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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Added Flavours, the most Dangerous, Insidious, and Profitable of Drugs

The flavours of natural food come from chemicals linked to its nutrients. We have evolved to like and crave those flavours. Then chemistry allowed the separation fo these chemicals from the nutrients they signal though use of the chemical itself or an analogue like bug juice for strawberry that comes from a different chemical and signals different nutrients. Concentrated use of these chemicals has enabled food processors to transform unpalatable junk into irresistible taste explosions that fool our bodies into thinking they are far more nutritious than the real foods. They are highly addictive drugs that are powering the obesity epidemic.

It doesn't help that real food has been bred, selected, and raised for appearance, travel, retail, productivity, and convenience considerations, resulting in a reduction in taste and linked nutrients. Apples are meant to bruise and turn brown, bread is meant to grow stale and mold, cattle are supposed to get sick occasionally, and no 3-month old chicken is supposed to be big enough to feed a family.

This is far worse than GMOs, whose danger lies in corporate control. Cancer grows fast, reproduces quickly, and travels well, and we are addicted to it.

Cheap mass production produces quantity not quality. The only way to force down most processed food is to load it with fats, sugars, salt, and added flavours. Then "It's Great!" Fat and salt are nutritious in the proper amount. Unrefined sugar originally signally the ripeness of fruit. Some products are nothing but fat, sugar, salt, and/or added flavour, with colouring. Tasty but empty, convincing your body that you are eating a 300 calorie strawberry while leaving you wanting more. Food that makes you hungry, drink that makes you thirsty.

Then there is are the possible effects on gut microbes that help fat people become fat and thin people stay thin, as well as on those that produce brain chemicals responsible for mood and with other health benefits. Unhealthy gut, unhealthy life. Misery loves an added-flavour high.

We are taking good food and turning it into tasteless unhealthy junk for profit at the cost of everyone's health. Einstein said that stupidity was the only true infinity is the universe. We are infinitely blessed.

Added flavours helped begin and fuel society's economic diet of obsessive, useless consumption. Is it any wonder that entire countries are increasingly out of shape?