The New Science of Eating


'The scientist changing the way we eat' Guardian


Why do we consume 35% more food when eating with another person, and 75% more when with three? Why are 27% of drinks bought on aeroplanes tomato juice? How are chefs and companies planning to transform our dining experiences, and what can we learn from their cutting-edge insights to make memorable meals at home?

These are just some of the ingredients of Gastrophysics, in which the pioneering Oxford professor Charles Spence shows how our senses link up in the most extraordinary ways. He reveals the importance of all the "off-the-plate" elements of a meal: the weight of cutlery, the colour of the plate (his lab showed that we perceive salty popcorn as tasting sweet when served in a red bowl), the background music and much more.

Whether dining alone or at a dinner party, on a plane or in front of the TV, he reveals how to understand what we taste and influence what others experience. Freakonomics for food, meal-times will genuinely never be the same again.


'Popular science at its best' Daniel J. Levitin, author of The Organized Mind

'Spence allows people to appreciate the multisensory experience of eating' The New Yorker

'Wonderfully curious and thought-provoking . . . brilliant' Bee Wilson


  • Truly accessible, entertaining and informative. On every page there are ideas to set you thinking and widen your horizons
    Heston Blumenthal, OBE

About the author

Charles Spence

Professor Charles Spence is the world expert in multisensory perception and experience design, having spent over twenty years researching how people perceive the world around them at the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at Oxford University. He has consulted for many multinational companies, including Unilever, PepsiCo and Nestlé, advising on various aspects of multisensory design, packaging and branding.
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