41% of American children think bacon comes from plants

Left: bacon in pan, right: pink piglet look into camera
Bacon comes from pigs, photo: Canva

A new study found that 41% of children in the United States think bacon comes from plants. Children between the ages of 4-7 were asked to categorize food as plant-based or animal-based.

Researchers were shocked that many children thought some meat products were plant-based and some plant-based items came from animals.

More than a third thought that chicken nuggets, hot dogs, bacon, cheese and hamburgers came from plants, the study, published on the research platform ScienceDirect, found. And nearly half thought French fries were made from animals.

Researchers think that children don’t know where their food comes from because parents don’t tell them the truth because they think it might be too painful for children. Kids these days also have little exposure to animals and plants.

Another reason, researchers said, is that schools tell children what to eat but not how food items are made.

The children were also asked if they thought it was ok to eat animals by showing them pictures of plants and animals, to which they had to say OK or NOT OK to eat. More than two-thirds of the children thought it was NOT OK to eat cows, pigs and chickens.

By teaching children where meat products come from, they might naturally eat more plant-based foods, which could normalize environmentally-responsible diets, researchers said.

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