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Originally published October 18 2005

Taste inflation revealed: why sugar, salt and fragrance make you stupid

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

America is a nation that suffers from "taste inflation." Virtually all prepared foods in this country, whether they're restaurant foods or convenience foods, are made with such outrageous levels of salt, sugar and MSG that they can only be called extreme foods suffering from taste inflation.

What do I mean by taste inflation? If you studied newborn babies and were able to analyze their chemical taste sensors, you'd find they were able to experience a broad range of various tastes the bitters in green leafy vegetables, the natural fruit sugars in apples and berries, and even the sweetness in cashews or tomatoes. But when you introduce them to standard American foods infant formula, and then later in life, candy bars, fast food, soft drinks, etc. you basically obliterate their natural taste senses, desensitizing them to the flavor subtleties found in natural foods. You end up with people who can really only taste two things: Sugar and salt. That's why, in our country, most prepared or processed food is loaded either with one or the other.

Just go to any restaurant, especially those family chain restaurants, and try to order a bowl of soup. You mostly just get salt and MSG. There's hardly any other flavoring in the soup, since the physical matter in there has been so overcooked that it's just dead food with no taste subtlety remaining at all. These restaurants have to depend on salt and MSG to make these soups palatable to mainstream consumers. Personally, I can't touch a soup made by anything other than a gourmet restaurant, and canned soups found at the grocery store are also loaded with salt. Food manufacturers are adding so much salt to everything that millions of people are suffering from hypertension.

Sweet, redefined

We also have sugar inflation in this country. A loaf of bread was once actually bread, not cake. Today, there's so much sugar in bread that it's basically just sponge cake. A muffin was once actually a muffin, and corn bread once tasted sort of like corn. Today, muffins are just cake in the shape of muffins, and corn bread is just corn-flavored cake. Even our bagels don't taste like bagels anymore; they're just bagel-shaped cake. And what do I mean by cake? I mean a bread-based product loaded with sugar and white flour. When it comes to bagels, you also get some hydrogenated oils in there, just to make sure your cardiovascular health takes a beating, too.

Everywhere you go, you're inundated with these salts and sugars. You can't even buy a decent chocolate bar at a health food store these days without getting chocolate that's loaded with sugar. Whatever happened to enjoying the bitter taste of cacao as it comes out of nature? I've actually tasted cacao, and it's bitter! But at least we could sweeten it with stevia instead of loading it up with sugar, because most of the chocolate people are buying in this country is just a sugar bar with a hint of chocolate. It's funny that people think of chocolate as a health food, so they go out and buy chocolate candy bars, which is of course an absurd way to enhance their health.

Taste inflation affects brain function

What is the net result of all this taste inflation? You might be fascinated by this, because it's more than just the desensitizing of your taste to the natural flavors and subtleties in organic foods. My theory is that obliterating the subtleties of taste makes people stupid, and I mean this quite literally. By impairing the tongue's sensitivity and by taking away the brain's full spectrum of possible sensations and stimulation, you actually impair a person's cognitive function and learning ability. You make them less aware.

I think this is why we have a general lack of lucidity in the population. I think a lot of it goes back to the taste inflation problem in this country. Because let's face it, if you stuck a person in a room and blasted them with loud music 24 hours a day, they would be unable to hear the subtleties of sound around them. They couldn't go out in nature, for example, and listen to crickets or birds or butterflies. They couldn't even appreciate the subtleties in classical music.

Well, we're doing the same thing with our taste buds. By obliterating the subtleties and overpowering our taste buds with heavy doses of sugar and salt on a daily basis, we numb our tongues and our minds. In fact, I've found that people who tend to eat more processed and sugary foods are, indeed, operating at a lower level of intelligence. Maybe stupid people just tend to eat a lot of processed foods, or maybe processed food makes people stupid. Perhaps a whole cycle is set up: Stupid people start eating processed food, it makes them even more stupid, so they buy more processed food; then, they're on a downward spiral. Pretty soon, they're just an average American consumer, zoning out from reality and buying whatever products are advertised on television because they taste good.

I do know that most of the intelligent people I've ever met are very careful about what they expose themselves to in terms of their senses. They don't blow away their ears with loud music; they don't destroy their sense of taste by overloading it with salt and sugar. They certainly don't wear a lot of perfumes and cologne, because people also dumb down their senses through the sense of smell. When a person loads up on all kinds of fragrance products, including dryer sheets (which is really nothing more than laundry perfume, by the way), perfumed lotions, shampoo that's loaded with perfume and brand name soaps and deodorants that have even more perfume, they dull their sense of smell so much that they cannot even sense the subtleties of smell in the world around them, and thus they become mentally numb. They actually lose intelligence. Pretty soon they're just another zoned out person reacting to consumer marketing messages.

