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blueberries

Are there any blue foods other than these?

A few weeks ago, we learned in the Week in Review that red is a hot color in restaurants – not only does it look good, it stimulates our appetites. Kelsey did some research to find out the effects of other colors on our appetites.

Do you ever pay attention to the décor of restaurants? While you may be unaware, subconsciously there are certain colors that appeal to us and a few that don’t. They affect our appetite and our mood, and it all comes down to psychology and where the colors occur in nature. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most popular – and unpopular – colors when it comes to eating.

Red is an appetite stimulant. There are plenty of red foods, from tomatoes, to strawberries and red peppers. Red also stimulates conversation, so it’s no surprise restaurants want to incorporate it into their color scheme. You’ll eat a lot and enjoy your conversation.

Orange is associated with need and hunger. Oranges, carrots and salmon come to mind . Orange is commonly used in restaurants as well, because like red it stimulates hunger, and restaurants want you to eat.

Yellow is a sociable color. Lighting can adversely affect the yellow, so be careful how bright you go with it. Bright yellows are used liberally in fast food restaurants – think McDonald’s. I wonder if they want you to focus more on talking and less on what you’re eating.

Beige and Brown are earthy tones that create a calming atmosphere without suppressing appetites. Deep browns, dark woods for example, can make a room feel luxurious. These are also some of the most common colors in the foods we eat, apart from red and green, and it makes sense. Think meat, bread, and beans – protein and carbohydrates are important to our diets. Do you think deep browns feel luxurious, because it reminds you of a nice steak?

Green is a soothing color that aids digestion. It is also known to help you focus. Perhaps if you eat your vegetables, you’ll feel relaxed and get more done. Restaurants can use green in their décor to create a soothing ambiance, setting them apart from a stimulating restaurant done in red or orange.

Blue is known to be a calming color, and a favorite of many. But when it comes to food, it isn’t as popular. Blue acts as an appetite suppressant. If you want to eat less, try putting a blue light in your refrigerator or eating from a blue plate. How many blue foods can you think of that occur in nature? Blueberries are the only thing that comes to mind.

Next time you’re out to dinner, pay attention to the colors of the décor, the dishes and the even the color of your food. Did you eat more at the restaurant with red walls? Or lose your appetite when eating off of a blue plate?

CC image courtesy of Cillian Storm

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3 Comments

  1. Jennifer S 1-31-2011 at 1:01 pm

    I read somewhere a while back that orange suggested informality. Do you suppose that is true, or would you say yellow takes that distinction?

    What does purple suggest, as a food color? Grapes and certain types of deep violet potatoes, as well as red cabbage, are purple.

  2. Kelsey Mugford 2-2-2011 at 2:49 pm

    I hadn’t heard that about orange, but I do get that feeling – so I believe it.

    Purple has been associated with royalty and wealth for a long time, but in terms of food it doesn’t occur much more often than blue. Grapes and eggplant are only purple on the outside, which makes me wonder what effect that has on the topic. I just looked up purple potatoes, which I’ve never heard of before. Are they good?

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