1. 8 Products Every Natural Skincare Lover Needs
  2. Sticky Orange Tempeh with Maple Thyme Roasted Vegetables
  3. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 02-22-2020
  4. What’s NEW in the JSHealth App 2.0
  5. Chocolate & Peanut Butter Fondant
  6. The Best Non-Toxic Nail Polish and Nail Polish Removers on Amazon
  7. Introducing Alchemy Meal Prep!
  8. Safe Anti-Aging Skincare for Breastfeeding Moms
  9. Our Pick of the Best Natural Shampoo Bars That Are Hot Right Now
  10. Our Favorite Sulfate-Free Shampoos of 2020
  11. Natural and Eco-Friendly Scrubs for a Glowing Face and Body
  12. Top 7 Washable and Eco-Friendly Makeup Removers
  13. 7 Products Every Natural Skincare Lover Needs
  14. A List of Our Favorite Silicone-Free Hair Products
  15. 13 Stretch Mark Creams That Are Safe for Pregnancy
  16. Our Favorite Non-Toxic, Chemical-Free Sunscreens
  17. Book review: The Easy 5-Ingredient Pescatarian Cookbook
  18. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 02-15-2020
  19. Vegan Chickpea Walnut Tacos
  20. Permission to Love Yourself, Too
  21. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 02-08-2020
  22. Lovely Meals Lately
  23. Tart Cherry Orange Pistachio Bread (Gluten-Free!)
  24. Top 6 Sodium Culprits
  25. Fasting and You
  26. Drool-Worthy Healthy Lunch Recipes You Need in Your Life
  27. Cherry Orange Pistachio Bread (Gluten-Free!)
  28. The Truth About Plastics
  29. Heartfelt Foods
  30. BPA Explained
  31. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 02-01-2020
  32. Savvy Spending with Nicole Lapin
  33. 5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Chia Balls
  34. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 01-25-2020
  35. Can neurogastronomy save the world?
  36. Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole
  37. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: 01-18-2020
  38. Pantry 2020 Basics
  39. Top 10 Tips for Cooking Dried Legumes
  40. What I Ate Wednesday + Day In the Life
  41. Brussels Sprout Kale Caesar Salad with Rosemary Croutons
  42. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 01-11-2020
  43. Eat for your Dosha
  44. Keep it Moving
  45. No-Bake Chocolate Almond Butter Oatmeal Bars
  46. Apple Cider Vinegar for Digestion
  47. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 01-04-2020
  48. Mediterranean Vegetable Pasta with Chickpeas
  49. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 12-28-2019
  50. Get Well, Not High
  51. 21 Fabulously Festive Vegan Holiday Treats
  52. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 12-21-2019
  53. Vegan Lasagna Soup
  54. Sweet Potato Rounds with Goat Cheese, Roasted Grapes, and Pecans
  55. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 12-14-2019
  56. Vegan Peanut Butter Cup Cookies (Gluten-Free!)
  57. Kid-approved vegan eats
  58. Fudgy Avocado Walnut Brownies
  59. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 12-07-2019
  60. Amazing Vegan Ginger Molasses Cookies
  61. 2019 Holiday Gift Guide For Her
  62. Herbal Inclusions for Dishes and Drinks
  63. 4 Diabetes Game Changers
  64. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-30-2019
  65. Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes with Garlic and Cream Cheese
  66. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-23-2019
  67. Wedding Planning: The Ring, Our Vendors, and More!
  68. Instant Pot Vegan Cream of Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup
  69. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-16-2019
  70. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 10-26-2019
  71. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-02-2019
  72. Roasted Potato, Mushroom, and Lentil Kale Salad
  73. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-09-2019
  74. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  75. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  76. What I Wednesday: FNCE in Philly!
  77. Potato, Mushroom, and Lentil Kale Salad
  78. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  79. Unearthing Evidence-Based Integrative Remedies to Stress
  80. Scribble Anxiety Away
  81. Best Hostess Gift Ever
  82. What I Ate Wednesday: Fiancé Edition!
  83. Pumpkin Walnut Burgers with Chipotle Yogurt Sauce
