Edel Wignell's articles for children and adults have been published in magazines in Australia, New Zealand, the USA and the UK.
Read 'Tasty Colours', an article for children 8-12 years.
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Article for children 8-12 years
Australian Society of Authors Ltd ©
A short version of this article was first published in Comet Magazine, 2002.
A shiny, red apple says, 'Eat me!' When you cut it open, it's white inside. It looks and smells delicious. It's crunchy, juicy and sweet.
What if the apple was bright red inside? Would you want to eat it?
Some children say, 'No! It looks awful.'
Why does white flesh look enticing and red flesh distasteful? It's a mystery. No one can explain it.
An experiment was done in a classroom with foods of various colours. Here are the children's responses.
A plate of chips makes your mouth water. Everyone says, 'Yum! I love chips!'
But what if the chips were black? Would you want to eat them?
Children looked at a plate of chips that had been sprayed with black paint. They said, 'Urk! Black chips look horrible. No thanks!'
Lemonade looks cool - just right for a hot day. It sparkles when you pour it into a glass. It's sweet and it tingles on your tongue.
But what if the lemonade was purple?
A few drops of red and blue food dye were put into a glass of lemonade to make it purple. Everyone looked at it.
'Purple is wrong,' said Giuseppe. 'I'd take a bottle of purple lemonade back to the shop.'
Think of your favourite food. Think about its colour. Then think of a wrong colour.
'Orange bread - oh no!' said Amanda.
'Blue eggs - yuk!' said Hong. 'I feel sick!'
'Green potato - no thanks!' said Fiona.
'Grey butter!' said Jared, and shuddered. 'Ugghh!'
Sally went with her Mum and Dad to Spain for a holiday. It was summer and the oranges were ripe. They were special ones called blood oranges. When Sally peeled one, every segment had red spots that looked like drops of blood.
Sally shook her head. 'Oh no! I can't eat these oranges!'
Then her Mum and Dad ate one each, so she tried a segment.
'I can't taste any blood,' she said. 'The red spots are orange juice.'
Next time you go to the market, look for blood oranges. Buy one and try it.
Looks or taste?
The look of food is more important than the taste. If it doesn't look right, you won't taste it.
Scientists gave people lemon juice coloured red. Some said it was tomato juice. Others said it was raspberry. They didn't really taste the juice. They just looked at the colour and guessed.
The blindfold test
If someone puts a blindfold over your eyes, you may not know what you are eating. When you can't see the colour, it's hard to tell the flavour of the food.
Carrot is crunchy. So are celery and apple. Can you tell the differences between them? Stop thinking about the crunch and think about the flavour.
You can try the blindfold test at home. Try fruit and vegetables, or any other food. Test your Mum and Dad, brothers and sisters, Grandma and Grandpa.
Your taste buds
How sensitive are your taste buds? Do you really taste food? Or do you need to see the colour of it before you can tell what it is?
Perhaps you watch television while you eat, and you don't really taste any of your food!
Think about colour and taste, and try to explain the mystery.