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a viscous cycle

Why so many people are disgusted by mayonnaise, according to science

Even if you don't hate mayonnaise, understanding the science behind why so many people do might change your mind.

The widespread contempt for mayonnaise stems from the science of disgust. For early humans, disgust was a natural reaction to food that was diseased, rotten, or not a food at all. Thus, it's evolutionarily normal to avoid those foods, University of Pennsylvania psychology professor Paul Rozin told Popular Science.

It's why we don't stay too close to excrement or vegetables, which start attracting flies. And while mayonnaise may not be quite as bad as feces, its thick, viscous consistency isn't unlike some mysterious, odious bodily fluid.

Food sensory consultant Herbert Stone estimates that around 20 percent of Americans don't like mayonnaise, though there is a difference between dislike and true disgust. Either way, you can stop feeling bad about scraping the mayo off your sandwich, and start blaming your aversion on science.