The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

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The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Postby Ben » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:16 am

If you are interested in health and nutrition, the following article may be of great interest to you.

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food



The meeting was remarkable, first, for the insider admissions of guilt. But I was also struck by how prescient the organizers of the sit-down had been. Today, one in three adults is considered clinically obese, along with one in five kids, and 24 million Americans are afflicted by type 2 diabetes, often caused by poor diet, with another 79 million people having pre-diabetes. Even gout, a painful form of arthritis once known as “the rich man’s disease” for its associations with gluttony, now afflicts eight million Americans.

The public and the food companies have known for decades now — or at the very least since this meeting — that sugary, salty, fatty foods are not good for us in the quantities that we consume them. So why are the diabetes and obesity and hypertension numbers still spiraling out of control? It’s not just a matter of poor willpower on the part of the consumer and a give-the-people-what-they-want attitude on the part of the food manufacturers. What I found, over four years of research and reporting, was a conscious effort — taking place in labs and marketing meetings and grocery-store aisles — to get people hooked on foods that are convenient and inexpensive.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/magaz ... =all&_r=1&
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Postby James the Giant » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:38 am

Stuff like this makes me want to get out of this mad cycle of existence as soon as possible.
Great article, thanks Ben.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Postby Ben » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:57 am

Hi James,
Just be sure to get out of this existence by walking on the path, and not eating your way to an early death courtesy of the junk food manufacturers!
I'm glad you appreciate the article. We work so hard to overcome our own craving and aversion I thought it useful to learn how food technicians actively attempt to manipulate them.
kind regards,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Postby Alobha » Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:42 pm

It's not an industry of ethics, but of optimizing craving to the max. I wonder whether society (especially America) can pull off a change in politics there. If the US change their politics of freedom of desires, the rest of the world may likely follow. But getting drugregulations through with a population that consists largely of drugaddicts? Until wisdom in politics can seize a victory, dealing with our own craving seems like a very good and urgent thing to do.
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Re: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:03 pm

This is total crap. These companies are giving consumers what they want and while im not defending the companies, people need to take responsibility for their choices.
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
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Re: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:20 pm

Alobha wrote:If the US change their politics of freedom of desires, the rest of the world may likely follow.


What exactly are you recommending?
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Postby beeblebrox » Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:23 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:This is total crap. These companies are giving consumers what they want and while im not defending the companies, people need to take responsibility for their choices.


Defend what? The companies are made up of people...

:anjali:
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Re: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Postby corrine » Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:50 pm

It seems as though one simple approach is just to avoid processed food whenever possible. Where I live, fortunately, fresh food is widely available. If you buy only what is needed for several days and prepare it simply, a lot of these issues are avoided. And processed food is more expensive by far than minimally processed food. A box of sugary cereal is much more expensive than a bag of oatmeal or even a bag of whole wheat biscuits. I think it is just a matter of deciding to eat for nutrition rather than eat for pleasure.

I think industry frequently treats consumers as sheep because consumers choose to behave as sheep. If we live thoughtfully, we cannot be led.

Maybe I am just very fortunate to live where fresh food is widely available, but still most of my friends choose to eat at fast food places and to purchase crappy food because they say it tastes better and that is their only motivation. That is a personal failing. If I choose to feed my children what is essentially poisonous, is that not my fault and my fault alone?

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Re: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:07 pm

corrine wrote:...
I think industry frequently treats consumers as sheep because consumers choose to behave as sheep. If we live thoughtfully, we cannot be led.
...

:goodpost:
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Postby Ben » Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:21 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:This is total crap. These companies are giving consumers what they want and while im not defending the companies, people need to take responsibility for their choices.


I think you will find that the courts have generally been making judgements in favour of people affected by junk food manufactuers strategies. Certainly that is the case in this country. To me that indicates the manufacturers have some responsibility in getting people addicted to products that cause obesity and cardio-vascular disease.
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:04 pm

Ben wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:This is total crap. These companies are giving consumers what they want and while im not defending the companies, people need to take responsibility for their choices.


