Evolutionary Perspectives on Food and Human Taste

Sunday, February 19, 2017: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Room 210 (Hynes Convention Center)
Paul Breslin, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Taste occurs when nutrients or other chemical compounds activate specialized receptors in the oral cavity. It helps us decide what to eat and influences efficient digestion. Human taste has been shaped in part by the ecology of our ancestors and by the nutrients they sought. Taste is important for 1 billion people living with low food security. But for those with easy access to energy-dense foods, our sensitivities for sugary, salty and fatty foods have contributed to diseases such as obesity and diabetes.