17 July 2008

Pleasured to death

This is a story for the likes of Shifting Baselines:
Irrational preferences for caviar from rarer species are likely to drive the few remaining caviar sturgeon in the Caspian sea to extinction...

Tasters were presented with samples said to be from "rare" and a "common" species - although both actually came from farmed sturgeon. Even before tasting, 57 per cent of people at...luxury receptions expressed a preference for the "rare" caviar, while none preferred the "common" alternative. After tasting the two identical samples, 70 per cent of the experienced consumers said they preferred the "rare" caviar. It was the same story [with tasters] in supermarkets.
-- from A taste for the rare may drive sturgeon to extinction.

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