Are there really mad scientists manipulating our foods, in order to make us addicted and overeat?

With the developments in technology, science and medicine, people are becoming more and more conscious about living a healthier and more natural lifestyle. This is why, there has been a wide outpour of opinions, theories and publications about the evil engineering which goes on in the food production factories.

Some call this a conspiracy theory and others truly believe that there are “mad scientists” who are messing with our food

Of course, there is an official and serious science called food engineering, but the conspiracy theories involve engineering which is not done for improving the characteristics and nutritional value of the foods, but rather the opposite…

The reasoning behind these theories is the fact that in modern times rarely do people grow their own food or hunt it down, but rather most food is produced in factories. The food market is humongous and the competition is fierce, which is why the manufacturers need to find ways to attract more customers. This, according to a large number of people has led to the production of food products, which are not really food according to the traditional meaning of food.

The supporters of this theory maintain that the majority of the foods produced in factories is via some questionable food processing techniques, including the added artificial flavors and other doubtable ingredients, which are put in the food in order to make it more tasty, addictive and thus to sell more. Other processed food products have added high fructose corn syrup, vegetable oils, and wheat flour – all of which are recommended to be limited within a healthy diet. All these artificial flavors and hidden ingredients is what the food industry has been blamed for taking advantage of.

The main problem of those opposing this new method of popularizing the food, is that these artificial and hidden ingredients are in most cases not only unhealthy, but can actually be threatening and dangerous to the health and lives of consumers.

With the striking increase of people and often the younger ones suffering from obesity, diabetes type II, food addictions, eating disorders or other diseases related to obesity, it is logical to ask whether this secret engineering in the food processing industry is not to blame.

According to some, it is the added salt, sugar or fat, which causes the junk food addiction because of the irresistible cravings caused by these ingredients.

According to the conspiracy theories on BeforeItsNews, there are more methods which the corporations in the food industry are using to make us addicted to food, ill, and to live unhealthy lifestyles. One main problem are the sugary soft drinks which add huge amounts of calories to the daily diets of children and adults, and also the artificial sweeteners in popular diet drinks which are said to lead to tooth decay, kidney problems, depression and even some types of cancer.

Another major problem, according to the conspiracy theories, is the BPA used in plastic bottles and canned goods, which is known to disrupt the hormonal balance in the body and has been linked to some very serious problems in both girls and boys and adults of both sexes.

Also, the fact that companies which are originally established as health conscious and organic are actually bought out or originally owned by the biggest corporations, including Coca-Cola who is the actual owner of Honest tea and Odwalla, for example.

Another problem in today’s food industry is the harmful and dangerous use of antibiotics in livestock, which cause bacterial resistance to dangerous diseases as well as cause hormonal imbalances and other health problems.

One of the most talked about possibly harmful and unhealthy issue affecting the 21st century food industry is the greater reliance on genetically modified foods (GMO) as well as he harmful herbicides, insecticides and pesticides on crops, which are claimed to cause a wide range of harmful side effects to the humans as well as to the environment.

A leading problem with today’s food industry, according to vegans and other environmentally conscious people, are the factory farms, which are said to not only exercise extreme cruelty to animals, but also contribute to the pollution of groundwater, deforestations and are responsible for huge amounts of waste.

According to the Harvard educated Dr. David Kessler, a long-time head of the FDA, who is very much responsible for the creation of the standardized nutritional label for foods, and the author of “The end of overeating”, there is a strong similarity between the tobacco and the food industry, as in the way they create their products intentionally manipulating them in order to make them more addictive for the end-consumer. According to him, once again the key to creating a food which is irresistible to people is finding the right combination of fat, sugar and salt.

Given the billions of dollars which are involved in the food industry, and the power which the huge food corporations have, it is very unlikely that we will get an answer to any of these questions in regard to the “mad scientists” tampering with our foods soon.

23 thoughts on “Are there really mad scientists manipulating our foods, in order to make us addicted and overeat?

  1. Kids are fat because their parents feed them crap and let them eat/drink garbage. Make childhood obesity child abuse and watch how fast the chubby kid number drops. If your an adult and your obese that’s your fault. Kids don’t really have a choice. I think we’re pointing the finger at the wrong people.

  2. Aspartame – the major ingredient in the artificial sweetener in diet soft drinks – has now been linked kidney disease/dysfunction.

    There are also all sorts of studies linking these sweeteners to cancer – some more authoritative and accredited than others.

