Sugar Alert – Taste Bud-nappers


By Dean L. Jones, C.P.M.

At times I feel as if I am living in the Twilight Zone, particularly when you learn how commercial enterprises are so intense with consciously destroying or at least genetically altering humankind through food consumption.  War, murder and ignorance are unfortunately generally accepted means of human destruction.  Nevertheless, you want to believe that man makes food items for nutritional value to help sustain life.

This is not the case as we are at the point that the commercial hands that feed people too often operates in deceit and damage mode.  A fitting description of the world’s largest food additive company, recently profiled on 60 Minutes television magazine show, is called Givaudan, a Swiss manufacturer of flavorings and fragrances.  The firm started in the late 1700’s, but for the last fifty years it has increased its focus making food flavor additives with an additive taste.  Straight out, their entire mission is to get consumers to eat their food products again and again and again.  Snack or easy-to-prepare packaged foods will certainly add flavorings that make the palette crave for more, which inevitably result in a fatter society.

Givaudan management literally studies humans worldwide to understand the emotions when they eat foods and target manufacturing flavors that attract repeat purchases focusing on sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and savory tastes.  Essentially, these flavor scientists are working diligently to highjack consumer taste buds in order to sell more products.  This includes alcohol, soda, candies, crackers, and everything sold at ground zero in grocery stores.

The Food and Drug Administration sanctions the definition of ‘Natural Flavoring’ as substances obtained from any plant or animal raw materials.  It sounds okay by definition, but for example when you eat something that says it has a strawberry flavor you automatically assume that the flavor was made from strawberries.  However, more than likely it was not because the objective is to get you hooked and nature does not operate like that, so you could actually be eating a gland from a beaver or crushed dung beetle shell that creates a more intense and unique flavor.

That unique taste gives corporations like Givaudan a competitive advantage by not using the named ingredient so that it cannot or is very hard to duplicate without the scientific formula.  Plus, when you manufacture the flavor you create consistency of taste no matter where you are in the worked at any time of year.  Once again, natural products do not taste the same every year or when found in nature in other parts of the world.  The saddest part of this whole thing is that processed sugar, salt and fat are still needed to heighten the taste experience so not only are the manufactured unknown origins of flavors taking place, you still have a known health inhibitors in the mix.
Mr. Jones is a marketing strategist with the Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), sharing his view on mismanagement practices of packaged foods & beverages.