The Food Industry and Your Bliss Point
I don’t know about you, but I get really, really angry when I read about how the food industry steers us toward eating high fat/sugar/salt food. The truth is that what seems like a conspiracy to tempt you with sweets and treats is actually a conspiracy. The best way to defend against being manipulated is to know the truth about the industry’s goals and methods—and to use your critical thinking skills to avoid being manipulated.
According to a review of SALT SUGAR FAT: HOW THE FOOD GIANTS HOOKED US by Michael Moss (Psychotherapy Networker, “The taste bud conspiracy” by Diane Cole, 7-8/2013), “The food industry has meticulously researched and orchestrated our cravings for food.” Uh huh. And here you thought it was simply your lack of “will power” or “self-discipline” that’s driven your compulsive eating. Of course, you want to be accountable for your behavior, but be careful not to blame yourself when what you’ve been experiencing is a set-up to get you hooked on chemicals that do you no good.
Talking about sugar, fat and salt, Moss says that “when served separately and in moderation, none of them is harmful.” The problem arises when food is intentionally designed to “reach what’s known in the business as the bliss point.” You know, that perfect moment of eating when your brain goes wild and your consciousness turns off. The bliss point is the “optimum concentration at which the sensory pleasure is maximal… [It] dictates that we eat and drink more than we realize.”
Moss says that “our bodies are hard-wired for sweets” and “sugar has few peers in its ability to create cravings.” He adds that if you grow up eating sugary foods in moderation, you likely won’t develop a sugar jones. Alternately, habituating to sweets early on may generate a huge craving for them. Then there’s how much fat goes into food. The industry’s goal is to “enhance taste” and “provide a creamy ‘mouth feel’” which tricks our brains into not knowing when to stop eating.
So, what can you do? I hope you become as angry as I am at the manipulation of a profit-obsessed food industry whose marketing is meant only to con you into believing you’re going to have a wonderful experience with what they’re selling. Remember, their sole interest is in taking your money at your health’s expense. For those of you who tend to rebel against being told what to eat, how about turning some of your fury at how you’ve been snookered by Big Food? Use your anger to become a critical thinker and don’t let the food industry abuse you.