Friday, April 22, 2005

size matters

Some old news:

Salon on Horizon organic. Can't remember if I posted the allegedly incriminating photos.

Wendy's Chili lady arrested for grand larceny; press conference in S.J. @ 1PST.

Strawberries: In additions to Karp's article from last week, Andy Griffin explains the economics of strawberry farming; Small Farms and newfarm.org visit Swanton Berry Farm, the first organic farm with a UFW contract.

Learn about the USDA gene bank.

Two interesting articles from Food Quality and Preference 16/5: Wansink et al., "How descriptive food names bias sensory perceptions in restaurants" [393-400]. Abstract:

Can a dietitian, restaurateur, marketer, or parent change the perceived taste of a food simply by changing its name? In a six-week cafeteria experiment involving 140 customers, those who ate foods with evocative, descriptive menu names (such as "Succulent Italian Seafood Filet") generated a larger number of positive comments about the food and rated it as more appealing, tasty, and caloric than those eating regularly-named counterparts (e.g., "Seafood Filet"). The open-ended comments indicated that their evaluations were assimilated with prior taste expectations in a manner that is more deliberate and less automatic than most research typically claims. For practioners, the use of descriptive names may help improve perceptions of foods in institutional settings, and it may help facilitate the introduction of unfamiliar foods.

Cervellon et al., "Cultural influences in the origins of food likings and dislikes" [455-460]. Abstract:

This research investigates cultural influences on affective and cognitive bases or origins of food likes and dislikes in terms of cross-cultural differences (French from France, N = 118 vs. Chinese from PR China, N = 100) and acculturation (Chinese from PR China vs. Chinese accultured in Canada, N = 111). Content analyses on the reasons for liking and disliking food items support the expected cross-cultural differences between the French and the Chinese: the French display a dominant affective basis, whereas the Chinese attitude to food reflects more balance between affect and cognition. Comparisons between the Chinese acculturated into a Western culture and the Chinese from PR China revealed little change to the balance between bases for liking, and a shift toward a higher pre-dominance of the affective basis for dislikes. Theoretical and practical implications of the results are discussed.

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