I think you will find that the courts have generally been making judgements in favour of people affected by junk food manufactuers strategies. Certainly that is the case in this country. To me that indicates the manufacturers have some responsibility in getting people addicted to products that cause obesity and cardio-vascular disease.


To me it indicates a political and social climate that attempts to exempt people from the negative consequences of their choices.
Followed to its logical conclusion, this will lead to choice being removed. Are you willing to let your government tell you what to eat? There are bigger political and social issues in play. Speaking for myself, i dont need another mommy.
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Postby Ben » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:16 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:
Ben wrote:
m0rl0ck wrote:This is total crap. These companies are giving consumers what they want and while im not defending the companies, people need to take responsibility for their choices.


I think you will find that the courts have generally been making judgements in favour of people affected by junk food manufactuers strategies. Certainly that is the case in this country. To me that indicates the manufacturers have some responsibility in getting people addicted to products that cause obesity and cardio-vascular disease.


To me it indicates a political and social climate that attempts to exempt people from the negative consequences of their choices.
Followed to its logical conclusion, this will lead to choice being removed. Are you willing to let your government tell you what to eat? There are bigger political and social issues in play. Speaking for myself, i dont need another mommy.


That's a rather patronising thing to say, morlock.
If we follow the logical conclusion of your line of argument then we can absolve tobacco companies from responsibility of manufacturing and selling a product that causes addiction and shortens the lifespan of its users. You will find framed in legislation and case law in most developed countries the notions of 'duty of care' and 'negligence' aimed at corporations to ensure that they do not produce and/or sell goods that harm their customers.
I'd much rather live in a society where there are effective legal controls on corporate greed than a society that doesn't.
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

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Re: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:29 pm

Ben wrote:That's a rather patronising thing to say, morlock.
If we follow the logical conclusion of your line of argument then we can absolve tobacco companies from responsibility of manufacturing and selling a product that causes addiction and shortens the lifespan of its users. You will find framed in legislation and case law in most developed countries the notions of 'duty of care' and 'negligence' aimed at corporations to ensure that they do not produce and/or sell goods that harm their customers.
I'd much rather live in a society where there are effective legal controls on corporate greed than a society that doesn't.


I didnt intend to be patronizing but if you choose to interpret it that way its up to you. The point im making is that every day people make life and death choices based on awareness of consequences. As long as a vendor of any particular product isnt hiding anything, people should have the right to make free choices. Would you ban buses because people occasionally step in front of them? Cars kill people everyday, lets ban them. Too much time on the internet can have adverse effects. Lets monitor computer use and send exercise police to every dwelling where someone is online more than three hours at a time.
Seriously, there really are much bigger things to worry about than junk food :) and those who are worried about it can take one simple step, dont eat it.
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Postby Mr Man » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:55 pm

Why is Ronald McDonald a clown?
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Re: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:31 am

    ...and this thought arose in the mind of the Blessed One:
    “Who lives without reverence lives miserably.”
    Uruvela Sutta, A.ii.20

    It were endless to dispute upon everything that is disputable.
    — William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude,
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Re: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Postby Kim OHara » Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:58 am

m0rl0ck wrote:
Ben wrote:That's a rather patronising thing to say, morlock.
If we follow the logical conclusion of your line of argument then we can absolve tobacco companies from responsibility of manufacturing and selling a product that causes addiction and shortens the lifespan of its users. You will find framed in legislation and case law in most developed countries the notions of 'duty of care' and 'negligence' aimed at corporations to ensure that they do not produce and/or sell goods that harm their customers.
I'd much rather live in a society where there are effective legal controls on corporate greed than a society that doesn't.


