Monday, December 28, 2015

The Dorito Effect by Mark Schatzker

The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor

Everyone should read this book!  Really.  It is so important and people are so ignorant about what they eat.  Popular culture has gotten in the habit of villifying one food or product or another and blaming that one thing for the obesity epidemic in the US.  They have blamed sugar, so horribly unhealthy sugar substitutes became widely used.  Then they blamed fat and made lots of low fat food products that are high in sugar and salt and highly processed.  Gluten is a new scapegoat and vegans blame meat eating as the problem.  However, none of those are really what is making people fat.  The problem is that as farmers and the food industry have made food more plentiful, they did not pay attention to flavor or nutrition.  So we can grow lots more food faster, but it is bland and does not have the nutrients that our bodies require.  Therefore, the seasoning industry has grown, because when food is flavorless, we add more seasoning to it to make it palatable.  Then we eat more of it.  This book shows how the flavor of real foods - actual real produce and animals that are raised and fed properly - not on factory farms- indicates nutrition.  He shows how when we eat real, properly grown foods, it not only tastes better and is more nutritious, but it signals our bodies to feel full after eating the proper amounts so that we don't get overweight.  So, while Michael Pollen was correct that we should eat real food, mostly plants and nothing with ingredients we can't pronounce, that is not the whole solution to the problem.  Factory farm raised chickens are fed junky foods and they have no flavor and they are not nutritious.  There are people currently working on raising tasty, healthy chickens - but they take longer to grow and they cost more.  In France, people prefer the healthy chickens that taste like a chicken should taste and they are willing to pay twice as much for a good chicken.  In this country, most people prefer quantity over quality, which is why they are fat and unhealthy.  We need to educate people to want the real foods so that the food industry will put more effort into producing healthy and flavorful foods.

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