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8 ways the food industry can hijack your brain

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Old 07-10-2009, 07:19 PM   #1
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Default 8 ways the food industry can hijack your brain

This is an interesting slide-show format article about how calories get packed into foods and how they are crafted and designed to make consumers overeat.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31832558...le_Hijackbrain

Fat, fat, and more fat!

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Old 07-10-2009, 07:24 PM   #2
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But is anyone eating those foods and thinking they are healthy?

The food industry can't hijack your brain if you aren't eating processed, store bought crap to begin with. There are no hidden layers of fat in veggies. No injections of fat into meats that come from your local farm. No sugars or additives in bread you made yourself, or bought from your local bakery.

Just because "the food industry" put this stuff out there, it is still individual people one by one making the choice to eat at Friday's or Ruby Tuesday's or Cheesecake Factory instead of at home or at a place where the food is clean and unprocessed.

We are not helpless victims of an evil food industry.
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:25 PM   #3
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Great topic. But this is just me, I cannot stand loading page after page for little bits of info at a time, so I skipped this incarnation of it.
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Old 07-10-2009, 07:27 PM   #4
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I am currently reading "The End of Overeating" of which that article is based.
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:29 PM   #5
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Man this topic pops up SO many times, and we all hash it to death! There are those who will believe that the government, corporate America, and lobby groups conspire together to enslave the people in a fat prison.

Others believe that they have FREE CHOICE in the matter, and that it actually IS possible to buy fruits and vegetables and healthy food and to control their hands that hold the forks.

I am NOT a slave to corporate America, whose wiley ways are "tricking me" into going to Hardees and ordering the double bacon cheeseburger because I believe that they have said that they are healthy...I am NOT obliged to go to IHOP and have the towering quadruple pancake with chocolate chips and whipped cream...I don't HAVE to go for takeout 4 nights a week.

Articles like this remove the RESPONSIBILITY OF THE INDIVIDUAL and move it to the nameless, faceless "corporate entity" -- "I'M not responsible for my excess pounds because corporate America TRICKED me into eating them". I think I'll SUE the blighters because my A$$ is huge...

Last time I checked, no one ordered Buffalo Wings with a gun to their head.

Last time I checked, the food police didn't show up at my home and arrest me for not eating potato skins.

Nobody held me down and force-fed me chips and salsa and Marguireitas at my local Mexicali Rosa's.

I as an individual have the RIGHT to choose what I eat. And I choose the consequences. It isn't corporate America's fault! I OWN THIS. Nobody else. Just me.

JMHO, but still laughing!

Thanks for the link!

Kira

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Old 07-10-2009, 08:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiramira View Post
Articles like this remove the RESPONSIBILITY OF THE INDIVIDUAL and move it to the nameless, faceless "corporate entity" -- "I'M not responsible for my excess pounds because corporate America TRICKED me into eating them". I think I'll SUE the blighters because my A$$ is huge...
I agree eating certain foods on the menu are a no-brainer for fat and calories. But on the other hand, when you order grilled chicken you don't expect it to be injected with sugar. Or when you order a steak, you don't tell the waiter to bathe it in butter as I've heard some restaurants do. You can direct the waiter to prepare your food without added fats or sauces, but if it comes to the restaurant already semi-prepared this way, the consumer who thinks they're eating healthy can be in for a surprise. I expected the saline injections in some chicken breasts, but I'm unhappy with the thought that it might contain sugar also. I'm glad I prepare most of my meals at home.
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:50 PM   #7
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Actually, I EXPECT my meal to be not what I ordered and/or not exactly as described. I don't trust what is sold to me AT ALL because I'm not in the kitchen making it myself.

When I go out, I make the best choices that I can, and accommodate for it within my meal plan. I don't go out and seriously believe that grilled chicken is grilled without oil or stuff that I don't know about, or that the veggie kebabs aren't marinated in sugar, vinegar and oil, or that the "lite cake" is REALLY light in calories. Even if I special order. If I'm NOT in the kitchen, I'm not privy to EXACTLY what is going on. I have to trust that it is done correctly, and I guess I'm just not that trusting because I DON'T BELIEVE THAT CORPORATE AMERICA GIVES A FLYING FIG ABOUT WHAT I WANT. And NOONE looks after my OWN BEST INTERESTS than ME.

So I choose as best I can, enjoy myself, and if there is a bump UP the scale, I deal with it. Because I EARNED it. Because I CHOSE to eat in an environment where I couldn't be 100% certain that what I wanted was what I got. IT. WAS. MY. CHOICE.

JMHO

Kira

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Old 07-10-2009, 09:06 PM   #8
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We all vote with our dollar. As more and more people start to care about the low quality of the of food that they are purchasing, they will then start to demand better quality for themselves and their families. Once the market for crap fades, the industry will (and can) change overnight.
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:19 PM   #9
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My only point in posting the link was for education, not to start a riot.

