The Meaning of Our Food Preferences

I love reading about food-related psychological studies and this one on how our eating preferences are influenced (by our personal values, the food’s cultural meaning, and its physical appearance) is no exception:

How we feel about a sausage […] says more about our personal values than about what the sausage actually tastes like.

A large group of people were given a “human values” test which seeks to measure fifty six different values (loyalty, ambition, social order, etc.) Then, the subjects were asked to rate a variety of sausages. People who scored high on “social authority” – they believed it was important to support people in power – tended to label the “vegetarian” sausage as inferior, even when the vegetarian sausage was actually from a cow. Likewise, people who scored low on “social power values” tended to score the vegan sausage much higher than the beef sausage, even when they were actually eating meat. Instead of judging the food product on its merits, they ended up preferring the product that more closely conformed to their value system.

I wonder what this means for me. I like vegetarian sausages and always give serious consideration to the Sunday nut roast; but I always go for the meat because, well, it’s more traditional, isn’t it?

via Link Banana