For anyone who enjoys eating, there’s nothing scarier than the idea of losing your sense of taste. The idea of everything from bacon to butter feeling like clumps of tasteless mush just doesn’t bear thinking about. Unfortunately, there are a few things out there that can make this nightmare become reality. Here are seven things that can ruin food forever.
1. Fast Food
Few things are better than the chemical rush of a really excessive fast food feast. Unfortunately, over-indulgence can affect more than just your waistline. The high levels of sugar and fat present within fast food can alter the way your brain processes taste, making ‘normal’ food far less enjoyable than it should be.
Though a late night booze-induced food binge is one of life’s great joys, it turns out that there’s more to alcohol than meets the eye. Though it doesn’t affect the taste buds directly, alcohol numbs texture receptors in the mouth, meaning that any food with an important textural element becomes significantly less interesting than it otherwise would be.
3. Sugary Drinks
It’s not just fatty foods that are waiting to ruin eating forever. If we indulge too often in sugary soft drinks, are taste receptors can become so used to excess sugar that any foods with normal natural levels of the substance seem significantly more dull than their artificial counterparts. This means that anything without mountains of sugar can just end up tasting bland.
4. A Punch in the Face
It turns out that cowardice isn’t the only reason to avoid fist fights. Any violent blow to the head can tear the olfactory nerves responsible for smell - which in turn can drastically affect taste. Though these nerves can repair themselves naturally, more often than not the damage is permanent.
There are few self-inflicted habits that you can indulge in that are worse for your sense of taste than smoking. Cigarettes and chewing tobacco damage the microscopic hairs that coat the inside of the nose and move mucus along the nasal tract. This can lead to taste-numbing sinus infections and to tar coating the mouth and nose. Not a recipe for flavour.
6. Cleaning Chemicals
Cleaning up is sadly an inevitable part of adult life. However, it might be a good idea to take extra care next time you open the bleach. The harsh chemicals present in many cleaning products can do serious damage to smell and taste receptors, especially if used in unventilated areas. If you can, make sure you open a window.
7. Loss of Sight
You might think that not being able to see anything wouldn’t matter in the slightest when you’re scoffing something delicious. However, scientists have recently discovered that the colour of food and our perception of it greatly affects how a food tastes. Losing either of these advantages can therefore have an enormous impact on your overall experience of eating.
Unfortunately, some causes of taste loss are completely unavoidable. However, anyone seriously worried about the possibility of ruining burgers forever can follow this advice and remain happily tasting. It’s much better than the alternative.