Red Rules – “…our visual system evolved to easily identify particularly nutritious berries, fruits and vegetables from jungle foliage,”

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“We are particularly efficient at distinguishing red from green,”

“In natural foods, color is a good predictor of calories,…The redder an unprocessed food is, the more likely it is to be nutritious, while green foods tend to be low in calories.”

“Cooked foods are always preferred because, compared to natural foods, there is more nutrition for the same quantity,” explains Rumiati. “With cooked foods, however, the dominance of red over green no longer provides reliable information, which might lead us to believe that the brain would not apply the rule to processed foods. On the contrary, it does, which hints at the presence of ancient evolutionary mechanisms from before the introduction of cooking.”

“The preference for red over green is not observed with non-edible objects,” says Rumiati. “This means that the color code of the visual system activates correctly only with food stimuli.”

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