  84. Favorite Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes
  85. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  86. Vegan Chili Cornbread Casserole
  87. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  88. Orca Conservation
  89. Fall’s Functional Foods
  90. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  91. Healthy Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip
  92. Simple Swaps for Your Zero Waste Journey
  93. Lessons on Food and Farming in Monterey, California
  94. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  95. Quick and Easy-One Pan Veggie Red Curry
  96. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 09-21-2019
  97. Here’s How to Live a more Colourful Life
  98. Cooking with CBD
  99. Eco-friendly Food Storage
  100. Bento Box Recipes
  101. How to Make Sushi Sandwich
  102. Healthy Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Dip
  103. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 09-14-2019
  104. 5 lunchbox ideas
  105. 17 Free and Easy Ways to Be a Self-Care Expert
  106. Fluffy Vegan Pumpkin Muffins
  107. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 09-07-2019
  108. 33 Mouthwatering Healthy Vegetarian Recipes for Dinner Tonight
  109. What I Ate Wednesday
  110. The Best Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing
  111. VOTE TODAY!
  112. Veggie Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce
  113. Twilight Time: Reading With Kids
  114. Keep your cool
  115. Tart Cherry Crumble Pie
  116. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  117. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  118. Your brain on… air pollution?
  119. Brain Boosters
  120. MCT oil Coconut’s healthful gift
  121. Hot right now
  122. Cupcakes for breakfast?
  123. Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
  124. What is CBD? A Guide to Health Benefits, Usage, and More!
  125. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  126. Hummus Toast – 4 Ways!
  127. What I Ate Wednesday
  128. Fluffy Vegan Blueberry Banana Muffins
  129. Advances in Colorectal Cancer Research
  130. Advances in Breast Cancer Research
  131. Cleft Palate With Cleft Lip
  132. What is CPR?
  133. What Is Dementia? Symptoms, Types, and Diagnosis
  134. Cushing Syndrome (For Parents)
  135. Do Memory Problems Always Mean Alzheimers Disease?
  136. Manganese
  137. Study Shows that Disrupted Gut Bacteria May Contribute to the Spread of Breast Cancer
  138. She Faced Breast Cancer At 16 With Little Help From Doctors. Now She’s Speaking Out On Behalf Of Black Women
  139. What Do We Know About Healthy Aging?
  140. Participating in the Arts Creates Paths to Healthy Aging
  141. Setting Goals to be More Active Slows Memory Decline in Older African Americans
  142. Study Shows Music Eases Pain and Other Symptoms for Patients Undergoing Breast Cancer Treatment
  143. 49-Year-Old Breast Cancer Patient Grateful She Didn’t Wait Until 50 for a Mammogram
  144. Teen’s Innovative “SMART Armour” Protects Breast Cancer Patients from Radiation
  145. New Drug Improves 3-Year Survival by 50% for Young Women with Stage IV Breast Cancer
  146. Young Mother’s Life Tragically Taken by Breast Cancer After She Refused Traditional Treatments
  147. NIH Study Tracks Exercise with Mobile Apps to Improve Heart Health
  148. Lion With Skin Cancer Has Received Radiation Therapy In Hospital
  149. 3rd Grader Writes Note for Teacher Battling Breast Cancer to Read Right Before Treatment
  150. Skin Care
  151. Have Back Pain? These Are the Basic Spinal Structures You Need to Know
  152. The Final Word on Whether Alcohol Actually Has Any Health Benefits
  153. New One-Time “Seed” Treatment for Breast Cancer Being Used in Philadelphia
  154. Julia Louis-Dreyfus Talks About The Side Effects of Chemotherapy
  155. Teacher on Leave for Breast Cancer Treatment Forced to Pay for Her Own Substitute
  156. 27-Year-Old Thought She Was Injured Falling Off A Horse, But Then She Learned She Had Breast Cancer
  157. Should Surgery And Radiation Be The Standard Treatment For DCIS? The COMET Study Is Finding Out
  158. Judge Rules That 3-Year-Old Child With Leukemia Must Get Chemo Against Parents’ Wishes
  159. This Charcoal Powder Drastically Whitens Teeth Without Any Chemicals
