The same results are interpreted two ways, but there is only one model for food choice and for mate choice. That model is clearly based on ‘olfaction’, even as it is portrayed in bacteria.
1. “Nature” posits that bacteria are sniffing out their food. Bacteria sniff out their food. The simplest form of cellular life can scent nutrients from a distance. Nijland, R. & Burgess, J. G. Biotechnology Journal (2010) Source Nature
2. “The Scientist” posits that bacteria are sniffing out each other. Bacteria sniff each other out. When sensing the presence of other species, bacteria meet the textbook definition for olfaction. Nijland, R. & Burgess, J. G. “Bacterial olfaction,” Biotechnology Journal, 2010. Source: The Scientist
The all-too-common visual approach to human physical attraction is akin to the visual perception of attractive foods being causal to the development of food preferences. I discussed this in my July 2, 2010 presentation to the American Mensa Society, as seen in these two ( of four) 5-minute excerpts from the presentation: