This long holiday weekend will also give everyone – including all of us at The Chef’s Garden – the opportunity to really plan resolutions for 2018. So far, we’ve got these on our list:
Not surprisingly, we’ve been thinking about what 2018 will bring and here are thoughts by Farmer Lee Jones. “There is a difference,” he says, “between a trend and a fad. Fads can be interesting, fads can be fun, but we’ve got our eyes focused on trends. One that has us feeling especially happy is that vegetable consumption continues to rise in the United States, and we don’t see this accelerating trend slowing down any time soon. We believe it is a permanent change in the way that people are eating.”
In Europe, plates have long consisted of 80% fruits and vegetables and 20% protein. In the United States, for a long time, it was the exact opposite. But, that’s changing – and in a way that’s good for the environment and good for people’s health, overall.
“This trend makes it a very exciting time to be a vegetable farmer,” says Farmer Lee, “and we really enjoy seeing how chefs are becoming even more creative, embracing plant-based offerings in ways that are flavorful, nutritious and easy on the eye.”
We’re always watching for news about people eating vegetables – and one study about naming dishes with vegetables caught our eye. According to research published in JAMA Internal Medicine, people are more likely to choose the dish with the sexiest name. That’s not surprisingly, really, but it is interesting. More specifically, after Stanford University researchers monitored the eating habits of 28,000 diners in the university cafeterias for 46 days, they discovered that people are 25 percent more likely to choose the veggies with the more enticing-sounding names.
In their testing, one vegetable dish was served under four different names. One was named using only a basic descriptor. Another added a “healthy restrictive descriptor”; another, a “healthy positive descriptor.” Then, the fourth added an “indulgent descriptor.” Here is how that played out with butternut squash:
In this case, 41 percent of the diners chose the dish with the seductive label when tested against the healthy restrictive one.
So, what does that mean? Well, we already knew that increasing numbers of people are choosing to add more vegetables to their diets, and now this study shows that “jazzing up how you name” your dishes would likely cause even more people to order vegetable dishes. People are sure interesting, aren’t they?
If you change up the names of any of your vegetable dishes on your menus, we’d sure love to hear about it, as well as how diners respond. Thanks!
As 2017 is drawing to a close, we want to thank each and every one of you for all your support. And all of us at The Chef’s Garden wish each of you the happiest and healthiest New Year!