Ok. I’m going to recommend a book that I believe everyone should read. Every.One.Should.Read. Because I’m bursting at the seems and want to just share what I’ve learned with everyone who will listen and even those who won’t. Everyone should know what this book has to say so that you can make an informed decision when buying your next week worth of food. I don’t typically recommend books, restaurants, clothing, shoes, or food brands unless I really and truly believe in them. Because I don’t think it’s worth your time unless its really good. This book is informative, educational, and eye-opening and I believe it’s worth every second of your time.
The Dorito Effect, written by Mark Schatzker, talks about flavor and how it has changed our societal standards/demands for food. He speaks about how the dilution of nutrients in the food we find in super markets has left us with bland, flavorless food. This in turn has led us on a journey to find more flavor. This “flavor” that has been added to our food (since as early as the 1960’s !) is artificial and synthetic and isn’t at all “natural”. It actually causes confusion in our brains and causes us to eat more of whatever it is it has been added to. Every wondered why you just couldn’t stop eating that super market cheese cake?? Did you think it was just from a lack of will power? I certainly have. But, according to the research done and cited in this book it isn’t a lack of will power at all but the addicting behavior that these flavor additives cause.
You may be asking “but how do they know this to be true?”. Well, they’ve also added these flavorings to the feed given to the cows, chicken, pigs, and any other protein you’re buying off the shelves and they watched and researched their reactions. The “high octane” feed they were wanting their animals to eat was tasteless and didn’t appeal to the animals though. So, what did they do? They manufactured synthetic flavor compounds to add to their feed so that it appealed to their taste/pleasure centers and made them eat it without a care in the world. The discovered that with these added flavorings the animals were diving nose first into their food even if they refused to eat it sans flavoring the day before. And then, the next day, those animals were eating even more than they had the day before. So not only were they enjoying it and gladly eating it they were eating more which meant they were growing faster. Jackpot. For the farmers, this was fantastic news because they needed food that is going to make their animals grow faster, fatter, and bigger than ever before. They make larger profits on larger animals that eat cheap food and can be turned over at a faster rate (think chickens who now mature in 35 days rather than 12 weeks). So now, not only are they enjoying their once-before-flavorless food but their eating more of it which is helping them grow bigger and faster. …..sound familiar? Like…maybe an obesity epidemic currently seen in thousands of Americans today?
All of that is only a fraction of what is talked about in this book. I would highly suggest reading it for yourself. He does a much better job of explaining it all than I can and he’s got the research to stand behind. After reading this book and knowing that we’ve been given flavor additives just like the cattle in the feed lots makes me a little angry. Why would the government allow these to be added to our foods when they know that it’s going to make us eat more, gain more weight, and ultimately have a decrease in our health? That, to me, sounds like sabotage. You hear nearly everyday on the news how much we are having to pay for healthcare costs and yet these sneaky additives are being added to just about everything available in the super markets. That makes me really angry. Because I don’t like having my health toyed with. Especially when my family history includes diabetes, heart disease, and dementia. My family genetics have enough going against me, I don’t need crappy food in my life taking me down as well.
So, THAT is why I choose cleaner foods, real foods, whole foods with nothing added to it. Call it paleo, call it primal, call it what you want. You are the only person who can look out for you and YOU have to make the choice. Eat what the government tells you is fine or choose whole, real, nutrient dense foods that are going to make you feel better and look better. And you know what? Since I’ve cut out all of those foods with additives, real food has started to taste better. I can’t handle the overly sweet, overly processed foods any more. My taste buds finally reverted to what they were supposed to be tasting. If something is bland I add sea salt or herbs to amp up the flavor, not some synthetic flavoring. That “food” that’s cheap and processed and widely available isn’t actually food but rather “franken-food” that the food industry wants you to buy to keep them richer and your health poorer.