You Vote What You Eat: How Liberals and Conservatives Eat Differently
Our latest data project was to analyze how food preferences vary by political ideology. The infographic below, designed by the talented folks at Column Five Media, breaks it down. Keep reading after the infographic for more background and analysis, including some comparisons to findings from 18 months ago when we first looked at this issue.
Here’s another oldie, but goodie — or in this case, foodie. Way back in November 2009, Hunch explored the differences in food attitudes and preferences between liberals and conservatives. Since then, the Hunch user base and question pool have grown many times over. The 2009 report started with more than 64,000 responses to the base “Liberal or conservative?” question. The same question now has nearly 400,000 responses. This is all in the context of the more than 80 million “Teach Hunch About You” questions which have been answered on Hunch to date.
If Hunch users overall had their own TV network, it wouldn’t be “fair and balanced.” Only 17% of Hunchers identify as conservative. Yet they identify as liberal and middle of the road at nearly equal rates — 42% and 41%, respectively. We at Hunch respect all viewpoints, but this report focuses only on the left and the right. As their name implies, people who identified as middle of the road responded to questions somewhere in between the way liberals and conservatives answered. Makes sense, huh?
Back in July 2007, presidential nominee Barack Obama mentioned the price of arugula while speaking at a farm in Iowa. He was referring specifically to the price of arugula at Whole Foods, which doesn’t even have a store in Iowa. Conservatives went crazy. How could a man with a penchant for fancy lettuce run the US of A? Meanwhile, McCain went on the record and admitted, “I don’t do too well with vegetables.”
Michelle Obama came under the same heat (preheated at 300 degrees) when she and Cindy McCain shared their favorite cookie recipes with Family Circle. Apparently, the magazine readership’s recipe preferences correlated with the outcome of the four previous elections. In 2008, though, the cookie crumbled. Readers preferred McCain’s oatmeal butterscotch batch to Obama’s amaretto shortbread treats. No doubt some pundits wondered if amaretto is even legal in this country. Still, Barack rocked the polls.
The edible is political, but food preferences are polarizing even if we’re not trying to run the country. Let’s face it, vegans make most of us a little nervous. Those holiday meals with family can be hard to stomach, even before someone starts ranting about politics. People get tongue-tied about foie gras, and it’s not just a pronunciation issue. We all judge people by what they eat.
If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen, I guess.
Do you vote what you eat?