How a viral ‘food disgust test’ took over Twitter – and revealed a lot about its participants

How a viral 'food disgust test' took over Twitter - and revealed a lot about its participants
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Another day on Twitter brings another trending topic. And this time it’s an online test that measures your specific food disgust triggers.

Created by IDRlabs – an online platform that offers scientific articles, reviews and tests based on peer-reviewed scientific research – the Food Disgust Test asks users to respond to 32 food-related statements on an agree to disagree scale. In particular, the statements encourage thinking about whether they would eat a slice of apple that turned slightly brown, use dirty utensils, or eat moldy cheese and more. The responses are then used to determine your specific triggers, including animal flesh, hygiene, human contamination, mold, fruit, fish, vegetable and insect contaminants. A percentage of food dislike is also calculated. The lower the percentage, the less disgusted you are with those foods, while the higher the percentage, the more disgusted you are with them.

“Christina Hartmann and Michael Siegrist of the Technical University of Zurich found that people’s disgust with food can be divided into eight distinct scales,” reads the description of the test. “The factors that determine why people differ on different food disgust triggers are not well understood, but the authors hope their instrument will contribute to a better mapping of individual differences in this regard.”

The test explained that a sensitivity to animal flesh “is considered to have the most cultural basis, and many vegans and vegetarians report increased disgust on this parameter after adopting these diets.” On the other hand, a sensitivity to hygiene “may reduce the risk of infection, but some research also suggests that it may increase the risk of autoimmune disease.”

Although the food disgust sensitivity test is rooted in science, IDRlabs maintained that it is intended to be used for educational purposes only. An accurate assessment of food disgust can only be made by a trained mental health professional.

Anyway, it didn’t take long for the test explode on twitter, where people shared their results and posted their low scores. Many proclaimed their astonishment at their scores, despite their own struggles with picky food and food security:

“(C)this food disgust quiz really surprised me with how low I get when I have pathological food safety anxiety?” writing an user. “I guess (it’s) good at differentiating, so (it’s) a point for that.” Along the same lines, another said: “IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: I’m actually a PICKY eater so just because I have a low level of disgust based on this quiz I will be avoiding the foods that I already know I don’t like, haha. I’ll try new things!”

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Some complained about the test’s vague language, which they said skewed their scores. And, as expected, others took the opportunity to criticize cultural foods, which have long been considered “gross” in a white-centric Western society. Specifically, many took offense to being asked if they would eat a whole fish if its head, eyeballs, and tail were all visible. Perhaps these people should be reminded of the age-old youthful saying “don’t yuck someone else’s yum”. It should also be mentioned that the international foods and food practices used to assess his level of food disgust are both disparaging and tiring.

Naturally, the test gives people yet another thing to discuss on the internet. And of course, it’s also quite fun to compare your tastes with others and debate whether eating moldy bread is actually detrimental to your health or not. I admit that I finally succumbed to the trend and took the test myself before sharing it with friends.

I ended up getting a food disgust score of 33.63%.

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