Plastic Straws – Environmental Menace And Taste Killer

The seemingly innocent plastic straw is now rivaling the plastic bag as public environmental enemy number one, as coffee franchises, restaurants, and even cities adopt anti-plastic straw policies.

While the devastating aspects of the plastic straw on the environment has been well documented, one thing that many people haven’t realized quite yet is how the very taste of our food could fundamentally change if plastic straws disappear. That’s according to Charles Spence, a “gastrophysicist” and author of Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating famously known for his study on how the sound of crunchiness affects our perception of taste. Smell is a key to the enjoyment of food, Spence writes in his book. And straws destroy that ability for us to experience beverages in their truest form. Spence goes so far as to claim that the straw is an obstacle to healthy eating: “The more food sensations you can muster, the better. Stronger aroma, more texture – it all helps your brain to decide when it has had enough.”

Image source: (Reuters/Darren Staples)

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