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CHERYL A. MAJOR: What Does Food Taste Like to Us, and How Did We Get Here?


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Yesterday I was food shopping, which I actually love to do.  My challenge was to find some sun dried tomatoes as my favorite brand seems to have vanished for the moment.  My usual brand has olive oil and not much else which I love. It seemed everything I picked up had some kind of oil I won’t eat or sugar in it. In fact, why would you need sugar in sun dried tomatoes?

If you read your food labels, which I encourage you to always do, you realize some form of sugar is in almost everything.  It’s in chips, salsa, peanut butter, tapenade, bread, frozen vegetables and so many other packaged and prepared foods in which you wouldn’t expect to find it.

This made me think about how we taste food or more specifically, how we expect food to taste in today’s world of big food and convenience foods.

The short answer is we’ve learned that food should taste like salt and sugar.  If those flavors aren’t front and center in what we’re eating, the food doesn’t taste good to us.  The children of today have grown up tasting salt and sugar, and they expect that to be what food tastes like. We have taught them that. The epidemic of childhood obesity is on us. Did you know our taste for sugar is there from the minute we’re born?  It takes us several months to develop a taste for salt, but we want our sugar right out of the womb.

There’s something called the “bliss point,” and that is the point where the amount of sugar in a food tastes perfect; we cannot tolerate any additional sugar in that food.  It just tastes too sweet. Big food tests for this. They’ve discovered that by adding more salt, we can tolerate increased sugar, and it still tastes good to us.  They design and test their processed foods based on this information. You may ask why they would do this. Think bottom line and profit. If you crave processed food, don’t you think they will sell more of it?

All this feeds into the obesity and diabetes epidemics as well as the epidemics of other chronic diseases like depression and heart disease.  It’s all connected, and we have to learn and teach ourselves and our children what real food tastes like.  Real food tastes like a cucumber or a red pepper or simple bread without junk in it, not like your favorite barbecue corn chips with an ingredient list a mile long, most of which you cannot pronounce.

Today, food tastes like salt, sugar and chemicals, and we got here courtesy of big food and big profits. Food should taste like food, but it doesn’t to most of us any longer. We have to relearn how real food tastes, and we must teach our children by example or they risk a lifetime of battling obesity, chronic disease and early death.

This article was originally published on my site at http://thinstronghealthy.com/what-processed-food-tastes-like/

Helping You Achieve Major Wellness in Your Life!

Cheryl A Major, CNWC

Cheryl A Major lives in Westford and is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. Her TV show, Thin Strong Healthy, airs on WestfordCat and is an offshoot of her blog http://ThinStrongHealthy.com   Cheryl offers ongoing information, live and online courses and personal health coaching to help you feel better and be healthier.  Follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylAMajor.  She is also a full time residential Realtor with Coldwell Banker with more than 25 years experience. 

Her new book, “Eat Your Blues Away” will be available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble this month!