A fishy heredity

Taste for meat and fish inherited, study shows
Children learn to like fruits and vegetables from their parents, however

LONDON – Children inherit their taste for meat and fish but when it comes to vegetables and desserts it’s more nurture than nature, according to a study on Wednesday.

Scientists who compared the food preferences of identical and fraternal twins found that some tastes are inherited while others are acquired.

[Reuters; Updated: 6:35 a.m. PT June 14, 2006]

Interesting. I’ve got a couple of friends who share some of the same health issues that I do, but both of them really really hate fish, except for relatively “unfishy” fish like halibut or cod. That’s come up because of our similar health issues: the essential omega-3 fatty acids found in cold water fish like salmon or herring or sardines would be really good for them, as for me, but they just don’t like fish. But here I am eating salmon & kippers (kippered herring) & sardines in olive oil just about every day of the week, loving it.

Not a matter of acquired taste then, but of hereditary taste. Who knew?

Maybe I get my inherited taste for fish from the Finnish side of the family? At least I associate eating fish with Finnishness — maybe because of those couple of lines from the Kalevala about Lemminkäinen…. I remember very well as a kid going on camp-outs with my family that my mom — at least I associate it with my mom — always being sure to have sardines along. I’m going to have to ask my dad what he & his family thought about fish.

Lucky for those who need omega-3s but don’t like the fishy taste of fish, that there are such things as fish oil pills, avocados, & walnuts.

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