Flavor vs A Fatter You
Did I know in the back of my mind that there was a flavor industry? That their mission statement to make food taste good implies creating taste addictions? Sunday, November 27, 011 60 Minutes lays it on the line in their provoking story on Givaudan.
So does enhanced taste stimulate the appetite to create over consumption?
That is the $3.2 trillion dollar question, the value of the processed food market worldwide. In the U.S., consumers spend approximately US$1 trillion annually on food, or nearly 10 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Over 16.5 million people are employed in the food industry.
The US weight loss market, valued at $60.9 billion dollars, is the only thing that has remained flat when it comes to our obesity epidemic, "the total U.S. weight loss market grew less than 1% in 2010." But, what makes people eat more once their hunger has been satisfied is still at issue.
Since the advertising campaign by Lay's Potato Chips, "I bet you can't eat just one" the public has taken the food industry up on that dare and doubled down. What is at risk with this bet is public health. The processed food industry adds sugars, fats and salt to make food more appealing so we eat more of it, or too much.
Although the FDA has approved over 3000 food additives, that does not mean that every preservative, flavoring or packaging material is safe for you. That's why some ingredients like sulfates, nitrates and MSG are listed with great specificity. And beware of flavorings listed as natural as they may be made by chemists from fungal and tissue cultures.
Natural flavors are less addictive than chemically created ones and do not involve the potential health risks of food additives. If you need to stimulate your taste buds add spices to your food. Or be more creative with your cooking and choose healthy, interesting recipes. Don't let the food industry create your food cravings. This is not "better living through chemistry".