Have you ever wondered why you eat the whole bag of candies and you don’t save for later? Or why you continue to buy processed food with additives and eat at fast food restaurants, even though you know that the food is bad for your health?
The uncomfortable truth is that the food companies have paid billions for scientists to come up with the exact amount of sugar, salt and fat that they need for you to always take another cookie.
Besides that, the companies know how much flavoring and additives they need to add to the cookie so they taste good, because without them it wouldn’t taste good.
Frozen pizza, Fast food, chips, candies, half fabricated groceries and cookies – the majority of us have eaten some of that, and we also know that is not good for the health, but what we didn’t know is that there are many years and millions of dollars in research behind what the food company doesn’t want to talk about.
How the food industry makes you eat junk food:
With the new health conscious wishes of us the consumers, businesses need also new technologies in order for their brand to get chosen.
Here are some of the ugliest techniques used by the food industry:
- Processed foods ”made” naturally
Is it real grill what you think you see on your purchased hamburgers? Probably not. One of the techniques the factories use is that they make food to look as if it is something it is not: homemade.
It also costs more money to get fast food to see homemade out, than a handmade one had needed.
For two years, the Kraft food engineers developed a special cutting machine that cut their turkey pieces unevenly. The American company, Wendy’s made his hamburger meat larger and rougher, because they would look as if they had been done at home in your own kitchen.
In the article, ”Food Engineers Now Making Your Burger Look Cool, Casual, Real” for the magazine Gawker, reported the following:
”[US] McDonalds ’Egg White Delight McMuffin’ makes now uneven circles, instead of the perfectly round shape that would otherwise have been characteristic of the Egg McMuffin. Domino’s pizza cutter is configured to cut their ”Artisan Pizza” so that it will emulate homemade alternatives. ”
Gawker additionally reports about another US company, Hillshire Brand Company. Today the company is owned by Tyson Foods and assume their full responsibility to only provide the best products to consumers, but that was not the case. In the beginning, changed the Hillshire Brand Company name to Hillshire Farms and worked systematically to make all products would be perceived as healthy by the buyer.
After our test panel reported that customers wanted more whole grains in the company’s chicken bread, Hillshire Farms added caramelized sugar to darken the bread. This is to make it appear to contain more whole grains.
Hillshire Farms’ former marketing manager, Reggie Moore, Told the magazine Gawker that:
– It is of key importance that we constantly adapt our food outside to always match different opinions, because the consumer’s definition of what some see ”naturally” out is different for each person.
2. Promote food to children through charity
Anna Lappe works to educate others about food and health. She is best known in the US for her expertise on food companies and is a strong activist for the authentic and organic food. During the general meeting, TEDx Manhattan, she talked of her group, Food Mythbusters that one should tackle the food industry’s marketing to children.
According to the US Office of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has doubled in 30 years. According to WHO, in addition to that, approximately 1.9 billion adults are overweight worldwide and of these, 600 million suffer from obesity. In 2013, 42 million children under 5 years of age were overweight or obese. Most of those whom are obese live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight people.
According to WHO the main cause of obesity is due to an imbalance between the amount of calories you eat and the amount of calories you burn, for example, through exercise. NFA reports that overweight and obesity is one of our most serious public health problems. In Sweden today, half of all adult males, over a third of all women and one in five children are overweight or obese. Also the NFA mentions that preventing obesity requires many different measures, and the diet is one of them.
What children are encouraged to eat today can really have deadly consequences for them, claims Anna Lappe to the newspaper, AlterNet.
For the US government, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says the US’s fast-food chains spend only a fraction of the marketing intended for children. However with a closer look at the report of the FCC, we see that instead of that they have spent less on this form of PR, the industry is using a different form of marketing closer to children than adults.
Among other things, the report shows that companies spend big money on marketing to children through social media, gaming apps, games, web pages and various charitable practices. Charity methods may for example mean that school classes go and visit McDonalds. There they listen to how an actor dressed as the company mascot, Ronald McDonald tells the students about McDonald’s charitable commitment.
– This form of marketing is masked to be about charity, but the effect of school excursions instead, is that they get the whole school class, on school hours, go to McDonalds and eat lunch there with their teacher, says Lappe.
