Many people have very definite reasons for eating specific foods, which becomes the foundation for their culinary choices.
While 9% of the world’s population is reeling under food scarcity, statistics indicate that the rest of us can afford to make food choices.
Indeed, cost is a big determining factor, but there’s a whole host of elements that are at play.
So whether you’re selecting food off the menu at any restaurant, or you’re serving home cooked meals to your children, here are are four key factors that can affect your food choices.
- Taste, smell, and appearance
Although the primary reason for eating is to satisfy hunger, one factor influencing a person’s food choice is taste.
However, taste works together with smell and, to some extent, the appearance of the food. In other words, all three elements come together to form what culinary experts describe as palatability.
This explains why when you see food with a pleasant aroma and beautiful presentation, your mind deduces that as delicious.
Automatically, the brain stimulates the palate, and that is when you notice increased salivation.
For most people, sweet healthy foods like a fresh fruit compote will be an obvious breakfast addition choice because of the undeniable sensory appeal.
As a result, people become more geared towards such food choices.
- Cultural, personal and religious influences
Under the wide umbrella of culture, people base their food choices on their traditions and beliefs.
Usually, this has nothing to do with whether they can afford it or not.
Remember that cultural and religious influences go beyond the actual food.
Instead, it includes the mode of preparation and how it is served.
Unfortunately, traveling to different geographical regions may hamper the strict adherence to these beliefs.
In that case, people may have to make slight adjustments to their food expectations.
If you’re lucky, you might locate a restaurant or local eatery where foods are prepared according to your culture and beliefs.
Vegans and vegetarians also fall under this umbrella.
Their strict specifications influence their food choices.
Therefore, whenever you have to travel or be away from your resident country, you may find it helpful to identify places that offer meals you are comfortable with.
For example, before arriving at your hotel, you can call to inquire about their vegan and vegetarian meal options.
That way, you can eliminate the anxiety of eating something unfamiliar.
- Cost and accessibility
The cost of food and the over-arching influence of availability can affect your food choice.
Food price can be prohibitive, especially when the individual in question is not financially-resourced.
In other words, a person’s socioeconomic status plays a role in what they decide to eat.
Therefore, if a person lacks funds, they may be compelled to take fast food options which tend to be cheaper but mostly unhealthy.
On the other hand, an individual with enough funds may afford to buy organically-grown food items.
Organic foods are usually on the high side.
However, keep in mind that the fact that a person has the funds to afford organic foods in no way means they always make good food choices.
Regarding availability or accessibility, it depends on the person’s geographical location and the convenience of transport.
In the cities and highly-developed areas, healthy foods are more expensive.
On the outskirts, though, they are cheaper and more in abundance.
This proves that accessibility is a vital food choice influence.
- Social class influence
In almost every society, the wealthy, ultra-rich, and the upper class consume foods considered rare and expensive.
In a social hierarchy, this connotes privilege, exclusivity, and access to goods that others further down the ladder may not readily have.
In another vein, lower-class groups will opt for those things they can easily get from groceries or open markets.
Some experts say what you eat 80% of the time may prove your social class.
To conclude, your food choices are crucial aspects of your life and, to some extent, determine the factors that drive you to make important health decisions.
Asian Mexican Fusion Tacos
- 6 Boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 10 oz. Rotel - Dice Tomatoes & Green Chilies Variety
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup shredded raw green cabbage
- Asian Rub
- Avocado Ranch Sauce
- Warmed Tortillas
- Prepare Avocado Ranch Sauce and chill.
- Mix Asian Rub as indicated in blog post
- Add Rotel to empty, large, oval slow-cooker
- Add diced onion to slow cooker and mix with Rotel
- Add 1/2 cup of low sodium chicken broth to slow cooker.
- Trim excess skin off chicken thighs
- One at a time, place chicken thighs, skin side down in rub and press, to adhere rub to side of chicken. Then place each thigh, in a single layer in slow cooker, on top of Rotel mixture.
- Sprinkle any leftover rub, around the chicken, in the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on high for one hour.
- After one hour, confirm rub has dissolved in liquid. If not, gently stir until all rub is submerged. Continue to cook on LOW for 5 hours.
- After 5 hours, remove thighs from crock pot. Using two forks, or Bear Claws, shred chicken. Also, drain Rotel mixture in a colander, removing the majority of liquid. After liquid has drained off, place back in slow cooker, with shredded chicken and mix. [mv_img id="6065"]
- Microwave flour tortillas in damp paper towel layers for 45 seconds.
- Assemble tortillas; Avocado ranch dressing, chicken mixture, cabbage, queso dip. Enjoy. [mv_img id="6060"]