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Can you distinguish Pâté from Dog Food?


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A relevent study in these hard times ...

Abstract

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.

Notes from the underbelly

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Dog food should be no salt and no onion.

Maybe that accounts for the low taste score?

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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Recently, I opened a couple of small tins of pâté. You know, the kind that you can get in the duty free shop at the airport before boarding your flight back to the US. These were specifically Fauchon - in a 3 pack, and I still have the can of Duck Pâté in my refrigerator.

My first thought when I opened the can was how much it smelled like the food I feed my cat - Wellness, in various incarnations. My second was to put it on the plate and just serve it quickly, before I had any second thoughts. And I tasted both samples I had put out; they were fine. I figured either my cat is lucky or we're not.

Of course, this brought back to mind the great Honeymooners episode, when Ralph Kramden "invents" a new mystery appetizer, and name's it Kranmar's - after himself and his boss, Mr. Marshall. But, it's actually the can of dog food that Alice brought home for their new puppy - and as soon as Mr. Marshall tastes it and figures out what it is, Ralph does one of his patented faints.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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My first thought when I opened the can was how much it smelled like the food I feed my cat - Wellness, in various incarnations.  My second was to put it on the plate and just serve it quickly, before I had any second thoughts.  And I tasted both samples I had put out; they were fine. I figured either my cat is lucky or we're not.

I bought a case of Core Wellness cat food yesterday; the pate at the duty-free shop was probably cheaper!

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  • 2 weeks later...

We've chatted about this subject for years and our opinion is that we can make better, cheaper, yummier cat food fit for man or beast cheaper than buying the little cans. It could be really good.

Since our Abys died, our domestic shorthairs have lowmarket taste: they prefer the canned Iams to our house made Seafood Supper. We've contemplated our desolate old age, and one of the cheeriest things we've got going for us is that we can cook dinner cheaper than buying catfood.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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What a relevant topic for me. ( Dang, I wish I'd taken a picture). We had a death in the family last week and Saturday was the funeral. An Aunt's bf( british) brought over two pate's. I was asked by my spouse to cut the beef/pork one and put it on the table( after the funeral). Because I dont eat meat and I was still upset from the funeral, I couldnt even look at it. I commented to some friends that it seriously looked like dog food. It really, really did. ( except there was a whole hard boiled egg inside).

It was barely touched!!

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What is disturbing here is that the researchers were able to a. get people to voluntarily eat the dog food after, I am hopeful, the victims signed a release stating they would be eating dog food. In this case you have to question if the "contestants" are truly representative of "normal" homo sapiens. or b. the "subjects" were not told for "data integrity" and they one has to question the "integrity" of the researchers. What is not accounted for is the baseline diet of the volunteers. For instance, if they were college students then maybe they were not able to tell the difference as a result of eating cafeteria "food" vs. a more refined palate- and less likely to agree to eat Fido's Alpo.

What is most perplexing is who funded such a useless waste of time and resources. Maybe Tom Green has a Stupid Foundation.

Edited by Tom Gengo (log)

Tom Gengo

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What is disturbing here is that the researchers were able to a. get people to voluntarily eat the dog food after, I am hopeful, the victims signed a release stating they would be eating dog food.  In this case you have to question if the "contestants" are truly representative of "normal" homo sapiens.  or b. the "subjects" were not told for "data integrity" and they one has to question the "integrity" of the researchers.  What is not accounted for is the baseline diet of the volunteers.  For instance, if they were college students then maybe they were not able to tell the difference as a result of eating cafeteria "food" vs. a more refined palate- and less likely to agree to eat Fido's Alpo.

What is most perplexing is who funded such a useless waste of time and resources.  Maybe Tom Green has a Stupid Foundation.

I've read the study and it was not done well. A few things you should know:

1. The subjects clearly rated the dog food as the worst tasting of samples. Out of 18 participants, 13 rates the dog food as the worst tasting of the five samples. An additional 2 people rated the dog food as the fourth worst (those two people rated Spam as worse than dog food. Only 3 out of 18 people rated the dog food as being in the top 3 out of the 5 samples. I think the most accurate headline for this study should have been "Most people think dog food tastes worse than regular food," but then who would have been interested in that?

2. In a separate question posed to the subjects, they were asked to guess which of the samples was the dog food. You might guess that they would pick the worst tasting sample as the dog food, right? Well, the study authors told the subjects ahead of time that one of the samples was dog food and that it didn't taste bad. The authors note that they believe that this bit of information was what led many of the subjects to shy away from picking the worst tasting substance as the dog food. Indeed, one of the authors writes that some participants told him that this is why they didn't pick the dog food!

3. The study took place on New Years Eve, between 7 and 10pm. It is reasonable to presume that (a) people were drinking alcohol and (b) were engaged in other social activities while participating in the study. These conditions are not ideal. We might presume that some people are less capable of making good, independent judgments under these circumstances.

Edited by Darren72 (log)
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