Eat to Live or Live to Eat?

My boyfriend once asked me if I eat to live or live to eat.

Eating to live is simply eating for nourishment and energy, eating because that’s what your body needs to get through the day. Living to eat, on the other hand, involves pleasure and satisfaction in food.

For me, the answer is a no brainer. Obviously, I live to eat.

To be honest, I can’t really comprehend how people eat to live. How is it possible to find little to no satisfaction in eating? Eating is practically my lifestyle. My weekends are often spent pinning recipes on Pinterest and then experimenting in the kitchen, and it’s not unusual for me to plan my entire day around meals, especially on vacation. When I visited Montreal over winter break, my trip was planned according to which restaurants and bars I needed to try, as well as which dishes I had to taste (like real Canadian poutine).

I would rather spend $100 on a nice meal than on clothes or any other material item. To me, that money is being spent on more than just a meal. It’s being spent on an experience: a romantic fondue dinner, a burger and shakes with friends, an insane new dish at a gastropub, a weekend brunch.

Airline food is quite an interesting experience on its own. Tomorrow I begin my journey to Israel, first flying from Detroit to Newark and then Newark to Tel Aviv. The two previous times I’ve flown to Israel, I flew Delta, but tomorrow I’ll be taking El Al. My dad told me it’s a totally different experience than Delta (although the last time he flew El Al was a zillion years ago) so I’m looking forward to my first time on El Al. I expect the food to have a more distinct Middle Eastern flair than what Delta served us.

Have you ever wondered why airplane food generally sucks? Here’s a mini science lesson for you.

Airplanes today are pressurized so it’s easier for us to breathe at high altitudes, but unfortunately this also affects our taste buds. Food tastes bland on planes because the pressurization of the cabin numbs our sense of taste, especially salty and sweet sensations. The airplane cabin is also set to have a lower humidity level than a home, which dries out our noses and affects our sense of smell. For these reasons, airline food is often doused with sauce. The sauce keeps the food from drying out due to cabin settings.

Next time you’re sitting on an airplane wondering why your food is tasteless and wet, just remember it’s thanks to the cabin pressure and humidity.

And a few final words of advice before we catch up in Israel: airplane food is not Instagram worthy.

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