Lappe continues to tell us that charity marketing, is a common tactic that the food industry uses to advertise to children. Moreover, when companies are promoting young people through charity, they do not need to declare this to the FCC and other agencies that regulate the marketing that is permitted.
Food companies also use social media and the internet to get in touch with children and young people. Where McDonald Ronald.com – marketed to children in pre-school age – is one of several web pages that the food industry uses to make PR for the youngest population.
– These sites are called ”advergames”, since they are games embedded on Web pages [eg: spela.com, journalist’s remark], says Lappe.
She says that while she believes that all marketing to children is unethical, she believes, however, that Internet-based marketing is the worst. This is because it is completely uncontrolled by government organizations.
– Most children can not distinguish between what is entertainment, schooling and Marketing, says Anna Lappe. My biggest problem with companies marketing to children and young people through social media, is that social media evolve so fast. Faster than we activists and controlling organizations manage to keep up with. Therefore, companies will always be gray areas that they can use to influence our children to buy their products.
Despite widespread information about what we should and should not eat, the majority of us still eat foods that we know are not good for us. What many do not know is that the industry has spent billions on scientific methods to make consumers dependent on their food. They have even used science to find out how they will do for you to like their food.
Food engineers and researchers working for companies that, among other things, produce food that ”feels good” to eat. They are also working to ensure that the food contains just the right amount of sugar, fat and salt, because they trigger a similar chemical substances in your brain, similar to when you are in love.
In his article, ”The Jargon of Junkfood” explains journalist Paul McFedries on the working methods of the fast food industry. The article explains how the scientific and calculated food industry methods, so consumers become addicted to their food.
– Companies that sell processed foods and fast foods, resource constantly to scientists and other specialists to develop just the food that we can not resist, writes Paul MdFedries.
Even the New York Times reporter Michael Moss opened the eyes on the food industry making use of research to make consumers dependent on their food. Among other things, he has written the book,
”Salt Sugar Fat” by Michael Moss that took several years to write. It is an journalistic investigation work, which found the following methods and terms used in the food industry:
”Caterpillar Ingredients” – salt, sugar and fat are the so-called ”Pillar Ingredients” that food companies strategically combine to make you get addicted to it you eat.
”Bliss Point” – Since man can easily become dependent on ”Caterpillar Ingredient” (salt, sugar and fat) food companies have chosen to take this to the next level. The goal is to find out just how much of these ingredients necessary for the human brain to react most positively on the food you eat. This is what the companies call ”The Bliss Point”.
”Mouthfeel” – is about how the food feels in your mouth. Chocolate bars have, for example, to have sharp edges because food industry studies have shown that chocolate has to be perceived as soothing and melt in your mouth. Chips developed until they get exactly the right amount of chips for consumers to find them so irresistible that they will not be able to eat just one, but happily all of the contents.
”Flavour Burst” – Food engineers develop a method changing the size and shape of salt chrystals so when they reach the consumer’s palate, the salt crystals cause a kind of over-reaction on the tongue palate. The result of a ”Flavour Burst” usually leads to the taste buds reaction to something does not taste good, immediately knocked out.
”Vanishing Caloric Density” – The most common scientific method used in the fast food industry is ”vanishing caloric density”. The process that occurs in the mouth is that when the food quickly melts in your mouth fooled the brain into believing that you have consumed less calories than you actually have.
Food industry uses ”vanishing caloric density” method to avoid that you put down the fork when you become overwhelmed by the high amount of flavors found in the foods you eat.
The industry’s goal is to either, first passively overeat, eat second ahead without you being aware of it, or third you eat, but you really are not hungry. They succeed, among other things, to trick you into doing this, because the body is difficult to understand when it eats too much of fatty food.
The journalist, Michael Moss also interviewed Jeffrey Dunn, who was responsible for more than half of Coca Cola’s sales of 20 trillion dollars in 2001. In an article for The New York Times Moss writes,
– [Dunn] used the techniques he had mastered during the 20 years he had worked at Coca-Cola. There, he learned that the most important rule in the food industry was, ”How do you sell the food is as important as the food you sell” [when you want to increase your sales].
Therefore fooling us food companies using various methods that we should eat more of the foods that are not good for our health. So they will always sell more.