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

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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?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Total Comments: 4
  1. 0

    glad I hate flying 😉

  2. 0

    economy class food is just fodder designed to keep you alive till you disembark. Business class food is great, your order off a menu and choose the time its served. You also get proper cutlery in business so no more wrestling with bendy plastic knives hoping they dont break mid meal. It’s also nice to have elbow room so you dont have to time your arm movements with the person sitting next to you to avoid spillage. I hate flying too billy boy but only in economy.

    • 0

      Some of us love travel, but aren’t so affluent as to afford business class! I have always flown the so called “cattle class” and have met one or 2 really nice people.This includes 3 return trips to the UK and numerous trips to Bali, and one to NZ, not even counting the ones within Aus.
      As I am reaching the big EightO in a few days I doubt I’ll be doing too many more.

    • 0

      mamacrystal, most of my flying was done in cattle class too. I got to see a lot of the world that way. I always thought whatever I save on flights goes toward the next trip. Now I’m 74 the body doesn’t cope well with long flights. My first business class flight was due to getting sick overseas and having the insurance company fly me home from London. Wow, what a difference. I fly infrequently now but when I do it’s business or I dont go.I’m only talking long haul to Europe etc. I wouldn’t bother on a short flight as I think it’s a waste of money.



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