Menu psychology, fake blood recipe, the value of calorie counts

Menu psychology, fake blood recipe, the value of calorie counts

Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio succumbs to the vampire craze by appearing in a viral promotional video for HBO drama True Blood. In the video, the chef prepares a “synthetic blood nourishment beverage” that vampires drink as a substitute for the real thing. Ingredients include star anise, beets and a big heaping spoon of shamelessness. [Youtube]

• The absence of the dollar symbol on menus isn’t a pretentious trend but rather a tactic restaurants use to trick people into spending more. A study from Cornell University says getting rid of the dollar sign makes people disassociate the number from the price. [Baltimore Sun]

• Canada and the U.S. have finally agreed to standardize the criteria for organic products—meaning if it’s good enough for the Yanks, it’s good enough for the Canucks—so there is no need for additional certifications. The new rules go in effect on June 30. [National Post]

• Dieticians doubt that publishing calorie counts on menus will discourage Canadians from ordering fattier options, saying that it may even encourage diners to order dishes with higher calories because they are perceived to taste better.
[Vancouver Sun]

• The Public Health Agency of Canada says an antibiotic injected into poultry and eggs that reduces the spread of disease may result in people being resistant to the antibiotic when used to treat illnesses. Resistance levels were so high in 2005 that poultry farmers voluntarily stopped using the additive. []