I don't think it takes away from anyone's personal responsibility to point out that foods may not be what they seem. I think if people knew more about this, they would make different choices. But you can't make different choices if you don't know. Not everyone does know this stuff. I didn't until a few years ago.

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Old 07-10-2009, 09:22 PM   #10
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So, like, did my BUTTON get SERIOUSLY PUSHED!?!

Sorry about that...

Seriously, thanks for the link!

It will be taken in the spirit in which it was posted!

And it IS disgusting how the frankenfoods out there are marketed and served up steaming hot. I think the photos especially tell a horrid story.



Kira

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Old 07-10-2009, 09:49 PM   #11
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I don't think that the information absolves anyone of responsibility, but that doesn't mean the information isn't valid. Being more aware of these practices though does give a person more information to make better choices (unless they choose to ignore or misuse the information).

I don't believe that there's a conspiracy, or that food companies need to be "blamed." I don't think anyone, including myself needs to be blamed in order to make changes. Knowing what has to change, doesn't mean I have to beat up myself or anyone else for having failed previously.

Food companies need to make a profit (who doesn't). They're not our babysitters, mommies, nannies or grandmas, and don't and won't care about our health unless there's profit in it. Ultimately it's a consumer driven economy. Many fast food restaurants have tried and failed to provide healthier alternatives, but while customers say they want healthier foods, often when they're available they don't sell (because they don't taste as good, to the cultural, and perhaps partially biologically determined palate).

The information is valid, and is just one more tool if used rationally (and not only as a way to make food companies the scapegoat). Whether it's a food corporation or a grandma (or anyone) creating a recipe in the kitchen, some ingredients, flavors and flavor combinations are easier to overeat. There's nothing "wrong" with knowing that, or sharing that information.

Many of the techniques for making food taste "better" to the broadest range of people has traditionally meant adding sweetness, saltiness, texture, flavor enhancers.... that's not top secret information.

But knowing that food companies (and grandmas) do this, doesn't mean we've got to tar and feather grandma or the CEO of McDonald's.

I don't believe that's what the article or the book is saying. Information is power, and knowing the techniques that are used (in mass production or in a family kitchen) to make food more appealing can be used in reverse to solve the problem.

I recently learned that people tend to eat more when more flavor options are available, such when food is accompanied by a variety of condiments such as dipping sauces. That's information that I can use just as easily as any restaurant. A restaurant may choose to serve food with a variety of condiments available to encourage you to eat more. I can use the same knowledge to limit my choices at a meal so that I feel satisfied with less.

I think sometimes people don't want to hear the information because "it gives people excuses," which I think is nonsense. Information is power, and knowing what factors cue appetite can be very helpful in controlling it. I think that some people think there's virtue in white knuckling it, whereas anything you learn that makes your job easier is knowledge well earned.

Reading the article or the book, a person could decide they're helpless because they're a victim of food advertising and marketing. I don't think most people's logic is that flawed. Rather, a person properly using the information, would now be aware of more of the factors that make overeating easier, and by being aware could learn to avoid or compensate for those factors.

Only in the last couple hundred years, and for the most part only in the last fifty years, have we had such a food surplus. Most critters will overeat when food is overly abundent, but because of competition with others of their own and other species, overabundance really is never a natural state. Generally overpopulation occurs before widespread obesity. It's also not a natural state to have food so easily available. Animals and people primitive societies didn't have to "work out," because they had to work to get food (or in order to avoid becoming food).

You can use that as an "excuse," or you can work to make your life at least imitate the natural world to a greater degree. You don't have to go out in the woods with a sharp stick to hunt/gather, but you can find ways to better imitate a natural diet and a natural activity level.
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Old 07-10-2009, 10:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiramira View Post
Articles like this remove the RESPONSIBILITY OF THE INDIVIDUAL and move it to the nameless, faceless "corporate entity" -- "I'M not responsible for my excess pounds because corporate America TRICKED me into eating them". I think I'll SUE the blighters because my A$$ is huge...

I as an individual have the RIGHT to choose what I eat. And I choose the consequences. It isn't corporate America's fault! I OWN THIS. Nobody else. Just me.
To use a wise woman's strategy:

"Yeah, you're probably right."
"I KNOW!!! Isn't it CRAZY!!!"

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Old 07-10-2009, 10:20 PM   #13
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Yeah, I know I ranted. I apologized for it above! Maybe I should edit my rant posts by adding a "WARNING! Inappropriate RANT to follow! Read at own RISK!!!



Kira

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Old 07-10-2009, 10:25 PM   #14
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Yeah, I know I ranted. I apologized for it above! Maybe I should edit my rant posts by adding a "WARNING! Inappropriate RANT to follow! Read at own RISK!!!



Kira
Yeah, I know, and I don't even think you needed to, even though I don't agree (entirely) with your POV. I was just feeling a little silly
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Old 07-10-2009, 10:25 PM   #15
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