Did you know that the color of your dinner plate impacts how much you serve and eat? Brian Wansink, Ph.D., Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University and author of numerous articles and books on eating behavior, including the best-selling “Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think,” has proven that the contrast between the color of your dinner plate and the food is important. The less color contrast, the more you serve and consume. Thus the theory suggests that we will eat more mashed potatoes on a white plate and more leafy green vegetables on a green plate. It makes one want to run right out to Home Goods for some new dinnerware.
When I think of colors relating to my dinner plate, I immediately drift back to childhood dinners and my Mom’s reinforcing “You need to add more color to your plate.” Like most moms, she is a genius at child psychology. Knowing she would touch my creative side, I would add more vegetables to my plate as the bland browns and white of meat and bread were less imaginative.
With autumn just around the corner, I am thinking about the colors to add to my plate. Fall delivers a cornucopia of seasonal vegetables rich in hue. Greens of broccoli, brussels sprouts, chard and kale; orange of carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes; red of cabbage; and whites of cauliflower, kohlrabi, and turnips. To help you buy and eat fresh and local, the Long Island Farm Bureau provides a list of farm stands and farmers markets.
Get back to your roots, and color your plates this fall!