DiscoverThe Food ChainDoes comfort food really comfort us?
Does comfort food really comfort us?

Does comfort food really comfort us?

Update: 2020-07-233
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It’s something many of us intuitively believe - certain foods have the power to make us feel better. But what’s the science behind this, why do we crave certain dishes, and do they provide solace for everyone?

Graihagh Jackson explores what’s really happening when we turn to food for a pick-me-up: psychologist Shira Gabriel explains these foods’ links to memory and social connection; and psychiatrist Lukas Van Oudenhove reveals why so many comfort foods are high in fat or carbohydrates, and how this could be problematic in the long run.

But comfort foods aren’t always comforting - we find out why an unhappy childhood can mean they provide little or no solace. And the concept is far from universal - food writer Jenny Linford says in some food cultures the idea is irrelevant.

Plus, of all the millions of dishes out there, why do some rise to comfort food status? Food writer Kay Plunkett-Hogge explains why rice is the ultimate comfort food for many Thais.

Producer: Simon Tulett
Studio Manager: Hal Haines

Let us know what you think about the show - email thefoodchain@bbc.co.uk

(Picture: A man hugging a giant ice cream. Credit: Getty Images/BBC)
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Does comfort food really comfort us?

Does comfort food really comfort us?

BBC World Service