Blue with Peanut Butter Envy


| 4 Comments
My middle school health teacher always said, "Don't yuck someone else's yum". I can still remember her describing how she loved her peanut butter, banana, and honey sandwich. I'm sorry Mrs. Fine but yuck that sounds gross!

But honestly I have serious peanut butter envy! I've watched people love peanut butter all my life. Peanut butter and jelly, reese pieces, peanut butter and apples.. these all make peoples' tastes buds go wild. And I just sit their gagging at the smell. So why? Why did I get stuck hating peanut butter? 

I decided to look up how my taste buds work and I got this site which helped break down how taste buds work!

Grab a mirror or even just turn on the front cam of your cell phone and look at your tongue. It's weird and bumpy right? Well, all those bumps you see, papillae they're called, contain taste buds (well most of them)! 

What's a taste bud? Taste buds are itty bitty hairs that send messages to the brain. These messages tell our brain how something tastes (sour, sweet, salty). 

Do we only have a certain amount of taste buds? An average person has 10,000 taste buds that actually replace themselves every 2 weeks or so! But what is interesting and shows how taste can change with age is that as we get older taste buds stop replacing themselves so one could have only 5,000 working taste buds! So when you're parents say something is not spicy you may not want to believe them. We talked about smoking in class and well another con of smoking would be that it also reduces the amount of taste bud people have. 

Taste is not all from our mouth though, as weird as that seems. It makes sense though when you think about it, think of all the times you were sick and had a stuffy nose and couldn't taste anything. This was because our nose actually has olfactory receptors which are chemical triggers in the nose that work with your taste buds. So when your nose is stuffy it means the top of your nose cannot receive the chemicals to trigger the receptors.

Don't believe your nose has anything to do with taste? Hold your nose next time you eat and you won't be able to tell the flavor till you let it go!

All this still did not answer why I do not like Peanut Butter while others do!! On with the research:

Are you a "supertaster" or a "subtaster"? I found a second article on the topic and found out that supertasters are people who eat mild (add lots of cream to their coffee) and subtasters are those who order their wings extra spicy with hot sauce on the side. Supertasters have a lot of papillae and find flavors overwhelming where subtasters have low papillae density. But our brain recognizes 5 tastes and for individuals it is not just about the papillae but also our taste bus ability to detect different molecules. The reasoning for these difference has a lot to do with genetics since humans can carry a range of 20 to 40 bitter taste receptor genes!

I guess liking peanut butter just wasn't in my genetic make up! Perhaps it will come with age when I loose half my taste buds:)

Test if you are a supertaster!!
Blue dye does not stick to papillae so put blue food coloring on your tongue if you're tongue does not get very blue then most likely you're a supertaster if it is very blue then you're probably a subtaster!



tongue-001.jpg

4 Comments

I loved this post. I have always wondered how the taste buds work and it's so weird to think that there are little hairs telling us what we like and don't like.

I think it's also very interesting how certain foods just "taste" better together. This link displays the different foods that complement each other.

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/taste-buds/

Wikipedia says that food pairing is a relatively new phenomena and are based upon intrinsic properties in the food. The pairings aren't always typical either. The site claims that caviar and white chocolate and cauliflower and chocolate go well together. I'm not sure about you, but those are two combinations I don't think my taste buds would be happy with.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foodpairing

I loved this post. I have always wondered how the taste buds work and it's so weird to think that there are little hairs telling us what we like and don't like.

I think it's also very interesting how certain foods just "taste" better together. This link displays the different foods that complement each other.

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/taste-buds/

Wikipedia says that food pairing is a relatively new phenomena and are based upon intrinsic properties in the food. The pairings aren't always typical either. The site claims that caviar and white chocolate and cauliflower and chocolate go well together. I'm not sure about you, but those are two combinations I don't think my taste buds would be happy with.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foodpairing

I am so glad you posted about taste buds. I have always been so interested in why we like different types of foods more than others. I know both my parents and brothers can eat just about everything. Their like a garbage disposal but than me on the other hand I am the most pickiest eater in my family. I do love sweet and salty foods but I can't stand anything spicy or even sour. Though like you said in your post, maybe once I get older I might be able to eat those types of foods some day. I have always wondered if our taste buds were somehow genetic because it seems like my parents and brothers are the same but then again maybe i'm just chance. Or maybe like our finger prints, our tongues and taste buds are unique to us?

I am definitely one of those people that obsessed over peanut buter. It's crazy to me how much someone can love one type of food and another person can hate it. After reading your article on taste buds it made me want to read a little more into it. Since science is definitely not my forte I found this great website for kids that explains how taste buds work in a pretty easy and understandable way. What Are Taste Buds explains how all of your senses work together to create the taste you have when you eat something like peanut butter! For example, when your nose is stuffy you don't taste as normally as you would when you aren't sick.

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