  160. These Black Cherry-Flavored Shots Help Accelerate Weight Loss
  161. Olivia Newton-John Talks About How She Stays Positive Amid Cancer Battle
  162. This Army Captain Mom Was Diagnosed with Breast Cancer When She Was Just 8 Weeks Pregnant
  163. High-Deductible Health Plans Linked to Delayed Diagnosis and Treatment of Breast Cancer
  164. Antibiotic shortages are putting Aboriginal kids at risk – The Conversation AU
  165. Cuddle beds bringing some physical comfort to end-of-life patients – ABC News
  166. People who skip breakfast are five times more likely to die after a heart attack – Daily Mail
  167. Yale researchers revive cells in dead pig brains – Yale Daily News
  168. Scientists revive cellular activity in brain of dead pigs: report – Fox News
  169. High-Deductible Health Policies Linked To Delayed Diagnosis And Treatment – NPR
  170. After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Technology Professor Teaches Computers to Read Mammograms
  171. Fact or Fiction: What to Know About Smoking Cessation and Medications
  172. If Soap and Water Are Not Available, Hand Sanitizers May Be a Good Alternative
  173. Autism: Beware of Potentially Dangerous Therapies and Products
  174. One side of your brain might be giving you nightmares – Cosmos
  175. What Personality Tests Tell Us About Ourselves – NPR
  176. Having a resting heart rate of 75 beats per minute DOUBLES your risk of an early death – Daily Mail
  177. Wear protective goggles to play badminton
  178. Herbal drug kratom linked to almost 100 overdose deaths, CDC says – USA TODAY
  179. Ability to lift weights quickly can mean a longer life – EurekAlert
  180. Climate change is making allergy season worse – CNN
  181. 11 Unexpected Ways You Can Relieve Headaches – HuffPost
  182. New Jersey preschoolers have highest autism rates in the nation, researchers say
  183. Auburn gymnast who suffered severe injuries: My pain is not your entertainment
  184. A four-day work week could improve our health and cut carbon emissions
  185. Promising treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome fails large trial
Thursday, February 27, 2020
  1. 8 Products Every Natural Skincare Lover Needs
  2. Sticky Orange Tempeh with Maple Thyme Roasted Vegetables
  3. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 02-22-2020
  4. What’s NEW in the JSHealth App 2.0
  5. Chocolate & Peanut Butter Fondant
  6. The Best Non-Toxic Nail Polish and Nail Polish Removers on Amazon
  7. Introducing Alchemy Meal Prep!
  8. Safe Anti-Aging Skincare for Breastfeeding Moms
  9. Our Pick of the Best Natural Shampoo Bars That Are Hot Right Now
  10. Our Favorite Sulfate-Free Shampoos of 2020
  11. Natural and Eco-Friendly Scrubs for a Glowing Face and Body
  12. Top 7 Washable and Eco-Friendly Makeup Removers
  13. 7 Products Every Natural Skincare Lover Needs
  14. A List of Our Favorite Silicone-Free Hair Products
  15. 13 Stretch Mark Creams That Are Safe for Pregnancy
  16. Our Favorite Non-Toxic, Chemical-Free Sunscreens
  17. Book review: The Easy 5-Ingredient Pescatarian Cookbook
  18. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 02-15-2020
  19. Vegan Chickpea Walnut Tacos
  20. Permission to Love Yourself, Too
  21. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 02-08-2020
  22. Lovely Meals Lately
  23. Tart Cherry Orange Pistachio Bread (Gluten-Free!)
  24. Top 6 Sodium Culprits
  25. Fasting and You
  26. Drool-Worthy Healthy Lunch Recipes You Need in Your Life
  27. Cherry Orange Pistachio Bread (Gluten-Free!)
  28. The Truth About Plastics
  29. Heartfelt Foods
  30. BPA Explained
  31. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 02-01-2020
  32. Savvy Spending with Nicole Lapin
  33. 5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Chia Balls
  34. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 01-25-2020
  35. Can neurogastronomy save the world?
  36. Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole
  37. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: 01-18-2020
  38. Pantry 2020 Basics
  39. Top 10 Tips for Cooking Dried Legumes
  40. What I Ate Wednesday + Day In the Life
  41. Brussels Sprout Kale Caesar Salad with Rosemary Croutons
  42. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 01-11-2020
