Both my mother and grandmother had the same reaction: "why does this coffee taste like Bournvita? Did you add that to the coffee?" Good thing I didn't get smacked for messing with the holy coffee that was a religious experience every single time it was consumed! One aunt of mine was very particular about her 3:00 pm coffee service.
I was, thus, not really surprised to learn later on that there were food technologists. A classmate's brother was a scientist whose job was the create via chemicals the natural flavors. It didn't seem crazy then, but as an adult, the thought ingesting chemicals has always worried me. Worries me a lot. My roommate in graduate school, Avu, would mix himself a glass of Nesquik chocolate milk and refer to that sarcastically as his "chemical breakfast."
It is bizarre that scientists and technologists work hard to bring us stuff that doesn't seem to be all that constructive. They build weapons that can kill. Cigarettes and alcohol. And food. The breakdown the process in which our bodies "think" of food and then successfully manipulate our biochemistry.
[If] you end up with a food baby, a distended stomach caused by excessive overeating, you’ve made a fast-food executive somewhere very happy.
If your grandmothers were like mine, they would have advised you to eat slowly. Not too sloooooowly like how a cousin of mine at, but slowly. That is exactly what the food industries technologists do not want us to do:
The holy grail of junk-food science is vanishing caloric density, where the food melts in your mouth so quickly that the brain is fooled into thinking it’s hardly consuming any calories at all, so it just keeps snacking.
If they could convince us to intake calories before the brain has processed that information, then we end up with a food baby.
My strategy has been a simple one: I avoid a whole lot of aisles in the market. I bypass them. I spend a great deal of time where the fruits and vegetables are. I didn't know I was contributing to the cookie aisle problem:
consumers shun a particular aisle in the store, such as the one containing the cookies, because there is too great a risk they would buy-and-binge
I told a friend the other day that she should make sure to go to the grocery store only after meals, and not when hungry. "Why?" she asked. Because when hungry, our brain picks up all the wrong signals. Now, I can add this: we then end up with a food baby.
If only the food science people can put their energy and expertise into teaching our brains good things, right? Science, unfortunately, has always been a double-edged sword!
Make yourself a lentil salad. No chemicals that will fool your brain. You will eat slowly giving the brain the time to measure the calories coming in.
You will then not carry a food baby.
You can make the food company executives unhappy.
And, yes, you can experiment away in the kitchen!