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Sense of taste and smell

Is this just me? Or when you all went vegan, did your sense of smell and taste become sharper?

I'll have someone tell me that a certain vegetable is tasteless and I find it has a strong flavor anymore.  They say that tofu smells like sour beans and I think it smells fresh sort of vegetable-ish.  The list goes on and I can smell something at a distance too, never could before. I live near a fried bird place and when they pressure fry I feel sick and I can tell how long ago they changed the oil in there too.  Flesh smells are potent as well and it is not a pleasant thing.  Cooked or raw, it smells like death and blood to me and while this was always the case, it is much worse now.  I swear I can smell it across a crowded room.  I can also smell a cracked egg.

Your experiences?

So I'm not going crazy!!  I started noticing my water tasting funny.  And smelling funny... I can taste the difference from chlorine-laden tap water and filtered water.  I even notice different tastes from different water brands.  lol, I kept on telling my mom our water tasted funny and we should get it checked.  She thought I was  on crack. 

And I know the smell of "death and blood" you refer too.  It's sort of metallic-ly.  If the color red had a smell, that would be it!  And I smell it EVERYWHERE.  I don't like shopping at Whole Foods because it has that smell.  And I can't go to restaurants because it smells like that too!  I smell it on people too..... :o

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I agree. I cannot BEAR the smell of canned fish now! As a person with synasthesia, I describe it as a "dark", "prickly"  smell. It's so strong and horrid.
AshleyKimball, you're right about the smell of blood. I've always noticed it. And I find that the air before a violent thunderstorm has the same sort of smell. 25 yrs ago I noticed that the area of Spain where I lived smelled of dust and blood and cheap tobacco. (Not very nice, I know.) I don't notice that so much now that I've lived here for so long but if I go away and come back, there it is again.
On the thread where someone said they made a vegan cake for a relative who didn't like it, the person told her the cake was "tasteless"...I think we are more aware of flavours that people who eat a lot of meat and junk foods don't percieve.

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the way that you stated that made it seem like a good thing.  thank you.  ive been noticing the same thing, but in my head it was mixed up.  when i would eat pancakes or left over eggs from someone else they would be so strong i couldnt bare to eat them and i kept thinking that this was a bad thing, like my taste buds were dying.  but my brain had it all wrong.  thats a good thing.  theyre sharper now.  sweet.

is vegan food just naturally dull tasting, but since we've gotten used to it, everything else seems more flavorful? or does vegan food refresh the senses??

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definitely...esp. after I've done juice fasts...more sensitive...do not need flavorings to eat food such as sauces, dip etc.  really enjoy veggies  just being veggies.  If i have cooked onion and garlic I'm fine. 

You should have seen the cr*p I ate before becoming vegan.  Cupcakes, candy etc!

I'm in love with boiled carrots and cabbage.    ;D  I can eat them by themselves oh and red pepper....yum!

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Yes, I've noticed that I've become increasingly sensitive to scented products and chemicals.  A lot of things give me headaches now.  I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing.  I think it is my body telling me that I should stay away from unnatural things.

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One day I was eating a salad at school, no dressng of course, and one of my peers asked me: "how can you eat salad with no dressing!!!"  And I responded: "I don't like dressing, you can't taste the vegetables with it.  all you taste is the dressing"

Of course they responded with: "Vegetables don't taste like anything!  Why would you want to taste them?"

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i've actually noticed that before i went veg, when i started trying to eat sugar-free foods to see if i was having a bad reaction to my usually high-sugar diet. i've noticed now that just one cookie from my job (a bakery) can make me feel ill because it's so sweet.

and i've always been bothered by the smell of blood, the bakery in my store is right next to the meat department and i'd sometimes have to go over there to borrow something, and i'd have to hold my breath when i'd walk by their meat cutting machines. but now i can smell it if i even just stand outside the bakery

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Yes, I've noticed that I've become increasingly sensitive to scented products and chemicals.  A lot of things give me headaches now.  I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing.  I think it is my body telling me that I should stay away from unnatural things.

I have the same experience. I never used to mind the smell of chlorine bleach much for example, but now I can tell when someone used it (and my mom uses it a lot!) hours later.

I don't attribute all this to being vegan, because I have also over the years tried going raw, going without sweeteners, going "natural" (no synthetic/artificial/unnecessary ingredients), and have phased out many household chemicals in my life. The last one affected me the most when it comes to scented products and synthetic chemicals. Since I've stopped using most scented products (I think any products I have left are scented with essential oils and such) artificial smells in my environment are so extremely overwhelming they actually make my airway passages feel burnt. Not like an allergic reaction, but just sore. If the smell doesn't go away I get nauseous and irritable, and then start coughing and get a headache. I also noticed that when I'm in households for a while that have a lot of scented products, it numbs my senses at some point and I can't smell it anymore (I heard that most scented products are supposed to do that, they have chemicals in them that "kill you senses").

With food, I noticed how iceberg lettuce tastes really sweet when eaten alone and that hydrogenated peanut butter has a very very wrong consistency (there was a post about this on vegweb). I notice much more how refined and concentrated sugars affect me physically and mentally, and how overeating and undereating affects me.

I am actually very very greatful for this "sharpening of the senses" because I have a much easier time listening in on my body on what it needs.

