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What’s in a name?

March 4, 2009

Did you know by renaming vegetables to names such as ‘x-ray vision carrots’ or ‘power peas’, it will make children more likely to eat them? I read an article yesterday that talked about a new study that just came out. Apparently kids at a school were served carrots on different days. On certain days they served the carrots as ‘x-ray vision carrots’ and kids ate twice as many with that name, rather than using the regular name carrots. The best part about it though is the kids kept eating the carrots in the following days after, even when it was just called by its normal name.

It’s an interesting idea, what a name does for the human mind. A few weeks ago I came across a blog entry about the name ‘dried golden plum’ versus ‘yellow prune’. She talked about how she would have just kept walking past the ‘yellow prunes’ but when she saw the name ‘dried golden plums’, she stopped and had to buy some. It got me thinking about how much a name means. Would you rather buy something called ‘moldy cheese’ or the fancier ‘blue cheese’? Or how about ‘green beans’ or ‘haricot verts’? Can you think of any more examples?

Don’t hate on the marketing people or chefs for coming up with fun names, it’s all so you’ll buy it or your kids will eat it. And it works, almost every time. So what’s in a name? A whole lot if you ask me.

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