We all want our kids to eat more greens, and the fact that they don’t might actually not be their fault. A recent study conducted by the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy and published today in the journal Scientific Reports shows that we are hard-wired to select red food over green. They found that our visual sense is the first one that we use to select our food.
As Raffaella Rumiati, the coordinator of the study and a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, explained
“According to some theories, our visual system evolved to easily identify particularly nutritious berries, fruits and vegetables from jungle foliage. We are visual animals, unlike others, dogs, for example, who depend on their sense of smell. We are particularly efficient at distinguishing red from green. It is mainly the colour of food that guides us, and our experiments show how. To date, only a few studies have been focused on the topic.”
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Interestingly, they found that the preference for red over green doesn’t translate to non-edible objects. Rumiati explained that “This means that the colour code of the visual system activates correctly only with food stimuli.”