I didnt intend to be patronizing but if you choose to interpret it that way its up to you. The point im making is that every day people make life and death choices based on awareness of consequences. As long as a vendor of any particular product isnt hiding anything, people should have the right to make free choices. Would you ban buses because people occasionally step in front of them? Cars kill people everyday, lets ban them. Too much time on the internet can have adverse effects. Lets monitor computer use and send exercise police to every dwelling where someone is online more than three hours at a time.
Seriously, there really are much bigger things to worry about than junk food :) and those who are worried about it can take one simple step, dont eat it.

Hi, Morlock,
The three phrases I have bolded are crucial to your argument but in fact the corporations are hiding the facts, so the average consumer has no awareness of the consequences. Then, because they won't be worried about it (because they don't know about it), they won't take the one simple step.
For those reasons, I'm with Ben: corporations which behave unethically need to be regulated.

:namaste:
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Re: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Postby Justsit » Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:50 pm

The "facts" may be hidden but are readily available to anyone willing to dig a little and not accept everything at face value. Most people seem to prefer not to know, or just don't care, convenience trumping effort.

It is no secret that Big Agra corporations are in business to make money, not provide wholesome food to a discerning population. Assuming that products made by such companies are safe/healthy is naive.

As always, caveat emptor. Do your research.
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Re: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Postby beeblebrox » Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:46 pm

Justsit wrote:The "facts" may be hidden but are readily available to anyone willing to dig a little and not accept everything at face value. Most people seem to prefer not to know, or just don't care, convenience trumping effort.


I think this lack of compassion is quite remarkable.

It is naive to think that everyone would have the means (even the slightest ones) or the ability to do a basic research, to judge the information's values, or to keep up to date on things... but even then, if it was everyone's own responsibility to check up on everything themselves, especially by digging up in the way that you suggested, then there will be no time for them to do anything that is worthwhile.

It's naive to think that many people will have the same self-control as you do.

It's also naive to think that if you weren't helpful with this (or if you're not willing), that this won't have an effect on the quality of your own life.

A few years ago, someone asked me why I study Buddhism... I told him that it's so that others wouldn't have to. I thought that (and still do) most people had better things to do with their own time. He seemed a bit surprised by this answer... not sure why.

If you're that concerned about the government over-extending their own control... then maybe it's a good idea to try help the people who are doing so to encourage these companies (or actually, the people who make up these) to try take more responsibility and care over their own products, along with their customers?

If you're not willing to do that, then why complain about it when the government (or the people who make up it) decide to step in and then do it for you?

:anjali:

It is no secret that Big Agra corporations are in business to make money, not provide wholesome food to a discerning population. Assuming that products made by such companies are safe/healthy is naive.

As always, caveat emptor. Do your research.
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Re: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Postby Mr Man » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:16 pm

Justsit wrote:The "facts" may be hidden but are readily available to anyone willing to dig a little and not accept everything at face value.

Like the (possibly) drug tainted horse meat that has been sold as beef accross Europe?
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Re: The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

Postby Justsit » Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:43 pm

Mr Man wrote:
Justsit wrote:The "facts" may be hidden but are readily available to anyone willing to dig a little and not accept everything at face value.

Like the (possibly) drug tainted horse meat that has been sold as beef accross Europe?

Exactly.
Personally, I have no confidence in big corporate food production.
Any in depth report on the meat industry will reveal many common varieties of contamination.
This is really not news - the presence of growth hormone, antibiotics, BSE, fecal contamination, etc., is pretty well documented, some of it has been known since the 70's. It just doesn't often make the evening news, because Big Agra makes sure it doesn't. The story in Ben's original post is a prime example.

Learning more about this topic really isn't all that time consuming or difficult. Just go to You Tube and look up meat packing or any similar video or website on corporate food production. Or check the US Food and Drug Administration website for food regulations - you will find the standard for how many rat hairs are allowed in a box of cereal!There's tons of info available, you don't have to do primary research.

Again, just my opinion, but I like to know what's in what I eat.
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