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