  43. Eat for your Dosha
  44. Keep it Moving
  45. No-Bake Chocolate Almond Butter Oatmeal Bars
  46. Apple Cider Vinegar for Digestion
  47. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 01-04-2020
  48. Mediterranean Vegetable Pasta with Chickpeas
  49. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 12-28-2019
  50. Get Well, Not High
  51. 21 Fabulously Festive Vegan Holiday Treats
  52. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 12-21-2019
  53. Vegan Lasagna Soup
  54. Sweet Potato Rounds with Goat Cheese, Roasted Grapes, and Pecans
  55. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 12-14-2019
  56. Vegan Peanut Butter Cup Cookies (Gluten-Free!)
  57. Kid-approved vegan eats
  58. Fudgy Avocado Walnut Brownies
  59. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 12-07-2019
  60. Amazing Vegan Ginger Molasses Cookies
  61. 2019 Holiday Gift Guide For Her
  62. Herbal Inclusions for Dishes and Drinks
  63. 4 Diabetes Game Changers
  64. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-30-2019
  65. Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes with Garlic and Cream Cheese
  66. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-23-2019
  67. Wedding Planning: The Ring, Our Vendors, and More!
  68. Instant Pot Vegan Cream of Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup
  69. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-16-2019
  70. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 10-26-2019
  71. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-02-2019
  72. Roasted Potato, Mushroom, and Lentil Kale Salad
  73. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-09-2019
  74. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  75. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  76. What I Wednesday: FNCE in Philly!
  77. Potato, Mushroom, and Lentil Kale Salad
  78. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  79. Unearthing Evidence-Based Integrative Remedies to Stress
  80. Scribble Anxiety Away
  81. Best Hostess Gift Ever
  82. What I Ate Wednesday: Fiancé Edition!
  83. Pumpkin Walnut Burgers with Chipotle Yogurt Sauce
  84. Favorite Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes
  85. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  86. Vegan Chili Cornbread Casserole
  87. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  88. Orca Conservation
  89. Fall’s Functional Foods
  90. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  91. Healthy Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip
  92. Simple Swaps for Your Zero Waste Journey
  93. Lessons on Food and Farming in Monterey, California
  94. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  95. Quick and Easy-One Pan Veggie Red Curry
  96. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 09-21-2019
  97. Here’s How to Live a more Colourful Life
  98. Cooking with CBD
  99. Eco-friendly Food Storage
  100. Bento Box Recipes
  101. How to Make Sushi Sandwich
  102. Healthy Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Dip
  103. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 09-14-2019
  104. 5 lunchbox ideas
  105. 17 Free and Easy Ways to Be a Self-Care Expert
  106. Fluffy Vegan Pumpkin Muffins
  107. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 09-07-2019
  108. 33 Mouthwatering Healthy Vegetarian Recipes for Dinner Tonight
  109. What I Ate Wednesday
  110. The Best Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing
  111. VOTE TODAY!
  112. Veggie Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce
  113. Twilight Time: Reading With Kids
  114. Keep your cool
  115. Tart Cherry Crumble Pie
  116. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  117. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  118. Your brain on… air pollution?
  119. Brain Boosters
  120. MCT oil Coconut’s healthful gift
  121. Hot right now
  122. Cupcakes for breakfast?
  123. Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
  124. What is CBD? A Guide to Health Benefits, Usage, and More!
  125. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  126. Hummus Toast – 4 Ways!
  127. What I Ate Wednesday
  128. Fluffy Vegan Blueberry Banana Muffins
  129. Advances in Colorectal Cancer Research
