Hunger is usually defined as a need for food to put off starvation, whereas appetite is the desire to eat based on simple satisfaction. Comfort foods are typically foods that are used to provide relief from stress rather than hunger, which means that they fall under the appetite classification.
Special occasions or uniquely familiar sensations can also trigger nostalgia and increase the desire for comfort food.
Psychology Today states people tend to choose comfort foods because “they give distinctive pleasure or make us temporarily feel better.”
Some people also have other motivations for seeking comfort food. According to Psychology Today, “We tend to associate certain foods with members of our family, social gatherings, and people taking care of us.”
Psychology Today reports that answers differ for individuals as to the types of comfort foods they choose. Some people would prefer sweet while others would like something with more salt.
Junior Elsayed Nabil, along with seniors Kelland Loss and Jakob Krach, said their favorite comfort food is pizza, while senior Chris Morales clearly stated his preference for tea.
Junior Nick Taylor and sophomore Krissy Badalucco said their preferred comfort food is peanut butter. “I like peanut butter so much that I can eat it out of a jar,” Badalucco stated.
Sophomore Morgan Faranov expressed a preference for soft pretzels. A bit of a more unusual answer came from junior Zoe Kulick. “I enjoy eating pasta sauce straight out of a jar.” Kulick added, “If that’s too weird, I also like ice cream.”
Those who prefer sweeter options are sophomores Jordan Roberts and Brandon Koch, who said ice cream (Kulick’s second choice) and Honey Nut Cheerios, respectively, along with Assistant Principal Tara Lingle, who said she “loves some chocolate chip cookies.”
Teacher’s aide Dale Ann Perry and library secretary Sheri Pressel said mac and cheese is their favorite comfort food, while teacher Michael Gallagher said he enjoys stromboli.
Comfort foods are so popular that even restaurant chains offer them on their menus. Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen lists Homemade Chicken Pot Pie, Grilled Chicken Alfredo, and Chicken Tender Parmesan as comfort food options.
Whether salty or sweet, for stress relief or excited celebration, people eat comfort foods simply because of the sensation they provide.
Public Domain header and thumb images from dreamstime and PxHere.com
Video by Morgan Faranov and Krissy Badalucco