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

Mark Schatzker

Top 10 Best Quotes

“The food problem is a flavor problem. For half a century, we've been making the stuff people should eat--fruits, vegetables, whole grains, unprocessed meats--incrementally less delicious. Meanwhile, we've been making the food people shouldn't eat--chips, fast food, soft drinks, crackers--taste ever more exciting. The result is exactly what you'd expect.”

“Can these foods [low-fat, vitamin-enriched, etc] even be called "healthy"? Perhaps we should think about it this way: If you cut a batch of pharmaceutical-grade cocaine with chai, you could say with some degree of honesty that it is "healthier," "less addictive," and "now with chai!" But would you say it's "good for you"?”

“Yes, part of the problem is junk food. There’s more of it, and it’s more alluring than ever. But nonjunk food is a bigger problem. It isn’t as flavorful as it used to be, which has the inverse effect of making junk food yet more enticing. Even worse, we’re turning real food into junk food.Thanks to its off-putting insipidness, we coat it in calories, drench it in dressing, and dust it in synthetic flavor. The more bland it becomes, the harder we try to make it seem real.”

“Modern food may be the most compelling lie humans have ever told.”

“Goats' refusal of young blackbrush shoots, furthermore, is outright. They want nothing to do with it. Provenza pointed at his hand, then his arm and body, and said, "Every organ and every cell has receptors similar to what's in your nose and on your tongue." Creatures communicate within their environment the same way they communicate within their own bodies -- through chemical trigger substances that bind to receptors and produce responses. "It's all part of a feedback system," Provenza said, "that tells the body what's good and what isn't." Goats are not stupid after all. They don't bumble through the world eating what they were born to like. They experience need states, satisfaction, and delight along with aversions to strong a mere hint of something can make them turn away in disgust. Flavor is what nutrition feels like to a goat. If goats had a word for delicious, it would have two meanings. The first would be: I like this. The second would be: This is what my body needs. For goats, they are the same thing.”

“Flavor factories churn out chemical desire. We spray, squirt, and inject hundreds of millions of pounds of those chemicals on food every year, and then we find ourselves surprised and alarmed that people keep eating. We have become so talented at soaking our food in fakeness that the leading cause of preventable death - smoking - bears a troubling resemblance to the second leading cause of preventable death - obesity.”

“Are humans nutritional idiots? Our palates aren't just out of tune with our bodily needs. Our palates are out to kill us.”

“We eat for one reason: because we love the way food tastes. Flavor is the original craving.”

“Their [plant secondary compounds] healthful effects in humans, however, are not well understood, in part because things in nature like coriander and basil can't be patented so there isn't a lot of money being thrown at them, and in part because long-term studies that measure small effects of low doses are expensive and don't yield the kind of unambiguous, major effects you get with pharmaceuticals, but mainly because preventions are never as exciting as cures.”

“The Dorito Effect, very simply, is what happens when food gets blander and flavor technology gets better.”

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Book Keywords:

food, taste, real, health, herbs, preventable-death, delicious, desire, medicine, money, junk-food, obesity, deception, fake, cravings, goats, research, marketing, flavor, nutrition, eating, studies, instinct

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