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Food Envy Stirs Up Trouble at the Dinner Table, According to Survey

Contributor
The survey found that food envy is most likely to occur the moment food arrives to the table

If you’ve ever wanted someone else’s dish during dinner, you aren’t alone. In fact, 91 percent of Americans have experienced food envy, according to a survey conducted by OpenTable and Harris Poll. Of those who’ve experienced the phenomenon, almost a third (30 percent) of incidents brought tension to the table.

In addition to food envy, the survey also found that respondents reported experiencing feelings of disappointment (40 percent) and regret (37 percent). The survey also found that women were more likely to experience negative emotions in response to food envy at 43 percent in comparison to men at 36 percent.

“We’ve all been caught eyeing others’ plates from across the table, silently comparing our dish against those of our companions,” Caroline Potter, chief dining officer at OpenTable, said in a statement. “Sometimes we feel satisfied with our selections, but at other times, we’ve all wished we had ordered what another guest picked. It’s indicative of how much we value our dining experience, and how a little envy can sometimes be a good thing as it prompts us to choose what we really want.”

However, many respondents who experienced food envy try not to feel that way for long — 31 percent of Americans try to persuade others at the dinner table to share their food or steal from their dish.

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