Posts Tagged ‘study’

How Some Pictures of Food Can Reduce Appetites

December 23, 2010

So it turns out that when you invest in photos of your food for your menu, you may not only be helping to drive sales of your most photogenic dishes, but you may also be helping some of your customers lose weight.

Carnegie Case Study Reveals Surprising Results about Food Photography

A new study at Carnegie Mellon University has concluded that if people simply look at pictures of food, imagine what it tastes like and how it smells, it actually helps you to curb your appetite. In other words, it’s the exact opposite of what we all assumed until now – that imagining what the food is and how it looks only whets your appetite.

Now before you start wondering about why your customers don’t just look at the pictures, get satisfied and walk out, it turns out that there’s one hitch – in order for the pictures to work when they see them, the people who see them have to also actually imagine eating the food.

Case Study on Psychological Eating Results

The study was broken down into five parts. In the first part, 51 people were told that they should imagine 33 different actions that they do repetitively, each of them one by one. Then, they asked a control group to imagine they were busy popping 33 quarters into a coin operating washing machine. Still another group was told to imagine putting 30 quarters into a washing machine and then eating 3 M&M candies. Another group did the reverse, imagining eating 30 M&Ms and then putting three quarters into a washing machine.

Once that was done, the groups were offered a bowl of actual M&Ms to eat. The ones who had imagined having eaten 30 M&M candies actually ate fewer than the other groups.

Now bottom line, it’s really more a curiosity for us as restaurateurs than an actually important piece of information. However, if you happen to see a customer come in and ask to see and hold a picture of a large order of fries, hold it for a few minutes and then order small fries, you’ll know what happened.

Fish Prices Expected to Skyrocket in Coming Years

November 3, 2010

The world is being severely overfished. That’s the conclusion so far from an ongoing study being conducted at the University of British Columbia. According to the study, the world catch, or the amount of fish taken out of the sea “in the wild”, is approximately 170 billion pounds each year.

The study’s authors claim that this amount of fishing is unsustainable. They claim that world fish prices could spike severely in the near future as fish becomes more and more of a luxury for Western consumers while those in developing nations may have to do without altogether.

The Type of Fish is the Biggest Problem

One of the issues the study brings up, and one which we are particularly concerned about, is that the raw tonnage of fish taken out of the sea is not nearly as important as the type of fish consumed.

The authors of the study, Daniel Pauly, a fisheries scientist as the university, and Enric Sala, a National Geographic fellow say that the bigger the fish, the more of a problem it is to consume it.

Tuna for example, which restaurateurs have already seen spike in prices in recent years, is a fish which they say needs to be kept to a minimum. A thousand pound tuna for example, according them, would require around 15,000 pounds of other fish to be bred and made ready for our plates.

That’s because tuna is what is known as an “Apex predator.” These kinds of fish rest on top of the food chain and eat many other, smaller fish.

A Change in Menus is Called For

The scientists say that given the concerns they have regarding the sea, they would like to see people begin eating other, smaller fish such as farmed tilapia in place of salmon and black cod in place of Chilean sea bass.

How it Affects Restaurateurs

As the efforts of the study authors become more and more apparent, restaurateurs will have to make decisions about their menus. Some for example may choose to offer both the bigger fish for those who aren’t concerned and only want to enjoy tuna or salmon while at the same making more environmentally friendly choices available for their diners who want other kinds of fish.