Weirder Living Through Chemistry

So, you want to eat better, do you? More fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, and less fat, oil, sugar, and salt, right? Well, that’s going to mean discipline, and learning to appreciate and crave the flavor of a ripe apple or a bowl of museli over that pile of disco fries.

Yeah, freaking right. That’s why there’s science. We don’t need to change our behavior through such outmoded methods as willpower and strength of character. According to the Telegraph UK (Via Coldmud,) we’ll soon be able to use chemicals to do it for us:

The new research is focused on compounds called flavour modulators which, when added to food in tiny amounts, stimulate specific pathways into the brain that trigger a response normally associated with eating tasty food.

Most humans are genetically disposed to crave fattening food because, for millions of years, it was in short supply. But the current over-abundance of calorie-laden food puts current generations at risk of obesity.

So you can just add in these miracle chemicals and all of a sudden, broccoli tastes like French fries? Wait, and remind us of the alternative once more: Learn to love broccoli and go on a lot of bike rides? Ummmm, right. Did somebody say no-brainer?

But seriously, these additives are really creepy. The Telegraph compares the effort, with a straight face, to, “cruder attempts to change eating patterns by adding child-friendly flavourings such as chocolate to unpopular vegetables.” Give it a second thought and imagine just how it might feel to chomp on a piece of fatty, rich broccoli. Ugh, it might be pretty darned gross.

Maybe the answer isn’t to change the flavor of broccoli and friends, but to use those veggies in concert with less saintly ingredients, giving the veggies first chair; like our old pal broccoli dressed up with a shred or two of cheddar. Perhaps healthy eating is less about discipline and more about variety. And that doesn’t mean the variety of flavors with which you can impregnate leafy greens. We’ll say it again: Gross.

Healthier eating tastes better thanks to a clever trick [Telegraph UK]

[Photo: Romanescue broccoli via Moria/flickr]

Weirder Living Through Chemistry