Is it organic, or is it McDonalds?

Two guys (Sacha and Cedrique) from a Dutch show called LifeHunters visited a food convention in Houten where they offered the "food experts" in attendance samples of what they said was a "new organic alternative to fast food." In reality, they served bite-sized pieces of McDonalds food.

The result: the attendees were not only impressed by what they tasted, but also a number of them said that it tasted much better than McDonalds fast food. One commented that, "you can just tell this is a lot more pure."

Sacha and Cedrique concluded that, "if you tell people that something is organic, they'll automatically believe it's organic!"

It's not surprising that people reacted positively to the samples. After all, researchers who study the psychology of eating have long known that how we perceive food to taste is closely linked with how we expect it to taste, based on visual and contextual cues.

For instance, in a famous study conducted in 1998, Frederic Brochet asked wine experts to sample and review a selection of red wines. But Brochet actually gave them white wine colored red, and not a single one of the experts realized this. They were expecting to taste red wine, so that's what they tasted.

Likewise, the attendees at the Houten food convention expected to taste an "organic alternative to fast food," so that's what they tasted.

Of course, the LifeHunters segment hardly ranks as a scientific study. It's more of a prank, really. For a start, we have to assume that LifeHunters didn't edit out all the negative reactions from their video. Also, a lot of the "food experts" in the video looked a lot like regular people.


Posted on Tue Oct 21, 2014


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