In our sauce and condiment line, we make room for diets of all stripes. From vegans to vegetarians, to hardcore meat eaters, all are welcome at the DFC table! (YMMV with using our products for keto purposes; and, while roasted meat is the definition of paleo, our barbeque sauces regrettably aren’t.)
So I looked with interest at new research about the personalities of our plant-based friends, and how a decisive aspect of their natures might relate to their diets — specifically, a higher tendency towards introversion. The large-scale study has come out of the Max Planck Institute for Human and Cognitive Brain Sciences, in cooperation with the University Hospital of Leipzig, and investigated how vegetarianism affects both the body and the mind.
Interestingly, the leading tidbit coming out of the study seems to me the most obvious: That folks who eschew animal products in their diets tend to have a lower BMI, and therefore weight. (This could be for many reasons — for example, plant-based foods are higher in fibre than those made from animals, and fill you up quicker.) But it’s where diet meets personality that my interest was piqued. Here, the study was also broad, attempting to detect correlations between vegetarianism, and “Big Five” personality factors like extraversion and neuroticism (as well as a connection with depression that previous studies showed evidence for).
“It was shown that people eating a predominantly plant-based diet are more introverted than those mainly consuming animal products. ‘It is difficult to say what the reason for this is,’ says [study author] Veronica Witte. ‘It could be because more introverted people tend to have more restrictive eating habits or because they are more socially segregated because of their eating habits.’ […]
[The researchers] determined personal diets by means of questionnaires in which participants were asked to fill in how often they had eaten individual animal products in the last 12 months — ranging from “several times a day” to “never”. Personality traits such as extroversion and neuroticism were assessed by means of a so-called personality inventory (NEOFFI), while depression was assessed by using the CESD test, a questionnaire that records various symptoms of depression.”
All of this just begs for a multitude of follow-up studies, that the authors and the Max Planck Institute both acknowledge. But even these preliminary results are tantalizing: Does it mean that, like the lower-BMI connection, someone who wants to harness the powers of introversion should start piling on the veggies? Or should organizations looking for thoughtful leaders or good listeners hit the local vegan lunch joint to find their next CEO? I am very interested to see where this thread leads — and I can rest secure in the knowledge that no matter who is involved in the research, we can feed them all!