It probably won’t surprise you to hear that the foods we eat today don’t even remotely resemble what we used to eat throughout history.
Instead of being hunted, gathered or farmed in their natural form, foods are increasingly being produced in factories.
Many of these products don’t contain much real food at all. Some of them contain highly refined ingredients like wheat flour, corn syrup and vegetable oils. They are then made palatable using artificial flavors and various processing techniques.
Everything is done to maximize chances of repeat purchase and minimize cost. The health impact these foods have is secondary.
The video above is a clip from 60 minutes, where they take a peek inside the flavor industry.
How Foods Are Engineered to Make us Eat More
There are many ways to make foods taste good and give us pleasure.
One of the best ways is to use a combination of sugar, salt and fat to maximize the impact these foods have on our taste receptors and reward pathways in the brain.
Adding artificial flavors to the mix along with various textures just makes these foods too good to resist.
The food industry takes full advantage of this. Not because it is a big conspiracy, but because they’ve learned what gets the consumers to buy more.
The food industry’s job is to make money and sell products. By making foods “hyper palatable” (very rewarding) they hijack the reward pathways in the brain to make us literally addicted to these foods.
This turns customers into repeat customers and big food makes lots of money. The problem is that these foods destroy the health of the people who eat them.
The abundance of such foods is probably one of the key drivers of the obesity and diabetes epidemics.
It is the reason people become addicted to these foods and literally can not stop eating even though they know the foods are causing them severe harm.