The researchers, led by Luke Zhu, assistant professor in the department of business administration at the University of Manitoba in Canada, conducted a series of studies focusing on 93 adults. One study asked the participants what foods they viewed as masculine or feminine; for example, baked fish versus fried fish, and -- unsurprisingly -- found that people viewed the unhealthier options as more masculine and the healthier options as feminine, according to the report.
As for food packaging, the researchers analyzed the participants' responses to identical mini blueberry muffins packaged to appear masculine, feminine, gender neutral, and a purposely confusing mix of masculine and feminine. Interestingly, the muffins with the confusing mix of gender stereotypes on the packaging weren't popular among the participants, who said the muffins didn't taste as good even though they were exactly the same as the ones in the packaging with clear stereotypes.
In other words, it seems like we're eating up the giant stereotype sandwich marketers are serving us. So, next time you hit the salad place for lunch, you might be a gender-bending rebel, guys.