In The Dorito Effect, Mark Schatzker shows us how our approach to the nation's number-one public health crisis has gotten it wrong. The epidemics of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes are not tied to the overabundance of fat or carbs. Instead we have been led astray by the growing divide between flavor - the tastes we crave - and the underlying nutrition.
Since the late 1940s, we have been slowly leeching flavor out of the food we grow. Simultaneously we have taken great leaps forward in technology, allowing us to produce in the lab the very flavors that are being lost on the farm. Thanks to this largely invisible epidemic, seemingly healthy food is becoming more like junk food: highly craveable but nutritionally empty. We have unknowingly interfered with an ancient chemical language - flavor - that evolved to guide our nutrition, not destroy it.