  130. Advances in Breast Cancer Research
  131. Cleft Palate With Cleft Lip
  132. What is CPR?
  133. What Is Dementia? Symptoms, Types, and Diagnosis
  134. Cushing Syndrome (For Parents)
  135. Do Memory Problems Always Mean Alzheimers Disease?
  136. Manganese
  137. Study Shows that Disrupted Gut Bacteria May Contribute to the Spread of Breast Cancer
  138. She Faced Breast Cancer At 16 With Little Help From Doctors. Now She’s Speaking Out On Behalf Of Black Women
  139. What Do We Know About Healthy Aging?
  140. Participating in the Arts Creates Paths to Healthy Aging
  141. Setting Goals to be More Active Slows Memory Decline in Older African Americans
  142. Study Shows Music Eases Pain and Other Symptoms for Patients Undergoing Breast Cancer Treatment
  143. 49-Year-Old Breast Cancer Patient Grateful She Didn’t Wait Until 50 for a Mammogram
  144. Teen’s Innovative “SMART Armour” Protects Breast Cancer Patients from Radiation
  145. New Drug Improves 3-Year Survival by 50% for Young Women with Stage IV Breast Cancer
  146. Young Mother’s Life Tragically Taken by Breast Cancer After She Refused Traditional Treatments
  147. NIH Study Tracks Exercise with Mobile Apps to Improve Heart Health
  148. Lion With Skin Cancer Has Received Radiation Therapy In Hospital
  149. 3rd Grader Writes Note for Teacher Battling Breast Cancer to Read Right Before Treatment
  150. Skin Care
  151. Have Back Pain? These Are the Basic Spinal Structures You Need to Know
  152. The Final Word on Whether Alcohol Actually Has Any Health Benefits
  153. New One-Time “Seed” Treatment for Breast Cancer Being Used in Philadelphia
  154. Julia Louis-Dreyfus Talks About The Side Effects of Chemotherapy
  155. Teacher on Leave for Breast Cancer Treatment Forced to Pay for Her Own Substitute
  156. 27-Year-Old Thought She Was Injured Falling Off A Horse, But Then She Learned She Had Breast Cancer
  157. Should Surgery And Radiation Be The Standard Treatment For DCIS? The COMET Study Is Finding Out
  158. Judge Rules That 3-Year-Old Child With Leukemia Must Get Chemo Against Parents’ Wishes
  159. This Charcoal Powder Drastically Whitens Teeth Without Any Chemicals
  160. These Black Cherry-Flavored Shots Help Accelerate Weight Loss
  161. Olivia Newton-John Talks About How She Stays Positive Amid Cancer Battle
  162. This Army Captain Mom Was Diagnosed with Breast Cancer When She Was Just 8 Weeks Pregnant
  163. High-Deductible Health Plans Linked to Delayed Diagnosis and Treatment of Breast Cancer
  164. Antibiotic shortages are putting Aboriginal kids at risk – The Conversation AU
  165. Cuddle beds bringing some physical comfort to end-of-life patients – ABC News
  166. People who skip breakfast are five times more likely to die after a heart attack – Daily Mail
  167. Yale researchers revive cells in dead pig brains – Yale Daily News
  168. Scientists revive cellular activity in brain of dead pigs: report – Fox News
  169. High-Deductible Health Policies Linked To Delayed Diagnosis And Treatment – NPR
  170. After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Technology Professor Teaches Computers to Read Mammograms
  171. Fact or Fiction: What to Know About Smoking Cessation and Medications
  172. If Soap and Water Are Not Available, Hand Sanitizers May Be a Good Alternative
  173. Autism: Beware of Potentially Dangerous Therapies and Products
  174. One side of your brain might be giving you nightmares – Cosmos
  175. What Personality Tests Tell Us About Ourselves – NPR
  176. Having a resting heart rate of 75 beats per minute DOUBLES your risk of an early death – Daily Mail
  177. Wear protective goggles to play badminton
  178. Herbal drug kratom linked to almost 100 overdose deaths, CDC says – USA TODAY
  179. Ability to lift weights quickly can mean a longer life – EurekAlert
  180. Climate change is making allergy season worse – CNN
  181. 11 Unexpected Ways You Can Relieve Headaches – HuffPost
  182. New Jersey preschoolers have highest autism rates in the nation, researchers say
  183. Auburn gymnast who suffered severe injuries: My pain is not your entertainment
  184. A four-day work week could improve our health and cut carbon emissions
  185. Promising treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome fails large trial

