Marije Vogelzang crafts strange new tableware to trick us into eating less food

It's impossible to leave any food on your plate, even if your belly is full. It's that trigger in your brain that most likely stems from your childhood, when caring parents wouldn't let us leave the table until we'd finished our meal. Now Dutch designer Marije Vogelzang has crafted a range of tableware to trick us into eating less food.

The Volumes collection is part of ongoing work by Marije, who heads up the food design department at Design Academy Eindhoven. She is trying to make people understand that they don't need as much food as they think they do.

As stated on her website: "Behavioural research shows that our brain uses our visual capacities to register the amount of food we have eaten. For example, if we eat shelled peanuts and leave the shells on the table we will eat less than if we would take the shells away directly after eating the peanuts. In the words of food psychologist Brian Wansink (Cornell University) we are not designed to actually keep track of how much we’ve consumed. Most of us seem to rely on the size – the volume – of the food to tell us when we’re full. We usually try to eat the same visible amount of food we’re used to eat."

Volumes is therefore an attempt to influence our eating behaviour and our eating culture. Marije adds: "We have the tendency to overeat and are visually mislead by large plates and wide glasses. By adding volumes to your plate your brain will register more food than there actually is. Your stomach can’t count. Your brain will tell your stomach it had enough."

The strange objects are placed in the middle of a plate, so there's less room for food. Marije continues: "They provide for playfulness and experimentation how to serve your food. They will direct attention to the plate for the eater to focus and therefore be more in touch with signals from the brain giving evidence that we should have eaten enough."

This project was made for Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg. More details can be found at marijevogelzang.nl.