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How Big Food Uses Junk Science, Deceptive Marketing to Manipulate the Masses Into Craving Bad Foods

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Health Issues page and our Food Safety Research Center page.

      There is an entire industry out there that exists solely for the purpose of carefully engineering what can only be described as intentional junk food addiction. Utilizing the latest advancements in food science and marketing, this industry has successfully hooked millions of people into repeatedly buying and consuming processed foods that have little-to-no nutritive value, and that would taste horrible apart from crafty "enhancements" that deliberately trick people's taste palates into feeling satisfied.

In the first of a two-part series on the science behind food cravings, CBC News journalist Kelly Crowe delves into the dirty secrets of the junk food industry, exposing the various ways that "Big Food," also known as the processed food industry, generates continual demand and desire for its typically unhealthy products. Taste, texture, mouth feel, and precise chemical composition all play a crucial role in making processed foods feel more desirable and pleasant to eat than many whole and natural foods.

As it turns out, food science is far more advanced and conspiratorial in nature than you probably ever imagined. Billions of dollars are spent every single year crafting artificial foods that target and seek to maximize virtually every aspect of the food-eating experience. This complex process, of course, ensures that consumers not only eat plenty of junk food, but also repeatedly come back for more to their own demise.

"I spent time with the top scientists at the largest companies in this country and it's amazing how much math and science and regression analysis and energy they put into finding the very perfect amount of salt, sugar and fat in their products that will send us over the moon, and will send their products flying off the shelves and have us by more, eat more and ... make more money for them," explains New York Times (NYT) investigative reporter Michael Moss.


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