Eating Alone? Want a Better-Tasting Meal? Get a Mirror [Science]


When you’re used to making meals for two and suddenly find yourself having to eat your meals alone, life can get very miserable indeed — and your brain sure knows it. Suddenly, the world loses its color, everything tastes of paper, and there’s just no more joy to eating even your favorite dishes. It’s all just so sad, it’s terrible.

Now, if you’ve had about enough of bland, flavorless food and acquiring a date just isn’t on the agenda, Japanese researcher Ryuzaburo Tanaka proposes a simple, ingenious idea: place a mirror on your table.

Tanaka, a psychology researcher affiliated with Nagoya University, noticed that as Japan’s families began to grow smaller and young professionals and couples alike delay marriage, eating alone is becoming a more commonplace trend. This is also happening to more senior citizens, ans their children prefer to leave the nest rather than stay and eat with them. Tanaka recommends setting up a mirror so you can see your reflection as you eat. “This simulates the atmosphere of sharing a meal with someone, and I believe it helps to enhance the deliciousness of the food being eaten,” he explains.


Would it work the same if you ate with your dog, or cat? If your furry friend makes for stimulating company, why not?

Or what about dining with a still poster or photograph? One might try, sure, though scientists still agree that using a mirror creates a more organic, realistic simulation of having company over for dinner. (Besides, we’re not entirely sure how effective it would be if you decide to use a picture of your ex to sit with you at table, because, well, you know, reasons.)

Just make sure to spruce up before actually sitting down to a date with yourself. Take a shower, smell nice, maybe shave off that depression beard and thrown on a fresh, stain-free shirt. Your body and emotional health will thank you for it, and your brain will be flattered to having one fine human being as a date. Win-win for everyone!

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