Airline food facts you probably didn’t (want to) know

Flight attendants spill the beans on airline food.

Flight attendants divulge food facts

Imagine being a flight attendant trying to stay healthy and maintain the weight and physical fitness required to do his or her job.

Then recall the last time you flew and the foods you craved on board. Yep, you probably remember wanting salty food or food with a real flavour kick.

That’s because up in the air your tastebuds change, and you crave foods with ‘umami’ or savoury taste. That is, high altitude and the pressure that’s unique to flying changes the way you taste food, so your cravings adjust to match your taste.

So, for a flight attendant, craving salty foods, sauces and anything with extra flavour usually spells trouble for the waistline and the old ticker.

Here’s what they know about food that you probably don’t.

Engine noise messes with your tastebuds
Cabin pressure and altitude aren’t the only factors that deaden your tastebuds. A Cornell University study found that airplane noise also dulled sweetness, making savoury foods taste more intense.

Why your food is often saucy
You’ll often find that your meal comes as a stew or with some kind of sauce. It’s not just for flavour. Low humidity at high altitudes has a tendency to dry out your food, hence it’s served swimming in sauce.

You don’t have to eat what you’re served
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t necessarily have to eat the meal you’re served. Most airlines will have a stock of different meals to suit all types of tastes and dietary requirements. If you ask nicely, your attendant will most likely let you know what else is on the menu.

Your pilot won’t eat the same meal as the co-pilot
Call it safety or paranoia, but the pilot and co-pilot always eat different meals. It’s so you don’t have the old Flying High routine happen on your flight. You know, when the whole plane comes down with terrible debilitating food poisoning, and the one alcoholic passenger who didn’t eat has to land the plane?

Read more about airplane food facts.

What do you think of airplane food? Is it as bad as everyone makes it out to be, or part of the experience? Is there an airline fare that you prefer?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    23rd Dec 2017
    When you think of the millions of meals that are served on planes - meals cooked in different countries around the world, it seems miraculous that we never hear about food poisoning which is the worst thing that could happen. And I have found that some airlines serve really good food.

    Most airlines with meals on board give you a menu and you can choose. Of course they sometimes run out but hey, so do restaurants on the ground!
    27th Dec 2017
    There is plenty of info online about how airline food is prepared, and what is involved to ensure they avoid food poisoning etc. Whilst we rarely hear of it happening, I am sure there have been instances. After all, humans are involved, and it only takes one to do something wrong.
    Funny face
    24th Dec 2017
    I've always found the food on Singapore Airlines good and, last year, I flew Emirates for the first time. Could not fault them in anything. Like all aircraft the food ' represents ' the country they're either flying into or out of. Who's hungry anyway? You're doing absolutely nothing ( and yet I've sat next to people who devour everything put in front if them!). Nothing at all wring with their food. So, perhaps some isn't quite what one is used to but there's plenty of others aboard who are. It works out. Brilliant airline all round.

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