Photo: greenlagirl, Flickr
The next time you're hosting company for dinner, here's the quickest, easiest way the garner raves from your guests about your cooking: tell 'em it's organic.
The power of the word "organic" has long been understood by the culinary scribes who write the mouthwatering descriptions for high-end restaurant menus, and a recent study by a graduate student at Cornell appears to confirm its strange magic, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Jenny Wan-chen Lee asked 144 shoppers at a local mall to sample three different processed foods: chocolate sandwich cookies, plain yogurt and potato chips. Some she labeled organic, others not. She then asked them to rate the products based on a number of criteria, from overall taste to how much fat they thought the product contained, as well as to estimate how much they would be willing to pay for each item in the store.
What the tasters didn't know, however, is that all the products were identical; there was no difference between the foods labeled "organic" and those labeled "regular."
Voila! Behold the magic power of "organic": The unsuspecting tasters typically rated the so-called organic products yummier and more healthy. The results appear to be pretty consistent across the board: Which has less fat? Organic. Which has more fiber? Organic. Participants even said that they'd been willing to pay more for the "organic" goods. (No surprise here to anyone who's shopped at Whole Foods lately.)
How far you take the findings of this study at your own next soiree is up to you. "Organic Cheese Whiz on saltines, anyone?"