Children are more likely to prefer foods they believe to be natural to human-made options, rating them higher for tastiness, safety and desirability, a study shows.
Researchers say the tendency in adults to prefer natural food is well documented. However, the latest findings found this food bias exists in early and middle childhood as well.
Researchers at the Universities of Edinburgh and Yale studied the preferences of more than 374 adults and children in the United States when presented with apples and orange juice and told of their origins.
In one study, 137 children aged six to 10 years old were shown three apples. They were told one was grown on a farm, one was made in a lab, and another grown on a tree inside a lab.
The team used questionnaires and statistical models to assess the children’s apple preferences in terms of perceived tastiness, perceived safety and desire to eat. Adults took part in the same study to compare age groups.
Both children and adults preferred apples they believed were grown on farms to those grown in labs, researchers found.
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