No, It’s Not Just Cost-Cutting. Here’s Why Airplane Food Tastes So Bad

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It's a question (almost) as old as air travel itself: Why does airplane food taste so bad?

While most of us have, at some point, cursed the tasteless food served to us on flights and blamed the cost-cutting methods adopted by airlines, there may be more to this question than meets the eye. According to news network Cheddar, the reason why airplane food appears tasteless to us may have more to do with ourselves than the food in question.

According to Patrick Jones of Cheddar, the air within an airplane is at 20% humidity – or "really dry". For comparison, the humidity at the Sahara Desert hovers at around 25%.

This lack of humidity inside airplanes affects our ability to taste, besides drying the food out.

"Your sense of smell works with the moisture in the air, and if that moisture is not there, you won't be able to taste things as well as you can on the ground," explains Patrick.

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In fact, as one study found, our ability to taste on a plane is about the same as someone with a cold – which means that no matter how expensive the ingredients, food still wouldn't taste as good as it does on the ground.

Moreover, a 2014 study conducted by a psychologist from Oxford also found that the constant loud noises inside an airplane also dull our sense of taste. So for food to taste as good as it does on the ground, airlines would have to add about 30% more sugar and 30% more salt – making our mid-air meals very unhealthy.

What's the best airplane meal you've ever had? Let us know using the comments section below.

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