eat fat for survival. However it’s difficult when we extrapolate results from animals that it will apply to humans as well, therefore animal studies may not be the most useful pieces of research to base human eating behavior on. 

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Despite this research, it has been suggested that humans may have been vegetarian in the EEA, as it’s believed humans tried to be as healthy as possible by eating mainly vegetables, arguing that most of their needed calories were consumed from other sources than just animal fats. This suggests that there may not have been an overwhelming meat preference in the EEA, however this research is backed up by very little evidence, so the research is somewhat unreliable. Additionally, evidence does not support these findings as the fossil evidence and anthropological evidence from Abrams showed that all societies in the EEA ...

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