Why does rotting meat smell so disgusting to humans?

  • 7 Replies
  • 10247 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

*

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8328
  • "Vive la rÚsistance!"
    • View Profile
There is a small town in Montana that had a bison meat packing business. The business failed and a large amount of frozen bison meat started to rot when the power was cut off. The pong was so bad it affected the entire town, so the town ended up footing the bill to get the mess cleaned up.

So, why do humans find this smell so offensive? Other animals seem to treat it like the dinner gong.

Is the human response learned, conditioned, innate, genetic, etc?
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.

*

Offline _Stefan_

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 814
    • View Profile
    • My Photobucket Album
Why does rotting meat smell so disgusting to humans?
« Reply #1 on: 06/10/2009 08:59:03 »
Assuming it is not a learned response:

Human ancestors (however many millions of years ago) would not have been able to eat rotting meat. An individual that did would get sick or die. So individuals that were able to detect whether meat was rotting, and avoided it, were those that reproduced. This is how the aversion would have evolved.
Stefan
"No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavors to establish." -David Hume

*

Offline neilep

  • Withdrawnmist
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • 20602
    • View Profile
Why does rotting meat smell so disgusting to humans?
« Reply #2 on: 06/10/2009 11:00:35 »
I should ask my wife. Her cooking produces the same results !
Men are the same as women, just inside out !

*

Offline Don_1

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 6890
  • A stupid comment for every occasion.
    • View Profile
    • Knight Light Haulage
Why does rotting meat smell so disgusting to humans?
« Reply #3 on: 06/10/2009 11:46:24 »
I'll go along with Stefan's answer. But I don't think I'll be going to dine at Sheepy's abode.
If brains were made of dynamite, I wouldn't have enough to blow my nose.

*

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8185
    • View Profile
Why does rotting meat smell so disgusting to humans?
« Reply #4 on: 07/10/2009 01:58:18 »
Some humans like meat "gamey"...
Quote
Most Game is best after hanging - that is leaving or hanging in cool conditions before plucking or skinning. This should be for a minimum two days to a maximum of three weeks in winter. I would tend to settle on seven days provided the weather is not hot. Game tends to be tougher than other meat or poultry as the animals were wild and muscles were used more in the process of survival. Hanging will help tenderise the meat and develop a characteristic gamey flavour. This is caused by enzymic and bacterial action. The longer you hang it the stronger the flavour.
http://www.cookeryonline.com/Game/Preparing%20Game.htm

*

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8328
  • "Vive la rÚsistance!"
    • View Profile
Why does rotting meat smell so disgusting to humans?
« Reply #5 on: 08/10/2009 21:40:11 »
Now you're in for it DD. I'm pretty sure I just saw a flock of harpies heading in your general direction.

Further, I resemble your remark that men's hooters are inferior. I often detect unpleasant pongs that Mrs Geezer's hooter is incapable of differentiating.

Crap! The harpies did a U-turn and they are now heading this way  [:o]
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.

*

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8185
    • View Profile
Why does rotting meat smell so disgusting to humans?
« Reply #6 on: 08/10/2009 22:16:22 »
Further, I resemble your remark that men's hooters are inferior.

Women's "Hooters" are far superior  [:)] ...

[attachment=10154]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hooters

« Last Edit: 08/10/2009 22:26:12 by RD »

*

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8328
  • "Vive la rÚsistance!"
    • View Profile
Why does rotting meat smell so disgusting to humans?
« Reply #7 on: 08/10/2009 22:49:43 »
er, well they are quite nice, but it was these I had in mind

http://www.answers.com/topic/beak-honker-hooter-nozzle-snoot-snout-schnozzle

I should make no comment on Mrs Geezer's hooters .....

Aaaaarrrrggggggghhhh! The harpies, the harpies, hhaaaarp, hhhh
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.