Home The Ultimate RelationshipHumanity Upgrade The Oxytocin Value of Food

The Oxytocin Value of Food

Part Three

written by Loretta Graziano Breuning, PhD October 12, 2020
The Oxytocin Value of Food

Whatever triggered your oxytocin in youth built a pathway that turns it on today. Food is usually linked to that circuit because it’s linked to your early social experience. If you enjoyed social trust around a table in youth, that will activate your sense of safety today. If your table was full of conflict, you have some different associations. Most of us have a combination of positive and negative associations for shared meals, which is why food can evoke social pain and the joy of belonging at the same time.

Safety in Numbers

Every mammal seeks safety in numbers. If we count on food to trigger that feeling, we may eat too much. There are other ways to enjoy the sense of acceptance we naturally crave, but they’re easy to forget when we expect to get it through food. Such expectations are reinforced by the images of shared meals we see around us. In the past that might have centered on village festivals and visits to relatives. Today, movies and media present images of convivial meals, and restaurant windows display them live. Your brain easily links food to social support. The social solidarity of other times and places is widely idealized. The reality is that group meals were necessary before technology simplified food preparation. People embraced alternatives to group meals as soon as they emerged.

To access the rest of this article, please register for a free membership


Related Articles

Log In

Lost Password


The first step to becoming a member of the RD&T Community and the beginning of your personal Journey to Ultimate Success:

Join Now

Click the button below to register for a free membership and have access to unlimited articles.