The Hierarchy Of Food Needs

Illustration for article titled The Hierarchy Of Food Needs

Responding to critics who argue that poor people do not eat healthy food choose to eat healthy food because they're ignorant or prefer unhealthy food, Ellyn Satter wrote a hierarchy of food needs.

Based on Maslow's hierarchy of needs, it illustrates Satter's ideas as to the elements of food that matter first, second, and so on… starting at the bottom.

Illustration for article titled The Hierarchy Of Food Needs

The graphic suggests that getting enough food to eat is the most important thing to people. Having food be acceptable (e.g., not rotten, something you are not allergic to) comes second. Once those two things are in place, people hope for reliable access to food and only then do they begin to worry about taste. If people have enough, acceptable, reliable, good-tasting food, then they seek out novel food experiences and begin to make choices as to what to eat for instrumental purposes (e.g., number of calories, nutritional balance).

As Michelle at The Fat Nutritionist writes, sometimes when a person chooses to eat nutritionally deficient or fattening foods, it is not because they are "stupid, ignorant, lazy, or just a bad, bad person who loves bad, bad food." Sometimes, it's "because other needs come first."


Hat tip to Racialicious.

This post originally appeared at Sociological Images.

Illustration for article titled The Hierarchy Of Food Needs

Republished with permission.

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The shitty thing is that I feel like the big Ralps and Vons that tend to be in poorer communities are still MORE EXPENSIVE then say, Trader Joe's. I buy the cheapest things at Ralphs and it's more expensive than the same grocery list at Trader Joe's and it's worse quality than Trader Joe's. And gawd how I hate Whole Foods and their sustainable, wholesome, organic bullshit...when only the people who drive two miles in their Land Rovers can afford it.