Thursday, May 19, 2011

That Leaves a Bitter Taste in my Mouth.

In a recent New Yorker article titled, "Snacks for a Fat Planet," John Seabrook writes,

"The overriding impression I carried away from my Hawthorne [pepsi research lab] visit was that, although it all comes back to taste at PepsiCo, the physical sensation of tasting has been so thoroughly mediated by advertising and packaging that no one knows anymore where the physiological experience ends and the aspirational experience begins."

Now I've thought this way for a long time about beauty ideals but after reading this article I realized the parallel between the two.

Not only does advertising and marketing tell us what we like to look at but also what we like to eat.

I mean, that's pretty obvious; we're bombarded with food commercials, ads etc. but I guess I never considered that it make have an actual mental impact on my taste buds. That I may be more of a product of corporate campaigns than I want to believe.

And that food and what we're convinced is "good" has a direct parallel to beauty and what we think is sexy to the point where we are constantly surrounded in contradictions.

Eat this beautiful fatty salty cheeseburger than buy diet pills and ab shapers and spanx to look like this skinny beautiful sexy model.
It is just really weird for me to think that even my taste buds have been conditioned to enjoy certain flavors over others. It's weird for me to imagine and comprehend that I have been so totally programmed by outside forces that I may not ever do anything based on my own personal well being. It's not like we can separate ourselves from that which we already learned. It's not like I can un-socialize myself. I can perhaps re-train my taste buds, but what bases am I doing that? How do I know I'm not just being re-programmed from another corporate source?

How do I really know that what is "healthy" is really healthy?

That what is tasty is really tasty?

That what is true is really true?



  1. For a few months, for no particular reason, I didn't have any kind of soda. I just drank juice or water. Then after going without soda and tasting it again I find that I don't like it. I suggest that if you want to discover what foods you really like and don't like, try eating out of what is normal. Go without some foods for a while and then like corn flakes, "taste them again for the first time." Yea, I still don't enjoy corn flakes.