How food is altered to keep you craving
Michael Moss is an investigative reporter and Pulitzer prize-winning author. In this article he explores how food companies spend vast resources on “optimizing” food products so they can produce the greatest amount of food cravings in the consumer. Researchers, food engineers and technicians are not employed to increase nutritional quality, their mission is to improve crunch, mouth feel and aroma of their product. They call this “the bliss point”. Another crucial industry objective is to keep consumers bingeing on processed food without being able to stop. Satiety won’t sell, so feedback mechanisms to your brain are overridden to keep you eating. The key insider terms here are “sensory specific satiety” and “vanishing caloric density”.
The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food by Michael Moss
(New York Times Magazine, 2013)
On the evening of April 8, 1999, a long line of Town Cars and taxis pulled up to the Minneapolis headquarters of Pillsbury and discharged 11 men who controlled America’s largest food companies. Nestlé was in attendance, as were Kraft and Nabisco, General Mills and Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Mars. Rivals any other day, the C.E.O.’s and company presidents had come together for a rare, private meeting. On the agenda was one item: the emerging obesity epidemic and how to deal with it. While the atmosphere was cordial, the men assembled were hardly friends. Their stature was defined by their skill in fighting one another for what they called “stomach share” — the amount of digestive space that any one company’s brand can grab from the competition…
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