When it comes to cheese (especially stinky cheese) you either love it or you hate it. To those of you who hate it: I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT EVIL COULD CAUSE YOU TO SHUN ONE OF THE PUREST AND MOST PERFECT EARTHLY PLEASURES KNOWN TO THIS WORLD.
Or, let me rephrase, I didn’t used to understand. But now, thanks to a study conducted by researchers at the Centre de Recherche en Neuroscience de Lyon and the Laboratoire Neuroscience Paris Seine (yes these are super French names from super French places, because if there’s one thing the French are masters of, it’s cheese!) the mystery of why and how a human could dislike cheese is settled once and for all.
Using a sample size of 332 participants, researchers sought to study the inclination of individuals to demonstrate aversions. Evolutionarily speaking, animals often develop aversion to foods that are indigestible to them as a survival mechanism. The study, hilariously entitled “The Neural Bases of Disgust for Cheese,” ultimately found that the same might be true for humans in regards to why so many folks just plain don’t like fromage.
Firstly, the sample size suggested that cheese was a food that provoked significantly more aversion in people than other tested foods, like fish and cured meats. Six percent of people in the study demonstrated aversion to cheese, while only 2.7 percent responded negatively to fish and 2.4 percent to cured meats respectively.
Furthermore, of the 6.0 percent who had aversions to cheese, 18 percent were lactose intolerant, and about 47 percent reported that they had family members who also didn’t like cheese! Therefore suggesting that cheese aversion might be hereditary and genetic in origin, and furthermore that the aversion itself may be linked to lactose intolerance.
I, on the other hand, have another theory: people develop an aversion to cheese so that we can weed out what individuals might be horrible guests to invite to a dinner party! It’s truly amazing how science works.
Anyways, in my opinion the high volume of people who don’t like cheese actually comes out to a net positive. Why? Because there’s more cheese for me! Which is probably a good thing, given that I gobble down no less than a pound of cheese a week (yes, those figures are accurate).
If there’s anybody out there who is lactose intolerant, yet receiving an influx of artisan cheeses from relatives as holiday gifts, feel free to contact me directly. I’ll totally take that off of your hands.