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I definitely have noticed that my sense of smell and taste have become much sharper. I know it has to be related to being vegan but, I think more of it has to do with eating almost entirely organic, and using natural cleaning supplies. Since I no longer put harmful chemicals or pesticides in my body, it really is much easier to smell or taste them (if I happen to be stuck somewhere with no organic options like an airport). I have become very sensitive to cleaning products as well. Last week when  I was visiting my Mom, I went to go use one of the showers that was also being used by other family members visiting as well. Being the germ-aphobe I am, (even though I was among family members) I grabbed some tub and tile cleaner she had in that bathroom's linen closet to spray down the shower. I have to say it has been only a few years since I used the same exact product. It almost knocked me out. I gagged and gagged and my eyes teared up. I could not go back into that bathroom for almost half an hour. I used to be able to use products like that and stand there in my shower and spray it all over the place. I guess when the body gets rid of all those bad toxins, it becomes very aware of new ones trying to "invade" your system. I can only imagine what a piece of steak would do to me....ugh!

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All I can say is ditto to the above ... I've always had a freakishly (good) sense of smell (when I worked in a pub I could smell between the different makes of vodka and people tend to think vodka has not aroma) ... One of my work colleagues drinks black coffee and omg it smells like tuna, he finds this highly amusing, I used to like the smell of coffee too, y'know the freshly ground stuff but yikes it's vile now.

i've always been bothered by the smell of blood, the bakery in my store is right next to the meat department and i'd sometimes have to go over there to borrow something, and i'd have to hold my breath when i'd walk by their meat cutting machines.

Yes, I have to hold my breath too in supermarkets ...

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Kikilola, you're right about vodka, people prattle on about how it has no smell and that's why it's the alcoholic's drink of choice etc...to me people who drink vodka smell like dry cleaning fluid. I don't know which particular chemical but you know, that mouth-drying mothball sort of smell dry cleaners have.
My mother sipped (weak) black coffee all day long when I was child and to me she smelled like hard-boiled eggyolk...a smell that always made me want to gag. No wonder we didn't get along well!  ;D ;D

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Anyone read the book with a line (about a BBQ) that said something like "The air is thick and smelled like burning children"?  It was written from the perspective of a Viet Nam veteran.  Anyway, that is what comes to mind whenever I smell meat cooking now.  Talk about a good incentive to avoid meat.  :-X

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Yes I agree here.  My DH asked me to make him a ham sandwich for his lunch and the smell made me want to gag.  My tastebuds and stomach seem more senstive.  I used to be a big coffee drinker and I haven't had any coffee in weeks, it upsets my stomach and just doesnt' taste right to me anymore. 

This isn't really taste related but I just don't "feel" right if I don't eat a lot of fruits and veggies throughout the day.  I visited my parents' house this weekend (processed foods and cheese capital of Illinois - had to bring my own fruit) and the only veggie they had was iceberg lettuce.  Today, feel kind of sluggish and not as mentally alert.  Gotta get my system right again!

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This isn't really taste related but I just don't "feel" right if I don't eat a lot of fruits and veggies throughout the day.  I visited my parents' house this weekend (processed foods and cheese capital of Illinois - had to bring my own fruit) and the only veggie they had was iceberg lettuce.  Today, feel kind of sluggish and not as mentally alert.  Gotta get my system right again!

You are so right about this, Deuce0! I ran out of fruit today and boy do I notice it. Did have some veggies with lunch but I need my vitamin fix from the fruit...so refreshing, too! Garbanzos just don't take the place of the leafy things!

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Dave-  If you had that bad of a reaction to the shower cleaner, I think that the steak would do you in...  Stay far away!

Could anyone tell me what DH stands for?  Darling husband?  I keep reading it all over on here and I am just curious...

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my senses have definatley become sharper...like in anything i can detect if there's traces of milk or meat (blech)...but it';s funny, i can smell egg yolk in anything. i used to work at this gourmet food store and we had to taste the items (we revolve aorund free samples) and they thoguht i was lying when i told them egg yolk was in their products so i refused to deal with it....
:o
but i soso agree and relate...senses are higher when you're cruelty free*!~ :D

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I wasn't always the healthiest veggie kid, but in the last year or two since I kicked my diet up a notch my nose has become extremely sensitive. One of my cousins brought some noodles to Thanksgiving last year. I passed on the noodles as I could smell the chicken stock. One of my relatives had said, "You can actually smell that?" Well, of course...

I also can't deal with salt any more. Or unnaturally sweet things. I can't stand those little flavoring packets for tacos or chili. Even if they are a "natural" brand. It feels like the salty taste just gets stuck at the back of my tongue and won't go away until I gargle with Listerine. And I almost threw up the last time I ate a Snickers bar (which just shows how much I shouldn't be eating that stuff  ::) )

DH = Darling Husband.

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Could anyone tell me what DH stands for?  Darling husband?  I keep reading it all over on here and I am just curious...

Yup; DH is dear or darling husband (or sometimes darn husband, depending on what he has done!) ;D

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Hey Kendra,
Just thinking about, and "seeing" the word steak and my name in the same sentence is starting to make me cough, gag and itch all over! :P

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I'm at my parents' house right now and they mostly store their food in plastic containers. I made tomato soup last night from canned tomatoes that I transferred into a plastic container, and some other things that were in plastic in the fridge for a while. The soup tasted like there was fish-gone-bad in it, and at first I couldn't figure out why but my best theory is that it's because the food was stored in plastic. There was no way fish (or even seaweed) could have gotten into the soup. It was kind of nasty but I was successful at ignoring it enough to enjoy my soup anyway. I never used to notice until I switched to storing food in glass in the fridge.

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