Fruits vs. Veggies: What's Your Love?
Fruits and Vegetables Show Our "Food Personality"
Nov. 16, 2004 -- I say potato, you say banana. I prefer veggies, you'd
rather grab fruit. These fruit and vegetable loves are a window to your
"food personality," according to a new report.
It is the cover story in the November issue of Journal of the American
"Fruits are not vegetables," writes researcher Brian Wansink, PhD,
professor of nutrition and marketing at the University of Illinois at
And Americans are, by and large, strong-minded people with definite fruit
and vegetable preferences, he says. Most people tend to prefer either fruits
or veggies -- not both, he notes. What we prefer says much about our
inner food-loving soul, and how adventurous we are with regard to food.
His report is based on survey results from 770 adults, all answering
questions about their food-related tendencies; 508 of them showed definite
preferences for fruits and vegetables, Wansink reports.
Fruits and Vegetables: Revealing Your Inner "Foodie"
Fruit lovers were following their sweet tooth. "Fruit lovers also tended
to be much less adventurous in cooking; they had fewer dinner parties; they
tended to stick to old standards if they cook at all. They liked convenience
foods, not necessarily fast food, but prepared foods."
"Vegetable lovers are quite the opposite," he says. "They tended
to like foods that are more savory, spicier. They claimed to drink wine more
frequently at meals, to like the tannic flavors of wine. They also were more
adventurous cooks who entertained more with dinner parties, had friends over
Effort (or lack of it) is the driving force when people choose fruits and
vegetables, he says.
"With fruit, it's just wash, peel, eat," says Wansink. "If you
look at vegetables in general, they require more preparation, more effort to
prepare, you have to peel and cook them. There has to be a willingness to put
effort into cooking. Those people are more likely to try new recipes, to have
people over for dinner."
Adventurous cooks tend to appreciate vegetables, he says. They enjoy their
talent for working with vegetables when cooking for others.
Tweak Fruit and Vegetable Tendencies
These insights can help us adjust our food-eating tendencies, he says.
Fruit lovers should eat more fruit -- but branch out: "Try eating
different types of fruits. Our research suggests people like you are more
likely to grow into a better fruit lover, rather than trying to become a
vegetable lover. Eat more fruit instead of sugary snacks or desserts. Don't
give up the ship just because you don't like asparagus and broccoli. You can
Vegetable lovers: "Don't try to eat more fruit if you don't feel like
it. Focus on eating more vegetables. You're more predisposed to becoming a
vegetable lover, even more so than you are now. Lean into your strengths rather
than forcing yourself to eat more bananas each month," says Wansink.