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.