Shock and Aawe: Study Finds Most People Cannot Tell The Difference Between Pâté From Dog Food

250px-Pates_p1150435250px-Wikilabrador_jardinFinally, some serious academic research. The American Association of Wine Economists have answered that long-standing and vexing question: can people tell the difference between pâte and dog food? The answer in AAWE Working Paper, No. 36, is entitled, “Can People Distinguish Pate from Dog Food?” is no.


For years, I have insisted with my wife that pâte tastes a lot like dog food (while I have never actually tasted dog food, I have been repeatedly kissed by dogs fresh from eating dog food). Now, I have been vindicated. The good people at AAWE gave people the following dishes:

1. Mousse de Canard (duck liver mousse) by Trois Petits Cochons
2. Pate de Campagne (pork liver pate) by Trois Petits Cochons
3. Spam (pork shoulder and ham) by Hormel Foods
4. Liverwurst (D’Agostino’s)
5. Newman’s Own Organic Canned Turkey & Chicken Formula for Puppies

First, it turns out that you can get people to eat dog food in the name of science or $25 bucks. Second, “Only 3 of 18 subjects correctly identified sample C as the dog food.” Six picked liverwurst (which I have also opposed since age 3 as an inedible and evil food stuff).

It is worth noting that 55 percent of the culinary adventurers said the duck liver tasted best and 72% said the dog food tasted worst. However, I still would suggest that paying for something that requires focused taste testing to distinguish from dog food should be set aside for a nice salad and bread sticks.

For the study, click here.

For the full story, click here.

Steven Colbert’s coverage on the report, click here.

30 thoughts on “Shock and Aawe: Study Finds Most People Cannot Tell The Difference Between Pâté From Dog Food

  1. In a natural environmment you will generally encounter form, which iis a fungus.
    Athlete’s foot and jock itch are most common, and is
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  2. Fact: If ducks and geese are unhappy, they refuse to eat and die. So much for cruel torture. I’ve seen a Fois Gras farm in France (Perigord). They’re just big fat white ducks and geese, walking around a lake in the fresh air, having a grand old time. Seared medallions of fresh fois gras de canard with a balsamic reduction. . . .yummmmmm

  3. From very early on in one’s development ‘sweet’ is automatically accepted as pleasing whereas bitter is out.

    A taste for fats comes along later – yehhhh 😉

    There are likewise some other tastes and textures which are initially, and almost universally, considered unappealing and become ‘acquired tastes’, nonetheless.

    Generally speaking, the greater variety of foods a mother partakes of herself results in her offering the same to her offsping – whether or not she breast feeds.

    Some bottle-fed infants are allergic to formula and still go on to become hearty eaters!

    The overall hardwiring comes from evolution of the species.
    It’s called survival.

    That’s why some kids are almost prepared to ‘die’ rather than eat THAT stuff.

    We’ve all been there…

  4. I am at a loss, why would anyone bother eating if this is what it is all about. YUCK.

    No about that torture memo, did it include pate’ boarding?

  5. Gyges:

    this is a great website, going from pate to the origins of and theory of taste.

  6. Bron,

    By palate I mean the ability to pick up flavors, and knowledge of what flavors are appropriate for a food. There’s some overlap with taste, but they mean different things.

    I think you’re right though, you get acclimated to the food at hand, but there are some tastes you just naturally like. There’s some evidence that you get hard wired for certain flavors based on your mother’s diet before your born and while you’re being breastfed.

  7. Gyges:

    wouldnt your taste be what you are used to? For example when I spent 6 months in La. (state) I went there not liking and unable to consume spicy hot food, I now think Tabasco is a mild condiment and there is nothing better than hot spicy Indian food.

    So in my mind your taste for food is what you typically eat or there are things that just taste great and so you normally are attracted to them. Chocolate comes to mind as a universally liked food and that may be a case for your position.

    your thoughts?

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