Real men eat asparagus

... and Brussels sprouts too!


Katharine Mieszkowski
March 21, 2008 6:12PM (UTC)

In a finding that is not likely to come as a shock to Fuddruckers executives, a recent survey of the eating habits of 14,000 American adults found that, in general, men are more likely to report eating meat and poultry, while women are more likely to report chomping on fruits and vegetables.

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network found men more frequently consuming duck, veal and ham, as well as certain types of shellfish, such as shrimp and oysters, while strawberries, blueberries, apples, raspberries, carrots and tomatoes more often appeared on women's plates. Women also more regularly chowed down almonds and walnuts, eggs and yogurt.

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Asked to account for the differences by the Washington Post, Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine, cited "cultural influences, which suggest that salads and quiche are dainty; hunks of meat manly." In other words, real men don't eat quiche. However, in some cases, the differences noted by the survey were really quite small. For instance, 21 percent of males surveyed had eaten ham in the past week, while 18 percent of females had done so, which hardly amounts to a vast gender divide over sliced pig.

Plus, the survey also uncovered some results that ran counter to the general trend. For instance, men were "significantly" more likely to eat asparagus and Brussels sprouts than were women. While women were more likely to eat hamburgers made from fresh, raw meat -– you know, the juicy kind that drips blood -- men favored burgers fashioned from the less primal frozen patty.


Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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