I was keen to read How We Eat with Our Eyes and Think with Our Stomachs - The Hidden Influences That Shape Your Eating Habits by Melanie Mühl and Diana Von Kopp in order to conquer some of my bad habits and recognise what's really going on in my body.
Much of the information wasn't new to me, and the chapters just touched on interesting topics without delving deeper. The chapters skimmed over topics providing the reader with a tempting and tantalising teaser without investigating further.
Printed in large font and generously spaced, this was a quick and easy read, and regularly quoted other references and books. The comprehensive chapter by chapter bibliography at the end was welcome.
I was hoping for the next level understanding and unfortunately I didn't manage to get it here. Perhaps this is just a book to whet the reader's appetite (see what I did there) but for real insight into what we buy and what/how/why we eat, you'll need to look elsewhere.
Here are a few of my favourite nuggets from the book:
- Haagen-Dazs ice cream is not made in Denmark. It's made in America and has been given a Scandinavian name to make it sound like a premium product. (Page 11)
- The Swedish delicacy surstromming is "fermented herring with an odour so awful and overwhelming that it can make you faint when you open the tin." This reminded me of a video I once saw of a family trying to eat it and I was subsequently lost in a YouTube vortex watching others trying to eat it and failing. (Page 100)
- If your waiter at a restaurant is overweight, diners are more likely to order more food. (Page 139)
- Apparently the sucking action from drinking a milkshake through a straw has a calming and soothing effect. "It changes the consistency of the milkshake in the mouth, where a small amount of liquid meets with a larger amount of air. The result is a pleasantly creamy sensation." So that's why I love milkshakes! "The act of sucking is also associated with pleasure, reassurance, and satiation." (Page 168)
- The introduction 250 years ago of knife and fork has changed the formation of our mouths and we have since developed an overbite. The art of separating food with the use of our incisors (clamping down on the food and pulling) has been lost and consequently the top row of teeth no longer needs to meet the bottom. (Page 213)
My rating = ***