“Tell me what you eat, and I shall tell you what you are,” Brillat-Savarin wrote, with the hubris of a man who trades in precepts. “There’s no question, we make attributions about people on the basis of their diet,” states Paul Rozin, Ph.
And we, consciously or otherwise, have taken him rather literally by analyzing the plates—and grocery carts—of those around us for clues. D., a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
I looked up, and through a mouthful of eggshell Sigrid volunteered, “It has lots of calcium.” There might have been a “Yes, but…” on my part, but I knew better than to question her fit of pica.
I had no doubt she’d marshaled nutritional and anthropological data in advance of this uncommon mouthful, and considering that I hadn’t yet caffeinated myself, I wasn’t quite ready to ask for a complete explanation.
Would I have been able to discern anything useful or relevant about Sigrid’s character or personality from observing such a moment?
The first time I opened her refrigerator, I was greeted by nothing but a bottle of beer, a jar of mustard, and (boy, it’s been a long time) a few rolls of film. Though not polar opposites, she and I exist on opposite sides of the eat-to-live/live-to-eat meridian.
Nowadays, food choices are writ large in the databases of online dating.