Here's The Scientific Reason Why Airline Food Is Terrible

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It looks like science is the reason you taste buds are blinded. When you’re cruising along at 30,000 feet and the cart stops in front of you (well, back when it did), you make your meal choice knowing acutely that you will have to suspend disbelief before calling it food. File it under airline incompetence – along with everything else – right?

Not so fast! Science says nasty airline food isn’t (entirely) the airlines’ fault.

Background can affect the taste and intensity of food, according to research published in the journal “Food Quality and Preference.” According to the BBC, “Blindfolded diners assessed the sweetness, saltiness, and crunchiness, as well as overall flavour, of foods as they were played white noise.”

BBC News continues that the research could explain why the grub in the skies is “notoriously bland.” Andy Woods, researcher at Unilever’s laboratories and the University of Manchester, tells the BBC, “I’m sure airlines do their best – and given that, we wondered if there are other reasons why the food would not be so good. One thought was perhaps the background noise has some impact.”

So, you can credit nature with making the food such – at least to a certain extent. The fact that your leg got slammed along the way? Yeah, that’s not science.

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