Eating with our Eyes, Color Matters


I hate to admit it, especially since I like to think of myself as a self-proclaimed foodie, but it’s true, as a kosher consumer – I eat with my eyes. As a matter of fact, we all do. The color of food has an impact on our perception of it. We all have expectations of how our food should look, and color is often the first thing we notice about our food before we eat it.


When I make my mango banana fruit smoothie in the morning, it turns a gorgeous shade of yellow. When I roast sweet potatoes, there is no match for their deep shade of orange. While our taste buds play an important role in determining taste, our eyes send signals to our brain well before our taste buds get the chance. This can predetermine how we will perceive the taste and flavor of the food we are about to eat. Most people taste with the eyes first. Color is a crucial part of the eating experience.

Bright colors are associated with nutrition and flavor. Probably, because it reminds us of all the vibrant colors found in nature of fruits and vegetables. “Eating a rainbow” helps your body get a complete range of nutrients. The more naturally occurring colors on your plate at each meal or snack, the better. The simple fact is: the more color you consume, the more nutrients you provide for your body and the more satisfaction you feel with your food choices.

Color is a consumer’s first indicator of flavor. In a study done by Emerald Insights, 90% of consumers decided whether to buy a product solely based on color and perceived taste. It only takes a few seconds after a consumer sees a product to convince them to add it to their basket.

You may have done a color analysis at one time to determine which colors look best on you. Well, there is a whole psychology behind the color of food marketing. For example, warm colors – like red, orange and yellow – stimulate the need to eat. Red, is the color most used by fast-food chains, followed closely by yellow and orange. Yellow and orange are colors that make people feel hungry while red is associated with emotion. So, when someone sees red combined with yellow and orange, they become passionately hungry. Blue is a rare color not often found in nature. It’s not just that blue is rare in food, blue is rare in the world. Think about it, what things are blue? The sky and ocean, but you can’t do much with them. A few jewels, but they’re rare. Foods that are blue in color can be seen as unappetizing if not done correctly, yet the introduction of blue M & M’s and Cool blue Gatorade, both OU Kosher certified were a roaring success.

From cooking to baking, OU Kosher certified food colorants can be found to enhance any recipe. To create your most vibrant Kosher creations, try Betty Crocker food colors, which come in four easy to use tubes and make color blending and mixing simple; and McCormick Assorted Food Color, a staple for creating beautiful baked goods and confections. Both are OU Kosher certified and are perfect for adding gorgeous hues to icings, frostings and all your baking needs.

Drinking the rainbow has also become an addictive way to provide an energizing boost any time of day. Juice manufacturers, like OU Kosher certified Jus by Julie, Cooler Cleanse, Suja Juice and Blueprint Cleanse, to name a few, have incorporated fresh fruits and vegetables that cover the color spectrum of the rainbow. Made of products such as fresh kale, berries, spinach and beets, these eye-catching juices are full of phytonutrients – which not only give these juices their wonderful hues, but also work to promote health and provide a convenient way to get your daily dose of nutrients.

When shopping for food or creating a dish at home, remember colors can make us feel happy or sad – hungry or relaxed. The first thing people notice is color, so be creative, be bold and bring on the rainbow, because color matters. #colorfoodie #oukosher #food #hungry #icecream #pasta.

Here are some unique ideas to use food coloring and add some creativity to the same old recipe.

Rainbow Popsicles
Use frozen fruit of your choice to make these mouth-watering Rainbow Popsicles. Carefully layer each color fruit in a popsicle mold in rainbow order and freeze.

colorful Popsicle OU Kosher

Pastel Meringues
Add a couple of drops of your favorite food coloring to your traditional Meringue recipe for a beautiful assortment of Pastel Meringues.

colorful meringues OU Kosher

Color Marbleized Chocolate Bark
This colorful homemade chocolate bark is kind of like finger painting in the kitchen, but you get something delicious to eat when it’s all done! This marbleized chocolate bark is made like all other barks, by melting chocolate and pouring it out onto a surface to cool, and then cutting it apart.  To do the marbleizing simply drop different colors on top of the base layer, and then swirled it all together with a chopstick.

color bark OU Kosher

Jazz up any beverage with Rainbow Ice Cubes

Add food coloring to water in a glass measuring pitcher (or other clear glass container) one drop at a time until you get the color you want. Pour colored water into compartments of an ice cube tray and freeze solid, about 2 hours or more.

colorful water OU Kosher




OU Kosher Staff