Brussels sprouts, broccoli, green beans—people may not think they're so icky after all.
Sponsored by Birds Eye, researchers at Cornell University Food and Brand Lab set out to explore how some of our least favorite foods (vegetables!) impact our perception of the meal and the person who prepared it.
As part of the study, they conducted a national survey with 500 moms who had two or more children under the age of 18. A variety of meals were shown with and without vegetables. Participants were then asked to rate those meals and the cook on a scale of 1 to 9 and to describe both from a list of attributes.
What they found was surprising: Vegetables don't always have people turning up their noses.
Ratings given to meals (steak, chicken, pasta, etc.) without a vegetable averaged 7.0. But toss some broccoli, zucchini or green beans onto the plate and all of a sudden that same dish scored an 8.1. Participants were also more likely to grade the meal as "loving" when some green stalks or crunchy crops were present.
The produce did more than improve the perception of the meal, though. Adding vegetables to a dish boosted the perception of the chef as well. Tossing some greens (or yellows, reds or oranges) on the plate earned the cook higher accolades, and the cooks were more likely to be rated as "thoughtful," "attentive" and "capable."
Surprised? We were too.
Want to learn a few more legitimate reasons why vegetables rule? Check out our slideshow above!