    In addition, the combination of chemicals in the chemical colas that don’t have sugar in them make you hungrier – they actually make you crave more food and sugar, caffeine and other bad stuff than you would if you simply drank the one can of Regular Coca-Cola.

    So, since I only drink colas – diet or not – on extremely rare occasions… what do I drink? Water, fresh fruit juice and iced green tea. None of these is anything other than natural. I admit to coffee – a cup or two in the morning – my guilty pleasure.

  3. I think it’s probably important to note that Coke wasn’t originally intended to be a replacement for water as our primary beverage. Coke was, in fact, originally more like cough syrup; you just took a little snort now and again as needed. I’m sure advertising contributed heavily to our habit of drinking Coke by the litre. (I have a friend who used to drink several cokes a day!) But, that’s our problem. Just because a company advertises a product doesn’t mean we have to buy it or buy it and consume it in bulk.

    1. Coke originally did contain cocaine. How wonderful…eh?

      Another factor in the rise of soft drinks – fast food. Specifically McDonalds if I remember correctly. As those places expanded and replaced the pharmacy counters that originally sold Coke consumption of the stuff exploded.

  4. My family thinks I’m some kind of nut because I don’t like certain foods simply because of their texture – their “mouth feel”.

    Spiral-shaped pasta, for example, feels weird in my mouth. It’s like eating little springs or very course fasteners.

    Plus, the surface area of spirals is all wrong resulting in a messed up cheese-to-macaroni or sauce-to-pasta ratio. (That is also true for off-sized Reese’s cups; the minis are the best chocolate-to-peanutbutter ratio. The oversized ones are just gross.)

    Similarly, I hate pulp-laden orange juice. Who wants to chew their juice? Any other beverage that had stuff floating in it would be spat out!

    1. De gustibus non est disputandem, Mike. There is no disputing about tastes. I happen to like the large Reese’s cups and not the minis – go figure. I won’t eat a beet or a brussel sprout, though I love almost every other type of fruit or vegetable. I only like fresh spinach – not cooked. My husband, along with about half the populations hates liver. I like it. Your taste predilections are encoded in your DNA – they’re part of our omnivorous survival mechanism.

      And, yes, 20+ years in consumer research made me very familiar with how important “mouth feel” is to food manufacturers – along with color. Why do you suppose there are very few BLUE foods?

      1. Oh Susan, you would hate my favorite breakfast when I’m up north, boiled nettles (tastes just like cooked spinach) and a couple dollops of salted salmon roe on top! I am with you on the Brussels sprouts 100%, my Grandma liked to doctor them up with cheese and bacon bits! Haha! Never fooled me though!

  5. I always suspected that junk food was addictive. In fact, I have a vague memory of a funny bit of Doonesbury, where Zonker worked in a buger chain and discovered cocaine in the “secret sauce.” Hmmmm. Life imitates art once again.

    There’s a reason that I limit the amounts of processed/junk/fast food that I allow my family to consume – that includes husband and dogsters. There’s a reason that I cook most of my own meals from scratch and grow as many of my own herbs as possible.

  6. I am all for responsibility on the part of manufacturers on this one. I don’t eat much junk food because I cannot have the additives, they cause physical symptoms, but I would like to be able to have a wider range of healthy food options to select from, and to feed my family. Food producers should have a moral or legal responsibility in that regard.

  7. I’m a little concerned about what sounds like a call to government action since I just don’t like the overarching big brother thing. But, if they are going to get involved in my life w/o my permission there are worse things they can do than attempt to enhance nutrition.

    1. There is a role for government here. Perhaps not an all out, regulate everything edible role, but I do believe that at the very least there needs to be greater transparency and incentives to produce foods that are at least benign if not healthy.

      1. Don’t get me wrong Nate. I am not anti-gov. I am not even small-gov. I am local-gov and just-big-enough-to-do-it-right gov. I like building codes, clean water, paved roads, public education, voting, arguing, cheetos, doritos, unemployment assistance, etc.

        I just think most (if not all) of those things can be handled locally or at the state level.

        Take farmers markets. Those are not the same stuff you get in the grocers aisle. I would love to see locals and state guys in the grocers aisles and making them as close to the farmers markets as possible.

        Oh, yeah, Homeade Ice Cream. Now I gotta run. Hungry.

  8. So, evil corporations create foods that taste well and that excuses consumers from making choices in terms of how much they’ll get stuffed with junk food? If so, what’s next? Closing or penalizing all restaurants that make good tasting food? If truly addictive, why are certain demographics affected more? Why not Europe? Less TV, more walking there.

