NFSC 429: Cultural Foods
Skill Area: Food
Assignment Title: Psychological Difficulties Experienced as a Result of Following a Restricted Diet for Food Intolerance in Social Situations
What I learned: This paper gave me the opportunity to learn the steps to conducting a qualitative research study, from creating questionnaires used during interviews with recruited subjects, to organizing the results and determining whether or not my hypothesis had been validated with a paper using citations to other research. I also learned the difference between a qualitative and quantitative research paper, and why one would use one over the other.
Reflection to assignment: I wanted to receive feedback from people who have to follow specific food-avoidance diets and how they interact with people in social situations. I was also interested in learning about the experience of the loved one of the person with the special diet, as it seemed their experience would be different from that of people eating typical diets, as well. The feedback I received was interesting and revealing of people who typically have to avoid foods, and a little surprising regarding the loved one I interviewed. There is much anxiety with regard to this topic on all counts, and finding a way to ameliorate that in social situations would address the needs of many, in a society with ever-increasing needs for special diets.
Relevance to the profession: Both commercial food production and clinical portions of the field of Nutrition and Food Science would benefit from understanding more about the social inhibitions of people with special food needs. Additionally, the process of interviewing for questionnaires and conducting research is prudent in understanding human nature and consumer trends.