Thoughtful eating: The Dorito Effect

by DaniGirl on May 8, 2015 · 1 comment

in Eating and thinking and thinking about eating

From Michael Pollan to Mark Bittman to Michael Moss to Yoni Freedhoff to Michael Smith, I love being challenged to think about food in new ways. I found this Globe and Mail excerpt from a new book called The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor fascinating.

It talks about how the foods we are supposed to eat (plants, animals – things that grow) are becoming less flavourful and things we should not eat (Doritos) are subject to endless billions of research dollars to make them more flavourful.

As humans mastered growing livestock and plants, however, we changed their ecological purpose. The reason animals produced meat wasn’t so that some human could eat it. Meat is muscle, which enables movement, and fat, which stores energy. Vegetables are the plant equivalent – structure and nutrient storage. A plant grew fruit or seeds not so that a human could bake pie but so that the plant could reproduce. Today, instead of eating living things designed by nature, we started doing the designing. And we got so good at it that food became very different. It’s a difference we still don’t fully understand but one we can most certainly taste.

I wonder if this is one of the reasons why everything from our Roots and Shoots CSA farm share tastes so damn good? It’s definitely part of the reason I’m willing to pay premium prices for most of my pork, chicken and beef through a butcher that supports local ethically, sustainably grown meat.

Beets and carrots

Only a couple of more weeks until our farm share starts coming in. I can hardly wait! I put a hold on The Dorito Effect through the library – 107 holds on 10 copies. I’ll let you know what I think when I get it!

Have you read other books like the In Defense of Food or Salt Sugar Fat that have changed how you think about food?

And, does it make me a horrible person if while I am pontificated about this, there is a wee tiny corner of my brain that said, “Wait, did somebody say Doritos?”

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Dawna May 11, 2015 at 6:43 am

Reading the book Anticancer: A new way of life changed everything about the way I eat. It doesn’t sound like a good book, but it is. Worth reading if you are thinking about the impact of food on your body.

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