Nature and nurture

The scientists themselves seem (to me at least, for all that is worth) to have got this right. The newspapers, not so much.

Prof Taylor said: \”Taste is determined by our genetic make-up and influenced by our upbringing and experience with flavours. Just as with spoken dialects, where accent\"\" is placed on different syllables and vowel formations, people from different regions have developed enhanced sensitivities to certain taste sensations and seek foods that trigger these.\”

Sure, genetic make up will affect your sense of taste, just as it influences just about everything else about you, from height to skin colour to (some of your) intelligence.

How British people taste food and drink depends on where they are born, new research claims.

Ah, no, that\’s not quite what is being claimed. Where you are brought up perhaps, but not where you are born. No one is saying that someone born in the NE and brought up in the NW will necessarily prefer chips and bits to chips and green.

Rather that, overlying the genetic influence will be those influences of childhood. What were you fed, what did your family, your peer group, regard as normal? What are you accustomed (or acculturated) to?

In other words, the major influence isn\’t genetic, nature, rather it\’s nurture.

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