Blame your genes for love of pork

From ribs to bacon to belly, I love the taste of pork. Well, it turns out I may not be able to help myself. A new study says my weakness for pork may be genetic.

American and Norwegian researchers got people with different variations of an odour receptor to taste and smell several samples of cooked pork. The receptor responds to androstenone, a steroid similar to testosterone found in boars (male pigs).

The study found people with one variation of the gene favoured the taste and smell of pork more than others. The participants’ descriptions of androstenone ranged from “urine and sweat to vanilla and sweet.” Some were highly sensitive and reacted negatively upon exposure.

The findings suggest genetics influences what each of us considers delicious.

What’s also interesting is the study notes most people in North America and Europe don’t notice androstenone (compared to consumers in Europe) because male pigs are usually castrated, so the levels of the steroid are quite low.