Monday, August 31, 2009

Grazing, Girth, and Dog-Food Pate

Grazing, Goods and Girth: Determinants and Effects

Daniel Hamermesh, NBER Working Paper, August 2009

Using the 2006-07 American Time Use Survey and its Eating and Health Module, I show that over half of adult Americans report grazing (secondary eating/drinking) on a typical day, with grazing time almost equaling primary eating/drinking time. An economic model predicts that higher wage rates (price of time) will lead to substitution of grazing for primary eating/drinking, especially by raising the number of grazing incidents relative to meals. This prediction is confirmed in these data. Eating meals more frequently is associated with lower BMI and better self-reported health, as is grazing more frequently. Food purchases are positively related to time spent eating—substitution of goods for time is difficult—but are lower when eating time is spread over more meals.


Can People Distinguish Pâté From Dog Food?

John Bohannon, Robin Goldstein & Alexis Herschkowitsch American Association
of Wine Economists Working Paper, April 2009

Considering the similarity of its ingredients, canned dog food could be a suitable and inexpensive substitute for pâté or processed blended meat products such as Spam or liverwurst. However, the social stigma associated with the human consumption of pet food makes an unbiased comparison challenging. To prevent bias, Newman's Own dog food was prepared with a food processor to have the texture and appearance of a liver mousse. In a double-blind test, subjects were presented with five unlabeled blended meat products, one of which was the prepared dog food. After ranking the samples on the basis of taste, subjects were challenged to identify which of the five was dog food. Although 72% of subjects ranked the dog food as the worst of the five samples in terms of taste (Newell and MacFarlane multiple comparison, P<0.05), subjects were not better than random at correctly identifying the dog food.

(Nod to Kevin L, who only confuses CAT food with pate)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This made think of the job confronting referees for The American Economic Review.

-- Miracle Max