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You Vote What You Eat: How Liberals & Conservatives Eat Differently

A light-hearted look at food preferences & political ideology. Guess who's big on meat loaf & mashed potatoes.


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  1. I find the pizza category the most interesting. Although I am a registered Democrat, I consider myself pretty moderate overall. But I agree 100% with thin crust pizza, I can't stand deep-dish, it's more like a casserole. I wonder why conservatives are so much more likely to pick deep-dish?

    3 Replies
    1. re: DavidPalmer

      Well, this liberal will tell you that when you have a Neapolitan style pizza with soft, sweet, bready crust with acid tomatoes glistening with olive oil and gooey cheese it's heaven. This is, basically, foccacia with a tomatoey topping.

      I can love a thin crust pizza too but Neapolitan is what I grew up on and what my quintessential concept of pizza will always be. http://nymag.com/restaurants/cheapeat...

      1. re: rainey

        Ditto. As a life-long Chicagoan (the bluest city in one of the bluest states in these here U-nited States), I am both a proud liberal and a proud lover of (real) deep dish pizza from the original Unos, Dues (as distinguished from the horrible national chain and frozen thing), Lou Malnatis or Pizanos. Nothing casserole-like about those puppies.

        Furthermore, I like my tacos soft.

        But that being said, this "survey" strikes me as just another way for us to find and make a big deal about our differences, which I think we surely don't need more of.

      2. re: DavidPalmer

        It is because the liberal east coast elite eats New York style pizza.

      3. As in most of my life, I'm the exception that proves the rule.

        • I'm as liberal as the day is long but I l *love* a great meatloaf -- especially in a sandwich. I think mashed potatoes are one of the consolations for this lousy economy and the prospect of losing American democracy as a result.
        • I think there is nothing on the planet more delicious than McDonald's fries c. 1975 when they were still made with rendered beef fat. Once upon a time I ate fast food 4-5 times a week. ...and *enjoyed* it. Then I got to be over 200 pounds and I haven't had -- or missed -- fast food in 4 years . ...and 60 pounds.
        • I don't eat breakfast and rarely eat fruit -- unless it's cooked in baked goods.
        • I occasionally really enjoy a PB&J -- but I wouldn't choose either strawberry or grape jam; there are a world of better choices including some of my own homemade concoctions.
        • A coconut curry makes me salivate but so does a burger.
        • I tried vegetarianism in college as an ethical choice but eventually I became an omnivore -- it's our place in the food chain and we've got the teeth and digestive system to prove it so best to eat what we eat respectfully and with appreciation.
        • I wouldn't be comfortable in the atmosphere of a four star dining establishment. That's why I learned to cook what I want to experience and haunt food blogs and sites to learn, learn, learn about trends, opportunities, resources and techniques.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rainey

          <I'm as liberal as the day is long but I l *love* a great meatloaf -- especially in a sandwich. I think mashed potatoes are one of the consolations for this lousy economy and the prospect of losing American democracy as a result.>

          I'm with you, rainey!

          and the REAL Uno's pizza, too!

        2. I guess being a mashed-potato-and-meatloaf, tuna-casserole lovin' lefty Socialist just makes me the exception that proves the rule. I think the big thing is simply being open to the new and untried. I remember vividly sitting in a wine cave in Frascati with my mom, my sister, her husband (a USAF NCO) and their two boys, there on a bus tour with mostly other Air Force people. The husband and boys, along with everyone at the other tables, were eating prosciutto-and-cheese sandwiches and drinking Cokes. My mom, sister and I had seen our guide and the bus driver sharing an antipasto platter and a pitcher of the local, and were moved to do likewise (along with our own sandwiches). We happily ate the exquisite baby artichokes and other fine antipasti, mopping up the garlicky oil with the tag ends of our sandwiches and ordering another pitcher, while brother-in-law glared his deep disapproval. It was bad enough he was having to eat weird Italian ham and weird cheese on bread he had to actually chew …

          1. Interesting. I apparently eat all wrong for my political party.

            1. Based on the Beer question this survey is off by a mile. Liberals prefer MicroBrews and Conservatives like Bud. To even say that Conservatives don't like the taste of beer is mind boggling.


