“Children are especially vulnerable to the taste of sweet. It is an analgesic and makes them feel good when they have it. My main concern is that the companies have put sugar in sauces and breads and other foods so they are effecting the biology of the child. The child grows up thinking that is what sauces and breads are supposed to taste like.” A Professor at a chemical senses facility I talked to today.
It was an odd day and I feel slightly uneasy at what unfolded. I was kindly welcomed to this mecca of taste bud scrutiny on the fringe of a historical American town. I learnt about our desire for sugar starting at birth with mother’s milk, how tiny cells light up in excited expectation of a coming sugar hit and how the diet of a mother finds its way into the amniotic fluids and plants the seeds of flavour to an unborn child.
The feeling of unease came not at the realization of the level of science and biology that goes into studying these things but that the interview I was conducting took place in ‘The Coca Cola’ room and that the list of corporate sponsors on a plaque in the lobby listed names like PepsiCo, Kraft and American Sugar. If these companies are fully aware of the meticulous and precise nature of our senses then it make us all the more at their mercy and explains why so many people have such trouble switching to a healthy diet.
The people there were lovely and stated that they were just doing the science but anytime I queried deeper, I felt like this was a severe no go zone. I need to research much further before really casting any aspersions but fittingly I was in the right place to notice something a bit stinky.
One woman said to me that children aren’t exercising so should we ban all computer games? Why should we blame sugar? And while I am not advocating a ban on sugar, just more education and corporate responsibility, I did think this sounded like a line someone at Pepsi might throw at me.
I then had an experiment done on me to find my ‘bliss point’ which is strictly referred to as sucrose preference testing In these hallways. It measures what your optimum sweetness levels are and everyones are different. Turns out I currently have the sweet tooth of a 10 year old child. This made a lot of sense to me. I am interested to test it again when I get off this ridiculous diet and see what comes up.
Breakfast was at a beautiful cafe with amazing food. I had a scrambled egg and broccoli dish and an apple pineapple and mint juice (10 teaspoons).
Lunch was pork belly in a sweet sauce with a glass of OJ (15 combo)
I had a blueberry smoothie with coconut frozen yoghurt (delicious and 12)
Dinner was a steak with a few fries and a multitude of dipping sauces (3 teaspoons).
I felt sad today seeing the size of people in this town. It is at a level that I haven’t seen before. I am pretty sure they have no idea that the foods that are making them this way have been carefully designed to trigger a variety of responses that keep them wanting more and keep them handing over their money. What a funny world we live in.
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