• How do big foods infiltrate our lives?
  • You can’t beat a tortoise in a race

1. Big Foods infiltrate and make you go umami

My mini research has shown two strategies that big food corporations use to make sure their products infiltrate our lives.

The first is to make sure we have enough and more to choose from. Nestlé manages 2000 brands across 150 countries. Number of products in other big food companies are well above 200. As the grocery shelves are stacked with a multitude of products to choose from, it is harder for us to avoid buying any of their products. The infographic below captures the research conducted a few years ago by Oxfam, and these are products in America.

Secondly, Big Foods don’t stop at increasing the number of brands; they strive for making sure their products have the umami-ness in them.

Umami is the 5th taste sensation after, sweet, sour, bitterness, and saltiness. It is responsible for the lingering aftertaste that we just enjoy. One of the ingredients that give good umami is MSG. You can find them in Chinese cuisine, KFCs and McDs of the world, Crisps, Pringles, Dorritos, Canned soups, Processes meats, Salad dressings, mayo, ketchup, soy sauce, instant noodles, and many more.

Because the taste lingers for a longer time, the pleasure of eating these foods gets deeply ingrained in our brains. The love for this food goes beyond chemosensation (taste and smell), and you are driven for this food from the subconscious state of mind. It becomes a habit, and soon a culture where it becomes harder to break from. So time after time, you eat something that your mind wants, not necessarily what your body needs.

Just another milestone we crossed in human evolution.

2- Zeno’s paradox

The Zeno’s paradox shows that you can’t catch up with a tortoise if you are chasing it. Say you are pursuing a moving tortoise that is 1 meter ahead of you. But, by the time you reach the tortoise’s original position, i.e. 1 meter ahead of you, it would have moved a little more. And now repeat the process, and mathematically you can show that the tortoise will always stay ahead of you.

It is just perplexing how a paradox such as this can disprove the obvious. You and I know that this does not work in the “practical” world we live in. The reason being is that Zeno made an assumption that time and space can be broken an infinite number of times.

However, research on space and time are still being conducted. So it is not a surprise that this paradox continues to challenge today’s research. The video does better justice.

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