              8 Replies
              1. re: JuniorBalloon

                it said 28% of those conservatives polled said they didn't like the taste of beer. presumably the other 72% do like it. considering that there are x percentage of conservatives who do not drink at all, for religious or personal reasons, and another minority group y who don't drink because they are in recovery, and another group z who do drink but don't prefer beer. . . x+y+z = 28% sounds pretty feasable to me.

                1. re: soupkitten

                  here's a gallup poll on american drinking habits. just 48% of regular weekly churchgoers, who would trend conservative, drink. fewer folks 65 years of age or older drink, who would also trend conservative.


                  1. re: soupkitten

                    So much for Joe Six Pack, huh? Joe Milk Bottle doesn't have the same ring.

                    1. re: chowser

                      heh heh!

                      joe iced tea w splenda. joe sonic limeade. joe decaf. . . hold up, i think i actually do know a "joe decaf!" ;-P

                    2. re: soupkitten

                      I think it would be a lot more useful if we could see what the spreads were on the responses rather than just overall averages.
                      A graphical presentation showing the overlaps would be nice.

                    3. re: JuniorBalloon

                      "Conservatives are 94% more likely to consider occasional Chinese takeout to be exotic ethnic food."

                      Yeah, the questions everyone has are how many people participated in the survey and how representative of people in the real world are the survey participants.

                      The answer to the first question posted on the page "Do you tend to support liberal or conservative politicians?" skewed heavily toward liberal, with only 17% responding "conservative."

                      Then consider that it's a new site (I never heard of it until now), apparently started by youngish computer geeky types, and based in NYC -- with the earliest participants probably drawn from friends and acquaintances of the developers.

                      I'd say that this hunch survey tells us a lot about the survey participants but not a heck of a lot about folks in the real world.

                      1. re: JuniorBalloon

                        No, the truth in my experience is that they just don't like the taste of real beer. Most would rather knock back some tasteless light beer than a craft brew of any sort.

                      2. I think this is about stereotypes. I'd have to see the methodology of the surveys to believe all of what looks like generalizations to me. There are reasons other than political ideology for most of what I read.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: John E.

                          I totally agree. It really doesn't explain much of anything useful or even interesting.

                        2. The differences to me seemed much a lot more regional than political.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: lilgi

                            This was my reaction as well - how do they control for regional variations?

                            1. re: lilgi

                              ITA! In my experience, both liberals and conservatives in my Blue-city-in-a Red (temporarily purple in 2008) state would tend to go for wine or microbrews over Bud or milk. Ditto with most of the other supposed differentiators.

                              1. re: tcamp

                                Would have been more interesting if this was a quiz and after you finsih it tells you whether you have more in common with Libs or Cons. No more valid, just more fun.


                                1. re: tcamp

                                  Interesting enough, san diego, a very red town(for california) has a thriving microbrew scene. On the other hand, fine dining places have a hard time finding solid footing around here.

                              2. most of those numbers are pretty weak lol

                                liberals are 3% more likely to eat fresh veg and 7% more likely to choose strawberry jelly (when both prefer fresh veg and strawberry jelly?) does that even count statistically?

                                anyways, my views are normally conservative but i avoid fast food and love curry. whats that say? lol

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: mattstolz

                                  "anyways, my views are normally conservative but i avoid fast food and love curry. whats that say?"

                                  That we all have a lot more in common than the polls and media interpretation of them say.:-)

                                  1. re: mattstolz

                                    That you are a Jeffersonian Republican??? :-)

                                  2. Fun read. I was skeptical, but it sort of made sense and was in line with most of my food choices and political views.

                                    1. Fun to read, and I was aligned with my party on over half the items, but there were some real head scratchers here, the most egregious being tacos. Liberals prefer crunchy tacos and conservatives prefer soft? Huh?

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                        " Liberals prefer crunchy tacos and conservatives prefer soft? Huh?"

                                        Hmmm, could it be age related? As I get older, though not more conservative, my jaws can't always handle hard food. If you look at the GOP convention, you'd think there'd be a lot of people who can't handle hard foods. Or, is it that liberals should be renamed earthy crunchy taco, not earthy crunchy granola people?;-)

                                      2. Web based polls are about as useless as teats on a boar.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: John E.

                                          and this one was as useless as it comes!

