Want to Enjoy Your Food More? Eat with Your Hands
A recent study has found out that eating with ones’ hands is more enjoyable than eating food with cutlery
In most South Asian countries, people tend to eat more with their hands instead of using cutlery items. Food items such as roti and even rice amongst many others are often consumed by hands. Now, researchers have revealed that directly touching food before you eat it makes the experience of eating it more enjoyable. The study – which was published in the Journal of Retailing – revealed that when people touch food with their hands, it tastes more satisfying. They also tend to eat more than they would have if they were using cutlery, reported Zee News.
The study’s researcher Adriana Madzharov from the Stevens Institute of Technology in the US explained, “Our results suggest that for people who regularly control their food consumption, direct touch triggers an enhanced sensory response, making food more desirable and appealing.” For the first experiment, Adriana asked 45 undergraduate students inspect and evaluate a cube of Muenster cheese visually. She then asked them to hold it before eating and then asked them questions about their eating behavior. 50% of the participants used a pick and sampled a cheese cube while the other half sampled a cheese cube without the pick. At first, none of the two groups indicated any difference. The researchers found that participants who reported a high degree of self-control when consuming food had used their hands and found the cheese tastier and more appetizing. Even when Adriana manipulated their thinking, these findings persisted, suggesting that a high degree of self-control influenced how people experience food when they touch it directly with their hands.
In another experiment, the researchers separated a new set of 145 undergraduate students into two groups. They were given a plastic cup with four mini donuts inside it but only half of them were allowed to use their hands. Like the first experiment, the participants were asked to visually inspect their food and evaluate it. The researcher also instructed them to report their level of focus and attention when eating the donuts to get a measure of mindfulness and sensory experience. The study found out that when the participants were primed with self-control over indulgence thinking, they evaluated the food more positively as compared to when they touched it directly with their hands.