    1. Max,
      I’m not a big fan of large corporations. But I do recognize their right to make a profit. But existing along side they’re right to profit is my right to expose the methods that they use to enhance that profit making; methods that often create profit at the expense of public well-being. I didn’t advocate for penalties, restrictions, onerous laws or restaurant closings. I presented the science and tactics (biased as I noted) behind what is being done. As far as why there are fewer problems in Europe – cities are built differently, work is structured differently, the role and size of food companies is generally smaller than here (less lobbying power), the food culture is different …

  9. So, these foods make people happy, right? Why is physically healthy behaviour more desirable than happiness? By what virtue does the government have the authority to limit, or define, the pursuit happiness? I’m not asking about legal precedence, but a moral principle that grants such a right (I have never been exposed to one that wasn’t logically circular or fallacious, but I am open to it). It would seem to me that “the pursuit of happiness” is protected, and indeed very specifically. Who are you, or I, to define what “happiness” should be for others? May be vegetables for one, but chips and a soda for an other.

    1. It’s not my contention that a government solution is what is required to address this issue. The tobacco reference was an illustration of a successful campaign that combated a similar problem in the past.

      But here is the problem that I have with your argument. If we are going to talk about happiness we have to calculate the happiness of more than just the eaters. For instance, the actions that these companies are taking cost all of us in the form of increased healthcare spending. My happiness is partly dependent on keeping my health insurance costs low – the behavior of others affects my happiness. Should my happiness be discounted in favor of the person who wants to gorge on Cheetos?

      1. Hey Nate, Ah yes, the “negative externalities” argument. The rationale can be extended to all manner of activities, very soon we find ourselves prohibited from doing anything because of effects on others. One then must make a subjective value judgement for; The forest or the tree? Are the diffuse consequences more important of an issue, than the concentrated gains?This is something only the individual can answer.

        The only input I can give in that thought experiment; an individual has a very real ability to control their own life, they have virtually none if their life is subjugated to the group(abstractly, they have more power over other peoples lives than their own).

      2. Right on. It’s all about balance in my view. No one can be completely narcissistic (at least we hope) nor can anyone be completely altruistic. We, along with our government, have to find a balance between over-indulging the group and limiting the rights of the individual and vice versa. It’s a tricky business. A different kind of bliss point.

      1. Hey Jerry, I would agree that government is somewhat reasonably “effective” in that role, but I can not argue that it is proper or virtuous. We are seeing technologies emerging that seem to hold promise in replacing the state in that role,vis a vie reputation systems, like what is found on eBay. Self regulation for one’s own interest seem to be fairly effective, according to a study (from Umich and Harvard) eBay’s reputation system is 99.7% effective at predicting/effecting future behavior, based on the amount of negative feed back provided. (google “Effectiveness of eBay’s reputation system”) There are ways to do things voluntarily without the state, but I would argue it takes infinitely more creativity and ingenuity, very rare commodities

      2. Andy, as a long time eBayer I can give you my view. If you were the Mom or Pop who started selling on eBay auctions several years back you know that eBay, though successful for itself, has ruined the old collectors and antique trade that provided many with an extra income. eBay was not responsive to its members when they opened the doors for storefront operations. They are still the best place to sell but not as good as they once were for the little guy. Our government is reflective of that same idea. The idea that if you provide of those that have those that don’t will catch up. Trickle down.

  10. Fortunately, I’m one of the lucky ones who has kicked the sugar habit. As far as I am aware. While I’m not all organic yet, (budget doesn’t permit it) I buy as fresh as I can from the grocery store and get frozen vegetables, largely avoid fruit, eat vegetables and a lot of meat. I practice tai-chi, and walk as much as humanly possible, with my crazy go nuts work schedule. I’m currently dropping 2-4 lbs a week. I do have a cheat day where I go crazy go nuts to keep myself sane during the week.

    I think you pointed 2 important things in this article first is that the industries hide sugar everywhere. The second is that, the white carbs need to be watched out for especially if you are in the damage control phase of your diet. The sad thing is most people aren’t aware of it. I think more articles like this telling us where the sugar is hidden or even compiling a “watch list” would be helpful.

  11. Companies spends lots of money to make sure consumer demand shifts right where they want it. They’re successful. There is a reason places like Starbucks exploded into America so fast. They knew how to manipulate the psyche of people by strategic placement of ads and stores. I feel the blame is all around everyone. Big companies, sheep masses, silent bystanders, and the government are to blame, hence America.

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