                                        2. I eat like a liberal! (I won't discuss my political leanings because it leads to nasty online flame wars like that on the link)
                                          whew, I need a glass of Pino Noir after reading that discussion

                                          1. They seem to be a bit confused with "fresh vegetables" and "cooked vegetables." I love fresh vegetables - however, I usually prefer them cooked.

                                            Do they mean "raw vegetables"?

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                              Yes, they appear to be directly contrasting "fresh" with "cooked," so they must be using "fresh" to mean raw (as opposed to meaning frozen or canned).

                                              1. re: racer x

                                                Which just triply/quadruply shows how stupid the poll is. :-/

                                            2. The data indicate that liberals eat 3.5% more than conservatives, but it is conservatives who are known for their "bankers' bellies". I conclude that the sampling methodology and data are fraught with type 2 statistical errors.

                                              1. It's not clear from the survey
                                                of the politics of gravy.
                                                That omission alone
                                                negates its veracity.

                                                Does a revel in meatloaf and good mashed potatoes
                                                really make the ingestor a Repubby?

                                                Or glide of the fork through soft and fresh tofu
                                                indeed really make one a Demmy?

                                                There's no link between politics and palate.

                                                Ex'cept perhaps for them Tea Party chaps
                                                with paper tab and string hanging down from their lips.

                                                1. Unfortunately, the poll is not very representative in its liberal vs conservative ratio. In the US, conservatives over rank liberal at a 2:1 ratio.


                                                  So, this does call into question of the polling sample/polling method of this survey. Nevertheless, it is an interesting poll. I just won't extend this poll beyond the sampled population to the global population . In short, we can only conclud that for the people answer the survey, the conservatives prefer certain foods and the liberals prefer some other foods. We cannot extend this claim to: the general conservatives prefer this, and the general liberal prefer that. -- since we already know there is a major problem in the sampling.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                    I agree with the sentiment questioning how representative the Hunch survey was of the general US population (as I posted upthread), but bear in mind that the Hunch survey asked, "Do you tend to support liberal or conservative politicians?" which is not the same as the question that Gallup asks: "How would you describe your political views -- [from very conservative, conservative, moderate, liberal, (or) very liberal]?"

                                                    In fact, if you take party identification as a surrogate measuring preference for liberal vs conservative politicians, even Gallup (whose polls arguably tend to lean more conservative than those of other pollsters) admitted in a recent poll that

                                                    "... while all 50 states are, to some degree, more conservative than liberal (with the conservative advantage ranging from 1 to 34 points), Gallup's 2009 party ID results indicate that Democrats have significant party ID advantages in 30 states and Republicans in only 4."

                                                    1. re: racer x


                                                      I am aware of this difference between conservatives/liberal vs Republican/Democrats. The conservative outrank liberal by 2:1, but the Republican to Democrat ratio is closer to 50:50 with small advantages to Democrats. This should make perfect sense given that the balance between the two parties are not landslided

                                                      ""which is not the same as the question that Gallup asks""

                                                      This is not the reason you mentioned. It has to do with the so called "conservative Democrats". There is a significant population of Democrats call themselves conservative as well as moderate, 23% and 37%, respectively. Liberal democrat is a minor group among the Democrats. This is not the same for the Republicans. 72% of Republicans call themselves as conservative.


                                                      In short, it is not mutually exclusive that conservative-to-liberal ratio is 2:1 and Republican-to-Democrat is 1:1.

                                                      Hunch survey did not ask for Republican vs Democrat. It asked for liberal vs conservative. In fact, it does not even matter if the some people are confused of the two terms, because US population is not 2:1 in liberal to conservative. That is way off. Let's put it this way, Hunch is an online volunteer poll. It is inheritary unrepresentative because only it does not perform random sampling. It performs the opposite of random sampling. It targets people who visit the website. This is why Ron Paul wins every single online poll at some 90% ratio.

                                                  2. never yet have met a poll that represented anyone other than those persons who were polled!

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. Curiously, there's no mention of that Occupy Wall St staple, tofu bourguignonne (sp?).

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Rmis32

                                                        Topped with a heavy sprinkling of pepper...spray.

                                                      2. Does the survey mention that Anarchists only drink herbal tea?

                                                        Cos as we all know proper tea is theft.....