Make it sound tasty and they're more likely to eat it

By: Judy Davie - The Food Coach

It's tough to find out you've been doing it wrong for over 18 years which it what I discovered today when I uncovered an article on a website called Food Dive. In it I read that researchers in the US who conducted a study across 137,842 meal decisions in colleges and universities found that consumers ate vegetables 29% more often when they had labels based on their taste attributes rather than their health benefits. Moreover, the taste-focused labels got consumers eating their vegetables 14% more often than with basic labels.

All those years of thinking someone would be motivated to eat foods which they knew foods slowed down the aging process and prevented cancer when in fact most will eat them if they're described to be indulgent and tasty.

The researchers believe that touting health over taste inadvertently instills the mindset that healthy eating is tasteless and depriving.

In the study, the more indulgent-sounding descriptions resulted in more vegetables being consumed than if they were labelled with healthy names or neutral ones, regardless of whether they were prepared in the same way. In other words a plate of "twisted citrus glazed carrots" was more appealing than a label which reads, "steamed Carrots - rich in beta-carotene and good for the eyes" or "steamed carrots and lemon juice".

Now I'm pretty rubbish at exaggeration and tend to call a spade exactly what it is - a spade, but if it makes people eat healthy food it's time to learn new tricks. So here goes:

A quick search on positive words to describe food found a fun website called Boom Positive which had lots of positive words to describe food - most of which would never occur to me . I've cherry picked through the words and discarded some which sounded plain silly and have narrowed it down to one which I can use to describe fruit and veg. Have a read and see if you can add to it.

Positive DescriptorsFruit and Veg to describe it with
Aromatic, Minty, Astringent Herbs
Bittersweet, Citrusy, LemonyOrange, Tangelo, Grapefruit, Lemon thyme, all citrus, vegetables with added lemon
Creamy, velvety, silkyAvocado, banana, custard apples, kiwi
Crispy - CrunchyApples, nashi pear, fuji fruit, cos lettuce
Earthy, HeartyTomatoes, potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, beetroot. most root vegetables
Finger-licking, fruitymost juicy fruit
Garlicky + GingeryGarlic and Ginger
GooeyPersimmon, Black sapote, durian
Heavenly, Luscious Tropical fruits - pineapple, mango, peaches, nectarines, apricots passion fruit
Honeyed Roast veg with honey (carrots) mandarins, Calypso mangos
Mashed Pumpkin, cauliflower, potato, sweet potato
Mellow, mildZucchini, squash, pumpkin
Moreish, indulgentGrapes, cherries, blueberries, raspberries
Peaches, nectarines
NuttyJerusalem artichokes
OnionyOnions, French eshallots, spring onions, green onions
Pickled, vinegary
Kimchi, all pickled veg,
Pungent, Onions, garlic
PiquantChilli, rocket , endive
Rich, SucculentMango, honey, banana, persimmon
Toastedcauliflower, nuts, nectarines, peaches
Whippedavocado, eggplant, persimmon
Zingy and zestyspicy, lemony


Be the first to comment!

Add your comment

To post comments you need to be a member of The Food Coach club. Membership is free, so click here to begin posting!

If you are already registered, or are already a member of The Food Coach Club, simply enter your username and password below to begin commenting.

Login to the Food Coach

«Forgotten your password? Click here»

latest comments

Be the first to comment!
Facebook Twitter RSS