‘Guy’ Foods and ‘Girl’ Foods

Cynthia Cheng

The Toronto Star published an article today which discusses the “gendering” of foods.  For example, guys are typically more interested in foods that are meat-concentrated (such as steak and potatoes or spaghetti and meatballs) while women prefer foods that are more veggie-centric.  Though women would likely eat spaghetti and meatballs, men are less likely to have, say,  pasta, sundried tomatoes and herbs).  Based on my personal observations, this is true to a certain extent and I am wondering if this is how we’re hardwired!

Steak and fries: Guy food??

My theory has always been this: The seperation of gender and gendered “work” started in the hunter-gatherer days.  The men went to hunt, often for days and probably killed a lot of smaller creatures for food before bringing the bigger animal home.  They needed the meat for energy (even though there were plenty of plants that they could have eaten while they were away).  Women, on the other hand, went without meat while the men were out.  They ate whatever whatever was left around the settlements, which usually meant plants.  Another reason why the men didn’t eat plants (other than energy issues) was because they needed to eat in a hurry.  Some plants are poisonous and because they had to be on high alert when hunting, didn’t have the time to observe whether the plants were poisonous.  Likely, they were also NOT educated to know what to look for when it comes to poisonous plants.  Of course, this doesn’t explain dessert or coffee preferences between men and women, as noted in the article.

I have to admit I love meat.  But I also don’t want a meal that is highly meat-centric.  However, I would always prefer a “sprinkling” of meat or fish for taste.  At a salad bar, for example, I would always add a little bit of tuna or chicken (like less than a serving) to my meal, in addition to the various veggies I put on the plate.  My meals are usually vegetable and grain centric and would sometimes be fully vegetarian, sometimes for several days.  I guess my eating habits do reflect my gender, despite my parents finding it odd that I would go vegetarian for days at a time.  Perhaps that’s a cultural thing, and of course, a whole other story.

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