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Whether or not psychology is a “true” science is still up for debate, and of course, statistics is an inexact discipline. Even George Canning, a statesman and for a brief time, the British Prime Minister, has said, «I can prove everything by statistics, except the truth.» Despite this, tests can be terribly amusing, and so we’d like to suggest one that may encourage you to reflect on your relationship with food: some people eat to live, while others live to eat.
Just given the fact that you’re here reading this should signify that your psychological profile, to a certain extent, groups you into a well-defined category: a lover of fine dining. But... are you sure?
Take a moment to concentrate, answer the following questions of our funny food test and then tally up how many A, B and C answers you’ve earned. Then read each letter’s profile at the end of this page to find out what kind of eater you are.
Just follow these simple rules:
1. No cheating! Answer sincerely.
2. If you have the same number of A, B or C answers you could belong to two categories simultaneously, nothing to worry about.
3. This test is for amusement only: we are not seeking a diagnosis.
4. Don’t take yourselves too seriously, and most importantly: have fun!
This test is from the book Cucinoterapia, by Roberta Schira, Salani Publisher
1. At the supermarket, you
A) choose the best of what’s in season in the produce section
B) shop according to a precise grocery list
C) shop in a rush after finishing work
2. When the waiter serves sets down a steaming plate before you, the first thing you do is
A) take in the aroma
B) notice the portion size
C) take a bite before it cools down
3. On vacation, you
A) adjust your rhythms according to your mood
B) set a fairly rigid programme
C) find the suggested tourist itineraries boring
4. You’ve carefully prepared a new dish, but your partner doesn’t like it. You
A) invite him/her to prepare something else
B) ask him/her what you should have done differently
C) accuse him/her of not being open to trying new things
5. The world needs more
6. You are most likely to find yourself in relationships that are
A) solid and long-lasting
B) short-term, rather “touch-and-go”
C) slow to get going. It takes you a while to warm up to someone
7. Your kitchen
A) is clean and personal
B) is supplied with all the necessary utensils
C) has just what’s necessary
8. For you, sex is
A) a fundamental ingredient
B) a sensual condiment
C) an exotic spice
9. Out of these 3 songs, the one that most reflects you is
A) New York, New York as sung by Liza Minnelli
B) We Are the Champions by Queen
C) Singing in the Rain as sung by Gene Kelly
10. What’s your usual way of reading a book about food?
A) with pleasure and satisfaction
A. THE PLEASURE-SEEKER
Pleasure-Seekers associate eating with something positive and gratifying, and they consider mealtimes and the experience of dining as a way of reinforcing friendships, and improving communication and socialisation. They love to cook, to shop at well-supplied grocery stores, to buy cookbooks and culinary publications, and browse through food and dining magazines. On holiday, they are the ones that adore following gastronomic itineraries and they eagerly ask for and exchange opinions regarding new stores or interesting eateries. They don’t mind spending money on anything that has to do with food and cuisine, they are careful about choosing the best ingredients and are capable of travelling out of their way to find a special oil or a starred restaurant. Pleasure-Seekers appreciate receiving and enjoy giving food-related gifts, and when choosing a partner it’s important that he or she enjoys the same “carnal” pleasures. Their working rhythm may be slower, but these creative and curious Pleasure-Seekers are always irresistible. They naturally exude the allure of a leader, whatever their field of expertise may be.
B. THe ANGUISHED EATER
The Anguished Eaters may be either thin or fat, it’s irrelevant. What’s important is that they are constantly in conflict with food, eating either too much or too little. Theirs is a love/hate relationship with food and often associate eating with feelings of anxiety or preoccupation: they think about losing weight or gaining it, burning calories, diets, cravings, getting healthy, etc. They often suffer from allergies or intolerances, either real or imagined. They may be vegetarian or even vegan, but what all Anguished Eaters have in common is a disharmonious, conflicted relationship with food. Taken to an extreme, Anguished Eaters may also suffer from eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia, depression and/or anxiety, compulsive or obsessive eating. Even junk-food fans, to a certain degree, are Anguished Eaters: they turn to sugar, salt and fat in a compulsive way, then feel guilty about it and enter into a vicious circle. Being in a relationship with an Anguished Eater can often feel like a roller coaster, full of highs and lows and mood swings that can go from passion to fury in no time. Many times, it seems that what Anguished Eaters need is a “good parent”, someone who gives them just the right amount of autonomy.
C. THE INDIFFERENT APPETITE
Usually, the Indifferent Appetites are those who were disinterested in food during childhood and as adults they may forget to eat, because they are too preoccupied with more “interesting” activities. Every so often they may be find themselves a bit peckish and will nibble at whatever’s handy, without bothering to cook. According to them, there’s always something better to do than cook and time in the kitchen is considered wasted. You can always tell an Indifferent Appetite by looking in their kitchens: their fridge usually contains expired condiments and their cupboards are almost bare. They find many odours and tastes unpleasant and there’s nothing they less enjoy spending money on than eating out: these are the friends that will meet you after dinner, or that often eat on the go, while doing or thinking about something else. In a relationship, often they aren’t the most co-operative of partners, or else they may have a certain zeal that they try to hide from their mate. They tend to avoid conflict and, once they are forced to confront an issue, they aren’t always able to detach themselves in the way they would like to. They are often people of culture and a bit ascetic, which is something that makes the Pleasure-Seekers and Anguished Eaters who know them rather curious: they wonder how on earth someone can live just by smelling a leaf of lettuce? At work, the Indifferent Appetites often end up embracing the idea “live and let live”, after a long and emotional race to the top, which can sometimes lead to disappointment.