Fast Food Nation

The taste of the aroma of a food can be responsible

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Unformatted text preview: tallow. A look at the ingredients now used in the preparation of McDonald’s french fries suggests how the problem was solved. Toward the end of the list is a seemingly innocuous, yet oddly mysterious phrase: “natural flavor”. That ingredient helps to explain not only why the fries taste so good, but also why most fast food — indeed, most of the food Americans eat today — tastes the way it does. Open your refrigerator, your freezer, your kitchen cupboards, and look at the labels on your food. You’ll find “natural flavor” or “artificial flavor” in just about every list of ingredients. The similarities between these two broad categories of flavor are far more significant than their differences. Both are man-made additives that give most p rocessed food most of its taste. The initial purchase of a food item may be driven by its packaging or appearance, but subsequent purchases are determined mainly by its taste. About 90 percent of the money that Americans spend on food is used to buy proce...
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