As someone who travels for a living—writing about the best places to eat, hike, and sleep—I spend a lot of time on airplanes. Sometimes I’ve wondered as I look out at the clouds floating by the window or wait for my laptop to boot up: Why do the same snacks that satisfy me at my desk on the ground never seem to do the trick when I’m in the air?

Rachel Herz, PhD, has an answer: neurogastronomy. Herz is a neuroscientist who teaches at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and she’s the author of Why You Eat What You Eat: The Science Behind Our Relationship with Food (WW Norton, 2017).

The ambient noise in the average airplane cabin, she says, is 85 decibels. (For comparison’s sake, the average conversation is around 60 decibels.) Several studies have shown that perceptions of sweet and salty are skewed by noise. So my organic energy bar is plenty salty on terra firma … but in flight, with the engines whirring in my ear, it seems insufficient.

If you’re surprised that sounds can affect how salty something seems, get this: All your senses affect how your brain builds your perception of flavours and food. Sure, foods have taste molecules, and your tongue has receptors for these molecules. But scientists are learning that’s only part of the picture. Flavour isn’t inherent to food; it’s all in your head.

Neurogastronomy: It’s kind of a big deal

Neurogastronomy is “the relatively new science of how our brains ‘taste’ food, and that happens through our senses of sight, smell, touch, taste, and even sound as we’re eating the food or making connection with it and our utensils or hands,” says Orsha Magyar, a neuro-scientist and nutritional consultant.

Neurogastronomy isn’t just a fascinating area of study for scientists or a playground for Michelin-starred restaurants; it has the potential to change how we all eat. For starters, neurogastronomy can be harnessed to help food taste better and improve portion control, Magyar says.

Imagine a world where people crave foods packed with nutrients instead of empty calories. Envision chemotherapy patients, even with their diminished sense of taste, still enjoying hearty meals. Think of a future where our collective favourite foods are also the most sustainable ones.

That’s the world neurogastronomy could shape.

A brief history of a brand-new science

The term “neurogastronomy” was coined by Gordon M. Shepherd, MD, a professor of neuroscience at Yale Medical School. He first wrote about the concept in the journal Nature in 2006, and he followed up with a groundbreaking book, Neurogastronomy: How the Brain Creates Flavour and Why It Matters (Columbia University Press, reprint 2013), six years later.

Ask any chef, scientist, or food technologist how they first got interested in studying why people eat what they eat and crave what they crave, and they’ll likely mention Shepherd’s book. For Chef Frédéric Morin, co-owner of Montreal’s acclaimed Joe Beef restaurant, the concepts were both revelatory and obvious.

He had always felt that the playlist, wine, and entire dining experience were as important as specific menu items. “The idea that the whole thing was related to neurology made sense to me,” he says.

Morin was one of a number of thinkers who came together in 2014 to start The International Society of Neurogastronomy (ISN). Based at the University of Kentucky, ISN works to advance our understanding of brain-behaviour relationships tied to what we eat. The society hosts an annual symposium to discuss these issues, and its members range from chefs, to agricultural experts, to neurologists, and more.

