Baking Research

Goals

To examine and explore the relationship between the act of baking and how it helps us connect with the people we do it for, and how it can lead to more personal positive psychological functioning.

Early Findings

  • Baking has been shown to have therapeutic value. Its processes are similar to meditation, erasing negative thinking and creating space in the mind.
  • Sense that are stimulated are sound, touch and smell. These release endorphins.
  • Baking makes us feel like we are nourishing others, which creates a feeling of connectedness and fulfilment.
  • Creative expression also brings psychological benefits, and baking is one form of this.
  • The end result of something beautiful or interesting gives one the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.
  • There is also a ripple effect when one gives away the results of their baking. Making people happy makes the giver happy too.
  • Additionally, baking can help people deal with grief. This can either be in the form of distraction/meditation or baking in something memory/honor of the person who passed.
  • Food memories have been shown to be incredibly powerful. Taste memories are the most powerful of the 5 senses, linked to evolutionary "conditioned taste aversion". While taste is important, food memories tend to involve several senses and experiences, thus deepending their impact.
  • Food memories are shaped by context, so baking can be part of this if the person was also involved in the preparation.
  • Even if the person wasn't involve in the preparation, food associated with happy memories has a profound effect. We remember how good the food tasted and how that made us feel.
  • Baking based on memories/experiences is also an expression of love for the person who gave the recipe/taught one to bake/baked often in the past with that person.
  • We will include data surrounding what senses are most stimulated through the act of baking, and provide any studies that are available on whether baking helps us to recall memories from our childhood.
  • Additionally, repetition can reinforce this, if the same recipes are made year after year connecting us to the past.

Proposed next steps:

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