Monday, November 28, 2011

Did You Catch 60 Minutes on Sunday Night? The Flavorists and Your Taste Buds

I'm a lucky blogger. I'm not alone in scouring the world for the newest, the most outrageous, the best and even the worst when it comes to healthy eating. I've got friends and relatives constantly keeping their eyes and ears open for us.

Chris-anna, my business partner and tireless talker of all things health food related, alerted me to a fascinating television segment about natural and artificial flavors in food that aired this past Sunday. And thanks to the magic of the Internet, you can see the segment right here too!

What did Chris have to say about it?

"Last night on 60 Minutes there was a segment on the food industry, specifically how natural and artificial flavors are created. It was CRAZY. I had to e-mail Wendy about it as soon as it was over. It was disturbing and gross.

'Super food tasters' are people that are working to manufacture 'flavors' that are ADDICTIVE. This is their goal. Literally. Literally. It's just so shocking, I have to shake my head and repeat myself.

They want you to eat more and therefore purchase more of all processed food. And these 'natural' and 'artificial' flavors are in each and every processed food sold on every grocery store's shelves. The manufacturer is even very specific about wanting the flavor to dissipate quickly so that you want to put more in your mouth.

The real problem I see is that this industry is manipulating food-like materials and ruining our ability to 'taste' natural food. They know the gold stars are fat, salt and sugar and they over-load these flavors into processed foods.

How can natural food compete with these super-flavored food-like substances?

It gets even more complicated. This wasn't mentioned on this 60 minutes but I'm concerned that the human brain doesn't know what to do with, for example, zero-calorie, super sweet beverages. Maybe this is why people who drink a ton of diet soda continue to gain weight. Our brain thinks we are taking in a sweet drink because it tastes so sweet . . . but then there are no calories. But our body was expecting the calories to come with the taste. So is it possible that our appetites are increased to find those calories? This is potentially a really rough cycle.

Just say NO.

No to frankenfood.

We can re-establish our taste sensitivity to real food. It takes time, but it is so worth it- for now, for the future, for our children, for our planet."

What disturbed me the most? The fact that now that everyone is jumping on the "health food" bandwagon, the flavor manufacturers are trying to make salty tasting food and sweet tasting food that doesn't contain as much salt or sugar as the processed food that everyone is used to eating. Not that this is anything new, really. Sugar substitutes have been around a long, long time and they're not doing anyone any favors.

How about getting us unaddicted to over salted and overly sweet food!!!!???? You know, the way real, natural food tastes? What about that????

I'm pissed.

What about you?

Processed food grosses me out now more than ever.

I can tell you from real life experience that you can stop this terrible cycle. You can "change your taste buds." The old food that you used to eat will taste either ridiculously salty or disgustingly sweet. You won't even believe that you used to eat that stuff.

Have you had a similar experience?
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