Building a better plate

One of the things neurogastronomy’s pioneers are most excited about is how its principles can be used to design experiences that encourage diners to eat more fruits and veggies and fewer high-sugar and high-sodium foods.

Visual presentation—or plating, in chef-speak—may have a big role here. One study found that diners enjoyed salad more when the vegetables were arranged to mimic the composition of a famous abstract painter’s work. When the salad was simply tossed, they didn’t find it as tasty.

The power of visuals could be widely put to work by just changing the shapes of foods. In 2012—the same year Shepherd’s Neurogastronomy came out—candy company Cadbury changed one of its chocolate bars to have round segments instead of rectangular ones. Customers complained the bar was now too sweet … even though the recipe hadn’t changed. Their brains were—however inadvertently—bamboozled into disliking a quantity of sugar they’d previously enjoyed.

Of course, like all brain science, neurogastronomy is complicated. We can’t just wake up one day and trick our brains into thinking we like lima beans over chocolate. “That’s like trying to tickle yourself,” says Herz. “You need to take into account all the sensory and environmental factors.”

You also need to go slowly.

“Studies have revealed that we can learn to enjoy foods with a lower salt content (even up to 40 percent less) if we are exposed to a gradual reduction, and the same effect can be observed with fat content,” says Jennifer Peace Rhind, co-author of Cooking for the Senses: Vegan Neurogastronomy (Singing Dragon, 2018).

The same is not true of sugar content, but, she adds, “Our liking for sugary foods can decrease with age. This suggests that our preferences can be changed or modified if the change is gradual. The use of herbs and spices can make low-salt foods more acceptable—but again, if their incorporation is gradual.”

Food as medicine

Steering diners toward healthier everyday choices is a noble enough goal—but neurogastronomy’s champions aim to go further.

“Neurogastronomy has been very important in getting us to understand how food can be medicine for people who are suffering different conditions or obesity issues,” says David Shields, the Carolina Distinguished Professor at the University of South Carolina.

Dan Han is a cofounder of ISN, neuropsychologist, and self-described foodie. Through his work at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Han sees promise for those with brain injury, epilepsy, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s; people who’ve had strokes; and cancer patients. After all, “Chemotherapy can completely wreck taste and smell perception,” he says.

Han is also working to get chefs involved in taking scientists’ research and putting the concepts on a plate.

That’s where Kentucky celebrity Chef Ouita Michel comes in. Michel works with ISN in a role she describes as “the questioner.” Her job is to “provide some kind of bridge from practice to research.”

Michel became interested in neurogastronomy after cooking for her mother, who had lung cancer. Michel’s mother had never smoked and was a “super health nut” who loved kale and broccoli. When her sense of flavours changed and her appetite waned, meal replacement drinks were unappealing—after all, she’d never eaten a lot of processed foods. Thanks to that personal experience, when Michel was introduced to Han, she realized she could make a difference.

On a volunteer basis, she cooks for Hope Lodge, an American Cancer Society facility in Lexington, Kentucky, focusing on dishes with fewer acids and sodium. This can make the meals more palatable to chemo patients, to whom food often tastes metallic. Emphasis is on creamy, not dry, foods with smooth texture and high nutrient values. Butter, coconut milk, and chia seeds are some of the ingredients she relies on to achieve those textures.

The greenest science?

According to Han, neurogastronomy may help address global health crises like food shortages by the year 2050. While most discussions of food shortages are focused on population growth, Han says, “No one looks at the root causes of those shortages, which is the way in which humans have a preferred flavour profile. If people demand sugar, then we grow sugar.”

If neurogastronomy can be tapped to “create desire for ingredients with the smallest carbon footprint,” then it can have a huge impact on global hunger and climate change.

Bring a little neurogastronomy into your life

Neurogastronomy sounds fascinating—world-changing, even—but how can you put it to work in your own kitchen?

