You Eat What You Are
All my life I have heard the phase "You Are What You Eat." The intent behind the expression is that if you consume an abundance of sweets or fatty foods, you will end up being an overweight person. Or if you consume lots of fruits and vegetables, most likely you will become a healthy, slim human being. Well, it seems that most recently microbiologists and food scientists are beginning to hypothesize that the phase may need to be altered to say, "You Eat What You Are". Or more specifically, based on genetics, we seek out and consume nutrients according to our physiological (i.e. blood, hormones, cellular) needs.
Foods that human consume are quite literally the building blocks for cells in the body. We derive amino acids from protein. These amino acids that go on to become enzymes and hormones that circulates throughout our body. In addition, we obtain glucose from carbohydrates, which goes on to provide energy to the muscles that allow us to move and to the brain that allows us to think. Finally, we get lipids from fats. These lipids go on to aid in cell synthesis and help us to absorb vitamins. But recent research studies suggest that our organs and organelles literally place food and liquid requests for what is needed to function. Specifically, our bodies can detect low iron deficiencies and place a food orders for us to buy certain consumables to address the deficit.
All living creatures on the planet regardless of geographical part of the earth they happen to live on, shape their food consumption based on internal and external factors. Factors that determines choices of what and when to eat. Sometimes those choices are based on external cues (i.e. cultural). But can they also be based on an internal genetic makeup?
Just recently I was reading an article about the University of California's annual 'Science and Food' public events. It seems that the lectures are intended to introduce the general public to "food science," are presented in conjunction with an academic course titled, "Science and Food: The Physical and Molecular Origins of What We Eat." Hopefully food science education will become more involved with the genetic component of food choices -- if they are any.