I have read a few of Malcolm Gladwell’s books – Outliers and Tipping Point. Gladwell is a researcher and a thought leader. When I saw that he did a TEDTalk about Spaghetti Sauce I assumed there had to be some big insight beyond what is clearly food nerdery. This video is well worth your 17minutes for those of us who are intrigued by food. I was particularly interested in the idea of “asking” people verbally how they like their coffee versus doing taste tests. Overarching theme being “the mind knows not what the tongue wants.”

And as with all TEDtalks, the conversation continues in the comments. I completely agree with commenter Lee in that too many options results in overwhelm rather than satisfaction. “America where we can pick from hundreds of different roasts of coffee, to tens of brands of espresso machine, to an equal amount of sweetener and creamer choices and you’ll find – so I’ve seen – as much stress generated by a weighing of the options as there is happiness in the consumption.”

On the other hand, do you agree that choice can also make us greedy as Kate says “I don’t think it’s fair, necessarily, to say that choice makes us happy. Choice, while wonderful, often makes us greedy and impossible to satisfy. Choice can be abused and it often makes us take for granted the things we already have. The most important CHOICE we can make is to be happy regardless.”

and overall I’d say this commenter (Kevin) sums up the bigger picture:

“Malcolm used a great story to discuss his point. People never knew that they liked chunky sauce because it was never an available for them to purchase. We often don’t know what we want because it was never an option for us.

This concept can transcend to a variety of topics- education, travel, food, etc. How do we know which route to choose if we have never even considered it to be an option? Very interesting!”