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Study: Millennials May Be Hypocrites About Chocolate

Millennials are increasingly questioning the ethical and environmental impacts of the food they consume -- well, all food except chocolate. 

An April 2016 study published in the scientific journal Food Quality and Preference surveyed shoppers between the ages 18 to 35, reports NPR. Most participants surveyed reported that when shopping, they care if a chocolate bar was ethically produced and if it is environmentally sustainable. But when privately choosing which chocolate to buy, they often ignored options that were ethically sourced in favor of items that had easily recognizable labels.

"When people choose to consume candy, they're not usually making a choice to consume something that is healthy or good for them in the first place," Michael Young, co-author of the study, told NPR.

According to Science Daily, the study reports that younger millennials between the ages 18-20 mostly cared about the taste of their food, and when interviewed on their eating habits, they commonly mentioned words like favorite, company, snack, fat, calories and other words related to brand names.

When older millennials between the ages 26-35 talked about the food they consume, they used words like ingredients, organic, bar, food, fair trade and vegan. When it comes to indulgent food, like candy or chocolate, both younger and older millennials will ignore their social conscience and choose the bar that tastes the best, ignoring all other factors.

Young believes this finding does not mean that millennials don't actually care about the ethical implications of what they eat. The researcher claims that millennials still care more than older generations about what is behind a product's production. 

But, to Sandra Rousseau from the University of Leuven, Belgium, this finding only shows that millennials are just all talk. She said, "You interview young people, and they tend to be quite aware of social issues and environmental issues. But if you push a bit harder, it's a lot of talk, but not always action."

Sources: NPR, Science Daily / Photo credit: LongitudeLatitude/Flickr

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