TEDxMontclair Features Professor's Food Research

Debra Zellner

Psychology professor Debra Zellner was among the featured presenters at the TEDxMontclair conference held in November at the University Conference Center, where the “Eat, Play, Live” theme showcased ways to lead healthier lives.

“This was my first TEDx conference,” says Zellner, whose lecture showed how food pairing and presentation can impact a diner’s food preference. “Neat plating makes a huge difference in whether or not a diner likes what’s being served,” she explains. She has also found that when a particular food is paired with foods a diner already likes, it tastes better than when it is paired with less appealing foods.

“My research shows that you can make healthy food taste better simply by serving it artistically,” Zellner says. “This could make a big difference in getting people to eat healthier.”