Silence is golden: Practice sensory silence to re-inflate your senses

If you want to be healthy, intelligent and have a high degree of awareness about what's happening in the world around you, as well as what's going on in your own body, it's important to have sensory acuity. To have sensory acuity, practice some silence; auditory, olfactory and taste, as well.

You can deflate your taste inflation (bring it back to normal) if you are currently suffering from dulled senses caused by eating standard American foods. For example, if you bite into a donut and aren't absolutely disgusted by how sweet it is, then you are currently suffering from taste inflation. If you go visit a restaurant and order a bowl of soup, or if you eat some canned soup from the grocery store and aren't completely bowled over by the amount of salt in that soup, then you are currently suffering from taste inflation. But you can reverse it by slowly eliminating the assault on your senses through manufactured foods, smells and consumer products.

By eliminating these high-salt and high-sugar foods from your diet, and by eliminating the high-perfume products marketed by the personal care and cosmetics industries, you can in fact greatly enhance your sensory acuity. And if you do that for several months, you will surprise yourself one day. You'll be able to eat unprocessed and unflavored foods, and you will find yourself really being amazed by how much flavor they offer. For example, grow your own cilantro, put the fresh-cut cilantro in your mouth, and relish that amazing taste experience! Chewing on raw, fresh macadamia nuts is absolutely amazing. It's a very rewarding and delicious taste experience, because these nuts have their own sweetness built right in. If you get off sugar products for a long enough time, you will find that an apple is the sweetest dessert you could ever imagine wanting, and is absolutely delicious, juicy and satisfying, all by itself.

Why sugar and corn syrup are not part of my diet

This is the state that I live in every day. I haven't had a piece of dessert for, I don't know, at least six or seven years now, and I couldn't imagine touching one. I don't crave one because just looking at it horrifies me, knowing it's basically just sugar and white flour fluffed up to take up as much space as possible.

To me, dessert means eating an apple or a bowl of grapes. That is the most satisfying dessert I can ever imagine. Or maybe if I'm getting really luxurious, I'll blend up some avocados, stevia, and soy milk into a delicious smoothie and chug that down. Maybe I'll even throw in some macadamia nut oil, rice protein, fresh strawberries, or fresh blueberries. You can't beat that, as far as I'm concerned. But it's important to note that you cannot get to a state in which you can even appreciate those tastes without giving up the assault on your senses posed by high-sugar, high-salt products. Most Americans have, quite literally, destroyed their sense of taste. They can get it back, but it's going to take giving up the offensive foods and substances that are now considered everyday items in the American diet.

Taking extreme taste to the next level

And remember, all the food marketing companies out there are going to try to get you hooked on even more intense flavors and tastes, because they have to outdo the previous batch of food products. As peoples' senses become numb, they need even more stimulation to get excited and take notice of foods. That's why we now have "extreme nachos" loaded with MSG, a chemical taste enhancer that has harmful effects on the nervous system.

We see MSG in so many foods because people no longer have the sensory acuity to even notice tastes. They have to use these artificial chemicals to get peoples' tongues to register anything. And this is why we even see these chemicals used in natural food products. Check the ingredient labels on those foods, and you'll find autolyzed yeast extract, hydrolyzed vegetable protein and other additives. These are all different forms of monosodium glutamate, or chemical taste enhancers, designed to get your tongue to notice you're eating something. And they're only used because you've blown away your sense of taste via taste inflation.

Highly offensive to healthy humans

If you were to take any of these foods or personal care products found in America and give them to indigenous tribes, they wouldn't even touch them. You couldn't pay these people to drink carbonated soft drinks, eat a muffin or wear cologne. They wouldn't do it, because to them, it would be so highly offensive that it would probably cause them to vomit. But in America, we're so used to it as a population that we think it's normal. It's not normal; it's taste inflation. And it's a sensory assault basically created by food companies, personal care product companies, cosmetic companies, soft drink companies, restaurants and fast food chains, as well as other players in the food and consumer products markets.

So remember, if you want to boost your intelligence, or maintain the current intelligence that you have, give up these high-salt, high-sugar products. Give up all these artificial fragrances in your life. Boost your sensory acuity and open yourself up in terms of awareness and connection with the environment around you. You will be smarter, wiser, and healthier. You'll also expand your sensory acuity to levels you may have never thought possible.

Thanks for reading. This is Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, reporting for Truth Publishing.


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