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Sunday, October 20, 2013

I've heard and read lately that junk foods are deliberately engineered to be addictive, and I'm beginning to believe it. Later we'll get into the implications of the word "engineered" around our food!

It's dawned on me lately. I have a reasonably refined palate, and among other things I'm a terrible dairy snob. Real cheese, real butter, or stay out of my kitchen. So why then am I perfectly capable of eating a jar of that ghastly queso dip with a spoon? The word "Velveeta" is a swear word to me, and that's all this stuff is with a few peppers thrown in. Same thing with potato chips. I see a Lay's ad and immediately I can taste the salt and feel the crunch in my mouth. (Sometimes this vivid imagination is a real curse). Potato chips have nothing to recommend them except the salt, and they're a desecration of a wonderful food. And again, I could eat the entire family-sized bag with no trouble at all.

To be sure, there's some family history involved. My mother spent every evening with a bag of chips of one sort or another (and several drinks). To be invited to share Mom's chips was a very BIG deal.

It's so hard sometimes to keep front and center in my mind that these "foods" are NOT foods at all, that they're consciously designed to get my money and keep me dependent. Let's face it, I don't think the manufacturers are much better than tobacco companies or drug dealers because they intend their products to keep people trapped and spending their money. But it's a connection I need to be constantly conscious of. Because I am an addict.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thank you. It's been awhile since I have REALLY thought about what I eat. I am addicted to many foods - chips, processed frozen meals. I need to adjust what I eat.
    1704 days ago
    My husband brought a bag of chips into our TV room yest. & put them on the couch btwn us as we watched football. A commercial FINALLY came on & I said, I am putting these BACK in the kitchen; BEFORE I FINISH THE WHOLE DAMN BAG! We had put a SIZABLE dent in the bag anyway!

    I've ALWAYS been a "chips" girl; so it's VERY DANGEROUS to have the bag within reach! Something about the SALT that keeps you reaching for more!
    1705 days ago
    ERIN emoticon
    1705 days ago
    I am a food addict.
    1705 days ago
    Certainly things to think about!
    1705 days ago
    So true
    1705 days ago
    There is so much knowledge in what you wrote. Take it to heart.
    1706 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1706 days ago
  • JILL313
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1706 days ago
    We have to be educated about what we eat and be sure to share what we learn especially with our children.
    1706 days ago
    Phillip Morris tobacco owns Kraft Foods. These corporations are all the same.

    Even knowing what you know, it's still a difficult journey to maintain healthy habits.
    1706 days ago
  • FIT4MEIN2013
    The auto manufacturers and many other manufacturers of 'durable goods' have developed what is called 'planned obsolence' to guarantee that consumers will need to buy them again. Think cars, toasters, refrigerators and washing machines.
    1706 days ago
    My problem is that ... it's easy for me to overeat even the healthy stuff.
    It must be difficult to be such a good cook...the better it tastes, the more I want to eat. I would need to make something and immediately freeze it in individual portions.
    1706 days ago
  • BECKY0111
    I totally agree with you. Great blog!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1706 days ago
    All we can do is to fight the addiction. emoticon emoticon
    1706 days ago
  • .DUSTY.
    So you're telling me that people can't get addicted to "homemade" foods made from natural ingredients? BS!
    1706 days ago
    Great blog. Thank you.
    1706 days ago
    The last thing the food companies want is the comparison to the tobacco companies, but it is an entirely correct comparison. Working to eat "natural' foods can be a real challenge. However, I know you have the heart of a lioness and will find the way for you to conquer this "addiction."
    1706 days ago
  • MISSG180
    There is a book called Salt Sugar Fat that is all about the addictive nature of food engineering. It's not an accident, and all the research out there is showing that there is a lot more than "willpower" and "personal responsibility" to eating right. I highly recommend it. Here's the link on Amazon:

    The diet industry goes hand-in-hand with the food engineering industry: one sells us things that make us fat; the other sells us things that promise to make us thin but actually tend to induce binge eating and make us even fatter. It's appalling.
    1706 days ago
    I do my own potato chips and they are healthy. They never see a drop of fat of any kind.

    I just slice a potato thinly and then put the slices in a single layer on a dish in the microwave and nuke them until they are crispy. You do have to watch to see that they don't burn and maybe turn them over a time or two. I suppose that it would also work baking them in an oven, I just haven't tried it.

    I don't use salt on them and I haven't tried seasoning them either, but I would imagine that you could put some cajun spice or maybe Chef Meg's taco seasoning or other seasoning or rub a cut jalapeno on them before they are cooked to get a different sort of treat. Say sayonara to Lay's!!

    Have a good day!

    1706 days ago
    Potato chips are addictive because the starch converts to sugar so quickly and you get that sugar rush...I heard a guy talking about it on public radio one day, and I'm trying to remember the name of his book so I can read it....
    1706 days ago
  • LIS193
    The eternal triangle - food, drug and health care industry... they need each other to survive. They're called "industry" for a reason!
    1706 days ago
    I do believe that the junk foods are really produced with ingredients engineered to TASTE good. It is shown that sugar and fat have the same affect on the pleasure center of the brain as an addicts substance of choice has -- it lights up on an MRI!
    So, sorry, I agree with you. We do have to make the conscious choice to avoid them.

    HFCS, that was engineered because it is C-H-E-A-P-E-R than making something healthy.

    And it's not just the manufacturers, it's the advertisers, too. The advertisements for these enticing foods are what kids see and then WANT (of course!) OF course, then, pharmaceutical companies are most happy to find a medication to market that "cures" the ills caused by eating imperfect foods.

    So, bottom line is, we have to get to a point that we realize food =- medicine = affects how our body performs and how we feel! Choices, choices, choices.

    The choices that we make are our responsibility and we pay the price for our choices. So, I do like to make the choices that helps me feel more energized and healthy!

    Thanks for a good blog!
    1706 days ago
  • EMILY0724
    It's all about money. Never mind the damage your product does to the consumer. You hit this one right on the nose!
    1706 days ago
    not eating even one is the way to go
    1706 days ago
  • .DUSTY.
    It's not a conspiracy. I think people try to make too much out of it all and try to find reasons and excuses when in truth some foods just taste REALLY good. No mystery.

    Eating too much of anything isn't that good for you. Time to take personal responsibility.

    1707 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/20/2013 3:27:27 AM
    I also believe this.

    Have a gr8 day.
    1707 days ago
    I agree with you! Chips and such are extremely addictive. I can't have them in the house. One thing though...if you give them up for a while your palate will become even better and you will really taste the negative qualities of those junk foods...the additives and preservatives. Perhaps come up with a plan to go whole and unprocessed for a while and you will see that you like them less or at least your tongue will see them for what they are. I let myself snack but have made a deal with my self to make it healthier. I have to make the snack rather than buy it! So popcorn is my salty crunchy snack and I am often to lazy to make it so it ends up being only once in a while that I end up indulging. Same thing with cookies and cake...I have to get over the laziness factor before I can indulge! It works for me because I don't have to deny myself stuff...I just have to work for it! emoticon emoticon
    Good luck! emoticon
    1707 days ago
    Yeah, there is a lot of truth to that statement, "Betcha can't eat just ONE!" They know what they are doing, and the grocery stores also know what THEY are doing when they place these junk foods at the end of aisles, and near the checkout and anyplace else that they are sure they will be seen!

    1707 days ago
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