Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Revolutionary Chefs? Not Likely, Physics Research Shows

Date:
July 14, 2008
Source:
Institute of Physics
Summary:
However much the likes of Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsay might want to shake up our diets, culinary evolution dictates that our cultural cuisines remain little changed as generations move on. Three national cuisines - British, French and Brazilian -- are affected by the founder effect which keeps idiosyncratic and nutritionally ambivalent, expensive and sometimes hard to transport ingredients in our diets.

Chef-in-training. Culinary evolution dictates that our cultural cuisines remain little changed as generations move on.
Credit: iStockphoto/Kelly Cline

However much the likes of Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsay might want to shake up our diets, culinary evolution dictates that our cultural cuisines remain little changed as generations move on, shows new research.

The research, 'The non-equilibrium nature of culinary evolution', shows that three national cuisines - British, French and Brazilian -- are affected by the founder effect which keeps idiosyncratic and nutritionally ambivalent, expensive and sometimes hard to transport ingredients in our diets.

Using the medieval cookery book, Pleyn Delit, and three authoritative cook books from Britain, France and Brazil, the New Penguin Cookery Book, Larousse Gastronomique and Dona Benta respectively, the researchers from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, compiled statistics which could be compared to see how time and distance effect the three different national cuisines.

Time, the number of ingredients used, the number of recipes published in each cook book and the ratio between the number of ingredients and the number of recipes in the books were used as variables to assess how our diets have evolved.

Three editions of Dona Benta, from 1946, 1969 and 2004, were evaluated to see how the Brazilian diet has changed over the past half century, amidst the change from a regional to a more globalised food consumer profile, and found that the rank and importance of certain idiosyncratic ingredients, such as chayote, an edible plant that is a frequent ingredient in Central and South American diets, remained much the same.

Ranking the importance of certain food types by their frequency of use in each national cuisine and comparing them to ingredients which have an equivalent rank in one of the other two foreign cuisines led to patterns emerging which suggest that all our menus evolve in similar ways.

So, whether it's the Irish with potatoes, the French with frogs' legs, the Germans with sauerkraut, the Ghanaians with plantains or the Japanese with fish stock, it seems a global food culture has not shifted some die-hard culture-based eating habits.

As the authors, from the Department of Physics and Mathematics at Sao Paulo University, write, "Some low fitness ingredients present in the initial recipes have a strong difficulty of being replaced and can even propagate during culinary growth. They are like frozen "cultural" accidents."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. The non-equilibrium nature of culinary evolution. New Journal of Physics, July 10, 2008

Cite This Page:

Institute of Physics. "Revolutionary Chefs? Not Likely, Physics Research Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080710070800.htm>.
Institute of Physics. (2008, July 14). Revolutionary Chefs? Not Likely, Physics Research Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080710070800.htm
Institute of Physics. "Revolutionary Chefs? Not Likely, Physics Research Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080710070800.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

AP (Sep. 17, 2014) The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar. Stocks hit an all-time high on the news. (Sept. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins