Sunday, April 3, 2016

First Bite: How We Learn to Eat, by Bee Wilson

Staff review by Chris Saliba

 In this lively and engaging book, food historian Bee Wilson explains the psychology of eating.

In the past British food writer Bee Wilson has tackled such diverse subjects as the honeybee and the history of food frauds. In her new book, First Bite: How We Learn to Eat, she examines the psychology of eating: how our tastes are formed, how habits are reinforced and how we might change them for the better. Using the latest scientific research, along with psychological insights from a raft of experts in the field, Wilson provides often surprising, sometimes intriguing, explanations for why we eat the way we do. For example, not only does our childhood influence what we like to eat, but our siblings can have an effect. Gender plays a part too, as culturally boys are encouraged to eat meat while sweets and cakes are thought proper for girls.

Lively and engaging, First Bite does an excellent job of describing how much psychology and environment affect what we eat. Bee Wilson's keen interest in food history also provides much fascinating material, highlighting how cultural attitudes to food change over time. Amazingly, it was once thought that fruit was poisonous if fed to children! First Bite is sure to have wide appeal. Entertaining and instructive, it offers a genuine path to better eating.

First Bite: How We Learn to Eat, by Bee Wilson. Published by Fourth Estate. ISBN: 9780007549702  RRP: $24.99

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