A few weeks ago I was watching a 60 minutes story that talked about flavorists.
Now, I knew there were food chemists in the world whose job it was to enhance flavors, but I didn't know they were paid to go to this extent in their endeavors. I've slept since then so I might have some of my facts wrong, but for the most part I think I remember enough to get this story right.
The story started out with a group of chemists going into the field to sniff and taste Mandarin oranges. Their job was to recreate the flavor in the laboratory.
I don't have a problem with them enhancing the various flavors of things. You did know there were no peaches in that peach tea you were drinking, right? Or the powdered pink lemonade you mixed with water actually had no lemons.
Flavorists are needed for a variety of jobs. And I totally support them and what they do, but then the story got ugly.
The ugly part of the story was where companies hired flavorists to not only enhance the flavor of a product, but to cut off the satisfaction of enjoyment triggering the need for another bite or drink to reach the endorphin release of happiness.
In other words, the flavor dissipates from your palate almost as soon as you finish a bite or drink.
This is the reason you can't eat just one chip, or cookie, or whatever, which results in the demolishing of the entire contents of said bag. Then you are depressed that you ate the entire bag and go eat something else.
No wonder this country is obese. Yes, over 60% of all Americans are overweight or obese.
Food producing companies are manipulating you!
They are using the knowledge that bar owners have had for a long time and taking it to the next level. For centuries, bar/pub owners used to serve salted peanuts, pretzels or other snacks when their clients drink beer. Why? Because you crave food when you drink and eating salty things will make you drink more.
Win-win . . . for the bar owner.
Very few bar owners can afford freebies any longer, but they do have a limited menu of fried food stuffs that do the same thing.
I know I've wondered why the stuff I make at home doesn't quite have the same oomph as bought items. Now I know the trick. I always thought it had something to do with the preservatives but it was the other chemical stuff on the ingredients list. But I know that it has to do with the last item on many lists, "and added flavorings".
This is playing dirty pool, my friends. In other words, THEY'RE CHEATING YOU.
I've always been a fan of making baked goods from scratch, now more than ever before. I know what I use as the ingredients: butter, yeast, flour, sugar, etc. When I feel the urge to bake, I make it myself. Yes, the raw dough is ready for me to eat, but I would have eaten the raw dough from pre-packaged ready-to-bake products, too. And this time, I can limit my raw dough eating and actually have some baked products to show for my efforts.
This story simply topped off the concept of taking the time to make your own happiness.
If you don't know how to cook and bake, now is the time to learn.
Do it before it's too late and you become a statistic.