Life’s most awesome eating experiences

May 28, 2013
Nigel Banks

We all have memories of a truly spectacular experience of eating fresh produce. As the piquant juice of the peach (or whatever) bursts between our teeth and explodes upon our taste buds, the hairs on our arms stand on end as the wave of total delight propagates through our being. What would life be like if every fruit or vegetable that passed out lips gave us a similar, enrapturing experience? Impossible? Why so?

There are two broad ways that, as both postharvesters and consumers, we can seek to secure awesome eating experiences. The postharvester within us immediately starts thinking about features of the product that could make it so special. We have the rest of time to explore these features and how we can hit the sweet spot for cultivar, growing environment, maturity and postharvest handling that delivers the best possible eating experience. Here, today, we’ll briefly step behind the mirror to reflect upon a key aspect of the second way: a feature of ourselves that leaves us more open to having such wonderful encounters with food.

In my lecturing days, I’d often get students to explore elements of postharvest behaviour that derived from intrinsic features of the product (those that are given to the product by its past) and, by contrast, those that derived from the postharvest environment. Whilst we’d usually end up concluding that these two were inextricably linked, the dichotomy was a valuable aid in dissecting our system. It helped us develop a conceptual model with which we could identify the origins of postharvest behaviour and responses to our postharvest interventions. In turn, this formed a platform for identifying potential ways to manage that behaviour for great consumer outcomes. This dichotomy is analogous to that involved in our question today: there are the intrinsic features of the product and there are those of the experiencing system – ourselves! The second path to having amazing eating encounters with fresh produce is to work on our ability to REALLY EXPERIENCE the food.

So far, this post forms an exploration wearing a creditable cloak of mystery. For complete clarity and a resolution to the mystery you need to do just two things:
– Watch this awesome video by Jason Silva
– Do your homework

Have a great day


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