Dining for science

A peculiar pop-up restaurant will open its doors in Wageningen on Thursday 8 and Friday 9 November. Those who will dine there will be observed by scientists. Their aim is to determine how food design – including shape, colour and odour – influences eating behaviour.
Tessa Louwerens

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All You Can Eat Enough is the name of the pop-up restaurant, which is a project of Katja Gruijters, founder of the Feed Your Mind Foundation, in collaboration with WUR professor Kees de Graaf of Human Nutrition. ‘Science already has a lot of information about the way certain properties of food and the environment influence eating behaviour’, De Graaf explains. Based on this scientific knowledge, Gruijters designed a six-course dinner that will be presented to a hundred invitees at ProefLab Wageningen, on the Diedenweg 18d.

This small-scale research will investigate how people react to various aspects of food, like colour and shape, but also to other aspects of the dinner such as the cutlery, De Graaf says. However, he does not wish to unveil too many details, as it might influence the results of the study.

If we know more about how to guide our eating behaviour, we might be able to steer consumers into making healthier choices, Gruijters thinks. Additionally, she hopes that the research into eating behaviour will help decrease food wastage. The current plan is to set up a follow-up study next year, with a thousand people.

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