CILANTRO: are younger (Lucianovic, 2012). People may dislike certain

CILANTRO: NATURE OR NURTURE? BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE Experimental Investigation                 ___________________________________________Signature of Sponsoring Teacher ___________________________________________Signature of School Science Fair Coordinator Teacher                                              Lily Hennessy640 W. Scott St.Chicago, IL 60610Grade 7Table of Contents    Acknowledgments Page 2Purpose, Hypothesis, and Question Page 3Research            Page 3, 4Materials and Procedure Page 4Results Page 4Conclusion, Reflection, Application Page 5, 6Reference List Page 6, 7                        Acknowledgments Mom and Dad: thank you for supporting me. Riana and Chiara, you make my life fun. Thank you to all of my amazing test subjects and Joseph.                     RIZAAK Purpose, Hypothesis, and Question My question is: Are tastebuds influenced by nature and/or nurture? If the subject is from a heavy cilantro eating country or culture, or has had cilantro before, they are more likely to like cilantro. This experiment was to try and understand how taste is changed by our heritage and past experiences with a certain food. Research Cilantro has been eaten for thousands of years. Traces were found in a cave in Israel from 6000 BCE, and in Ancient Egypt. Cilantro was brought to England in 1670  (Ware, 2017). Cilantro is used a lot in asian, latin american, and portuguese cuisine (McGee, 2010). Cilantro was very popular in Latin America because it is similar to the much-loved culantro (Mangan). You are a supertaster if you have an above average amount of tastebuds. Supertasters are more sensitive to flavors, and when given a sample of PTC they perceive extreme bitterness (Prescott, 2012).  Nontasters taste nothing nothing, tasters taste a slight bitterness, but the supertasters are incredibly sensitive to bitterness (Holmes, 2017). 25% of people have an above average amount of tastebuds, 50% have the average amount, and 25% have a below average amount of tastebuds (Lucianovic, 2012).We like certain flavors because of of our genetics and culture (Nabhan, 2012). Although some may be genetically opposed to certain flavors because of variations in the nose (Vanderbilt, 2017). Taste is developed at birth (Grahn, 2005). The perception of a bitter agent called PTC is based on the gene TAS2R38, and 24 more (Bramen, 2010) (Lucianovic, 2012). The aroma of cilantro is made by the same substances used to make soap and that is found in bugs (McGee, 2012) . Your tastebuds die out as you get older, making foods taste stronger when you are younger (Lucianovic, 2012). People may dislike certain foods because of their genes, brain, your parent’s fault for making you eat certain foods, or all of those variables with many more (Lucianovic, 2012).Materials and ProcedureCreate the questions for your survey.Purchase 123.223040365 grams of cilantro.Wash and cut the cilantro.Split the cilantro into 1.232230403645825 grams, and bag it.Administer page one of the Cilantro Survey.Have the subject eat their first bag of cilantro.Administer page two of the Cilantro Survey.Have the subject eat their second bag of cilantro. Administer the page three of the Cilantro Survey. Repeat steps 5-9  with forty-nine more subjects. 123.223040365 grams of fresh cilantro100 plastic bags50 surveys100 plastic spoons50 consent formsResultsLiked Disliked NeitherCilantro country010Had it before2324Not sure132Country and before1211Based on the data, it is more likely that someone who had had cilantro before would like it than someone who was from a cilantro eating country, or both. This is because 29 (the total number of people who had it before) divided by 23 (number who had it before and liked in) is higher than 14 (total number of people who were from a country and liked it) divided by 12 (the number of people in that category that liked it). Therefore, nature had a bigger impact on our perception of flavor than nurture.Conclusion, Application, Reflection My science fair project is about how taste and our perception of flavor is affected by our heritage and past experiences with it. I wanted to find out which had a bigger impact: nature or nurture.  My hypothesis was: If the subject is from a heavy cilantro eating country or culture, or has had cilantro before, they are more likely to like cilantro. I tested this by having every subject fill out a survey saying if they had cilantro before and if they liked it or not. While eating cilantro, the subject filled out the second part about what it tasted like then. With the second bag of cilantro, they again stated what it tasted like and, overall, if they liked it or not. My hypothesis was correct because all but one who liked it had cilantro before. Because more people who had it before than those who were from a cilantro country liked it, nurture has a larger role in our perception of flavor than nature.   I think my results were accurate. The extensive research I did supports the facts that nurture is a stronger variable than nature in our perception of flavor. If I could repeat the experiment, I would find 50 people sooner than I did, ask “yes or no” for if you liked it or not, and also clarify whether America is considered a cilantro country or not. While researching I found an interesting experiment where you smelled two cans: one labeled body and one food. Both are filled with parmesan cheese, but they find the one labeled “body” smells like a foot fungus. I would like to possibly repeat that experiment next year. This can be used in the real world because if you know who you are cooking for, you can know what or what not to use. It can also, like the author of Suffering Succotash, find out why you hate certain foods and overcome that dislike. By knowing the cause of the dislike, we can learn how to reverse it. Because often times the subject of that dislike is vegetables, if people start liking them we can be healthier and cut down on obesity. This would be especially helpful in children, whose health sets the stage for the rest of their lives. Humans, animals, bacteria, protists, fungi, and plants all need nutrition in some way, so understanding why we like and dislike the foods we do can give us a new understanding of a monotonous task.    Reference ListBramen, L. (2010, May 21). The Genetics of Taste. Retrieved November 19, 2017, from Grahn, G. (2005). Whats going on in there? New York: Orchard Books.Holmes, B. (2017). Flavor: the science of our most neglected sense. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. Lucianovic, S. V. (2012). Suffering Succotash. ; A Picky Eaters Quest to Understand Why We Hate the Foods We Hate. Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated.Mangan, F. (n.d.). WorldCrops. Retrieved November 19, 2017, from McGee, H. (2010, April 13). Why Cilantro Tastes Like Soap, for Some. Retrieved November 19, 2017, from, G. P. (2012). Why Some Like It Hot Food, Genes, and Cultural Diversity. Washington: Island Press.Prescott, J. (2012). Taste matters: why we like the foods we do. London: Reaktion Books.Vanderbilt, T. (2017). You may also like: taste in an age of endless choice. New York: Vintage Books.Ware, M. (2017, May 22). Cilantro (coriander): Health benefits, facts, research. Retrieved November 19, 2017, from


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