How our brains react to food and words like ‘sustainability’

By mpayn
4th February 2020
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It’s very easy for us to ignore the fact that the brain controls a high percentage of how we view food.  Our guest today is here to help us understand the neuroscience perspective on our brains and food.

Dr. Tyler Davis is an associate professor of psychological sciences at Texas Tech University, where he directs the Cap Rock Lab. The Lab is something that uses functional neuro-imaging to study how the brain understands categories, categorisation, attitudes, and preference.

Isn’t it amazing how our brains make decisions without asking for our permission? For instance, your brain can dislike a certain food without asking for your consent, based on things you have heard or seen.

Key points:

  • How our brains work when it comes to food
  • Neuroscience perspective on how brain processes information related to food
  • Brain perception to information about GMOs and hormones, sustainability and antibiotics
  • How to overcome food bullying

The conversation:

02:44: Tyler Davis’ introduction

03:28: How our brain works

04:21: What part of our brain is used in processing uncertainty?

06:05: Neuro economic approach

13:30: All about GMOs and hormones

28:33: Tips to overcome food bullying

Fabulous Quotes 

“Make sure that you’re not paying for a label unless you really want to.”

“Don’t think that something is risky just because you don’t know enough about it or because you’ve heard a lot of conflicting information.”

“Uncertainty feeds into our perceptions of risk and makes us see food products potentially as riskier than they actually are.”

“Prefrontal cortex is where we make a lot of our decisions.”

Links to Check Out:

*Michele Payn, CSP, connects the people and science of food and farming as principal of Cause Matters Corp. She is known for being a community catalyst, a passionate advocate for global agriculture —and antagonizing people into action. Michele has worked with farmers in more than 25 countries, raised over $5 million in sponsorships for the National FFA Foundation and founded AgChat and FoodChat on Twitter. She is the author of three books: Food Bullying , Food Truths from Farm to Table, and No More Food Fights! Michele’s degrees are in Agricultural Communications and Animal Science from Michigan State University. She has earned the Certified Speaking Professional designation, awarded to less than 10% of professional speakers globally. She resides with her ‘city slicker’ husband and cow-loving daughter on a small farm in central Indiana. She enjoys Registered Holsteins, the MSU Spartans, and making memories with friends. Michele connects conversations around the food plate at and socially through @mpaynspeaker.