Watch This Video: Natural Flavorings – a Chemical Carnival in your Mouth

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Natural flavorings, common in almost all processed foods, are not so natural.  By design, these marvels of modern chemistry enhance our brain’s experience of the food substances and drive us to overeat. The chemically engineered natural flavorings act on many of the same brain chemicals as addictive drugs.  Can’t eat just one potato chip-that’s by design; just one more helping of turkey and gravy, also by design. Brilliant, if not a little diabolical.

The Chemical Engineering of Natural Flavorings

Natural Flavorings, Food Additives are Big Business

As of 2011, the annual market for natural flavorings and food additives approached $30 billion.

  • 40% of natural flavorings are used to enhance taste
  • 30% of natural flavorings are used to enhance texture
  • 5% of food additives affect appearance
  • 20% are used to improve processing
  • 5% for consumer safety

Beyond the Gross Factor: What’s the Big Deal?

If you can get past enjoying your vanilla or raspberry flavored treats with a little beaver butt thrown in (castoreum is made from the anal gland of beavers), eating insects (red coloring is made from mashed cochineal beetles), the doses of brain excito-toxins from MSG or Aspartame or any of the other chemical cocktails labeled as ‘natural flavorings’ then maybe this sort of chemical engineering is not so bad. After all, millions of people ingest these products daily and no one is dropping dead after eating a french fry.  Or are they? 

At Hormones Matter, we think food ought to be food. What do you think?

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