grossed out by food grossed out by food Scientists are finding a new link between feeling, taste, time and place. (Photo: Michal Kowalski / Shutterstock)

Grossed out by a certain food? Try eating it somewhere else

Researchers discover the same food could taste better at a different location.

If you hate a particular kind of food, your hatred may not have much to do with the food itself. Instead, it may have more to do with where you're eating it.

Scientists from the University of Haifa in Israel and the Riken Institute in Japan discovered a link between the part of the brain that remembers bad-tasting things and the part of the brain that processes the memory of where and when you ate those things.

Scientists previously thought that taste and environment were separate in the brain. Where you eat something wasn't supposed to affect how the thing tasted. But their new experiment changed all that.

The scientists fed rats food that made them sick (lab rats may have the worst jobs in the world). They found that the area of the rats' brains responsible for making a note of location were activated. While humans and rats aren't the same, we have a lot of similarities (for instance, we both stress out over meeting new friends), and what applies to rat brains may also apply to human brains.

"The significance of this is that the moment we go back to the same place at which we experienced the taste associated with a bad feeling, subconsciously the negative memory will be much stronger than if we come to taste the same taste in a totally different place," said Professor Kobi Rosenblum, a researcher from the University of Haifa who worked on the study. "This means that even during a simple associative taste, the brain operates the hippocampus to produce an integrated experience that includes general information about the time between events and their location."

So if you don't like a certain kind of food, try it somewhere else ... You might literally change your mind.


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