Many experts liken neurogastronomy in action to mindfulness or eating mindfully—terms that they concede are overused to the point of near meaninglessness. (Case in point: There are more than 16 million posts using the hashtag #mindfulness on Instagram.)

But hashtags and catchphrases aside, the idea is that the more we pay attention to what and how we’re eating, the more likely we are to appreciate those foods and make better choices. That moment of attention, Morin says—dimming lights, adjusting music, saying grace—helps us digest our food better.

Magyar, the founder and CEO of NeuroTrition Inc. (which combines neuroscience and nutrition to create brain-friendly menus), notes, “New science is even saying that mindfulness itself rewires the brain to promote brain and mental health and even has positive effects on our microbiome.”

Atlanta’s Taria Camerino is a chef, breast cancer survivor, and consultant who helps her clients transform their eating habits. “As a society, we have become addicted to processed foods,” she says. When she starts working with new clients, she tells them they can eat as much as they like of whatever they want … as long as they follow some basic rules.

One client kept a drawer of chocolate for midday crashes, but they were low-quality sweets. Camerino urged her to stock dark chocolates that were farmed without slave labour; products with fewer preservatives. But she told the woman she could eat as much of the good stuff as she wanted.

Within three days, the client discovered one bite was enough. “She realized she didn’t want chocolate as much as she wanted the break from the workday,” explains Camerino. Paying attention to the sounds around her, the environment where she was taking her break, and the ingredients in her snack led the client to make healthier choices.

Home cooks can incorporate principles of neurogastronomy by being mindful throughout every step of the cooking process. Gregor Law, co-author of Cooking for the Senses, says that “when we are preparing ingredients and cooking, seasoning and using herbs and spices, we are actively tasting and observing as we progress. It requires our full attention and respect. Awareness is heightened. It is about balance and congruence—and also about carefully chosen contrasts, which can enhance our perception of different elements of a dish.”

In short, he says, “It needs to be an immersive and active process. It is not something that you can learn simply by reading.”

Neurogastronomy hacks to help you eat healthier

See red.

The colour red is an inhibitor, says author Rachel Herz, PhD. (They don’t make fire engines and stop signs red for nothing.) Pour your late-night snack in a red bowl. Each time you reach in for another handful of chips, your brain will automatically stop at the sight of the colour red. That split second may help you opt for portion control before emptying the bowl.

Don’t make it all about that bass.

High-frequency sounds can make foods taste sweeter, while low-frequency sounds make them taste more bitter. When choosing your dinner playlist, avoid deep, bass-filled songs. You may just get away with using less sweetener in your dessert.

Bake it round.

Bake your low-sugar cakes and pies in a round shape or serve them on a round platter. Circular desserts (think pie versus a sheet cake) are likely to be perceived as sweeter than rectangular ones.

Eat soup with a textured spoon.

Rough spoons make foods taste saltier without any added sodium.

Trick your brain

These four easy tricks can help you witness the power your mind has over your palate.

  1. Plug your nose when eating your favourite foods. Smell accounts for 85 percent of our perception of flavour. Observe what happens when it’s gone.
  2. Experiment with cutlery of different weights. Eat the same foods with a heavy knife and fork and a lightweight set. How did your experience differ?
  3. Listen to recordings of the ocean while eating something briny. What does your brain tell you about what you’re eating?
  4. Eat with wooden or bamboo silverware and examine the effect. (Hint: For chemo patients, switching up silverware can address some of the metallic aftertaste issues.)

Neurogastronomy in action: Drool-worthy recipes from pioneers of the science of flavour

Dandelion Latte


Carrot and Lime Leaf Kebabs with Lemongrass and Caraway Seeds


Beetroot and Coconut Dip Spiced with Toasted Caraway Seeds and Chili

Carrot and Lime Leaf Kebabs and Beetroot and Coconut Dip recipes were extracted from Cooking for the Senses: Vegan Neurogastronomy by Jennifer Peace Rhind and Gregor Law, published by Singing Dragon. Order your copy at singingdragon.com.

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