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Hyperpalatable Foods/Hyperpalatable Facts

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Friday, August 21, 2020

What makes manufactured fast food hyperpalatable?

Fast food is extra tasty because it relies upon a manufactured synergy among its artificially combined components -- fat, sodium, sugar and carbohydrates -- which just doesn't occur in nature. And the fat, sugar and carbs mean fast foods are high calorie. Fast foods create blood sugar imbalances that can cause food cravings by triggering huge surges of dopamine (the feel good chemical) in the pleasure centre of the brain.

We get way more dopamine from fast foods (such as potato chips) than is released when we eat natural, non-manufactured foods (an apple, for example). And then we want more and more of that dopamine-driven pleasure. Yup, fast foods are addictive.

And fast foods are available everywhere. They're not just ultra tasty, they're ultra convenient. Requiring minimum expenditure of energy to obtain or to chew or to digest. .

But fast foods aren't providing the nutrition -- some 45 different nutrients a day, Trivia reminded me this morning -- that our bodies actually require to survive and to thrive with good health. Vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy fats, fibre.

What about fast facts? Oh my goodness, they are SO tasty!! We can all munch on 'em together!! Because hyperpalatable fast facts rely increasingly on the synergy of our self-selected social media groups. Where (unlike maybe in "real" life) everybody agrees with our received "opinions" (no basis in fact necessarily required).

No no no, we can just keep on scrolling and clicking to get more and more dopamine affirmations that yup, we're "right". Of course we're right!!! And with shared emotions and artificially heightened feelings we can also "troll" those who might have the temerity to disagree. Anonymously. Now how pleasurable is that??

Because after all: everyone is entitled to their opinion. Right? No energy, no responsibility required to seek out reliable facts, to digest actual facts, to think. Right? It's my right!!

But: do fast facts actually provide the solid, fact-checked information required for our social and political institutions -- our democracies -- to survive and to thrive?

Here's a "fact checked" version of another powerful and historic speech:


In their comments on recent blogs, a number of Sparkies have expressed their sad and regretful conviction that maybe Americans no longer have the capacity to act with goodness and with kindness. That Americans have just become too self-interested. Too divided. Inwardly turned to focus upon their own like-minded groups for continuous reinforcement of their own biases and prejudices and privilege.

But here's another person (yup, it's a cut and paste from the text) who is hopeful. Who says and who believes of the American citizenry, "We’re a good and decent people."

A good and decent people. People who are prepared to gather and to digest some of the less palatable facts. To do that work, and to do whatever other work that's required.

Good and decent people?

Yes. Absolutely.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD4114015
    This is a WONDERFUL blog and I thank you as always! emoticon
    187 days ago
    I managed to get discontinued from your blog posting so it took seeing your comment on Don’s blog to get me over here to enjoy these outstanding observations and truths.

    I’ve been “eating” my isolation anxiety for the last few weeks, seemingly unable to control my emotional status. A reality check last night has hopefully brought me back to my senses – – the awareness that, based on my age and vulnerability, I must stay healthy to keep my immune system strong.
    217 days ago
    Regarding the addictive quality of fast foods, this book is SO enlightening!:

    >Regarding our post-truth news...such a sad state of affairs. I have been careful with my social media posts, asking myself: "will this promote bridge-building or bridge burning?"...striving to build bridges and inviting dialogue to achieve this, sadly with very little response. A friend shared that he feared we in America may be beyond bridge-building. I pray this isn't so.

    218 days ago
    Thank yu for the shoes--- closer to Heaven--*S* Lynda
    266 days ago
    great blog--interesting stuff!--Lynda
    266 days ago
    I love your analogy. I see you are on a "modified break"
    Take care of yourself. I look forward to your full time return.

    278 days ago
    285 days ago
    I've been really interested in the topic of fast food, too, and appreciate your writing about it and shedding light on it. Like drugs to a drug addict or alcohol to an alcoholic, fast food does not quell my appetite but instead makes me want to eat more. So addictive. Our parents, who did not grow up with fast food, were so much less likely to be obese than our generation. It's a fascinating phenomenon, and I hope we figure out a way to lessen the impact of the quick availability of fast food on our health.

    And thanks for the link to the fact check. Fact checks have become more important than any of us ever expected, but I think the fast-fact-addicted crowd are not too keen on being subjected to fact checks. I want to be positive like you, though, and hope that we can all learn how to recognize facts and make better decisions.
    296 days ago
    Great blog have a nice Tuesday ❤️🌻🌻
    297 days ago
  • MARTHA324

    As an American citizen I watched every minute of the DNC convention and chuckled to read Glenn Kessler who fact checks for the WaPo that he couldn't find much to dispute. OTOH the RNC convention starts tonight and I cannot and will not watch it.

    In America it is a battle for our soul and decency and a return to a time when we were a beacon of light and freedom. God willing Joe Biden will win and these dark days will be over.

    Thanks for this blog!
    297 days ago
  • no profile photo GRAMPIAN
    Definitely. emoticon
    298 days ago
  • THOMS1
    I got carried away. Your blog is very good. I try to keep those kinds of foods out of the house or at least I tell my DH that he has to keep the stuff he loves under lock and key. I know myself and if chips, nuts or whatever else he chooses to eat are within reach I'm a goner no matter what the nutrition is and I have been doing this nigh onto 10 years. Save me from myself. emoticon
    299 days ago
  • no profile photo CD10676776
    Stay optimistic, pay attention to false comments and follow your own heart and beliefs. Vote and encourage your friends, other family members to vote in November. This too shall pass, keep the faith!
    299 days ago
  • THOMS1
    Yes, we need a leader that does not instill hate and disrespect in our people especially the young. This is a very scary time and I'm not talking about the virus. Where in the world has kindness gone? emoticon
    299 days ago
  • no profile photo RACHNACH
    299 days ago
    299 days ago
    The Democratic convention gave me hope, but seeing so many people on the news still supporting selfishness and greed worries me. I guess we have to wait and see what happens in November.
    299 days ago
    I agree. emoticon
    299 days ago
  • UPTOIT59
    NPR is a reputable source, thank you! emoticon
    299 days ago
  • MAREE1953
    Agree about the fast food industry; it's cheap, too. Except the cost to good health later
    299 days ago
    299 days ago
    Just watched a documentary on Harvey Washington Wiley "Poison Squad" ... a chemist born in the 1800s who was very concerned about what was in our foods.

    He discovered that at the time 90% of sold honey was not ... honey. Coffee was part wood shavings. He screamed loud and clear and people wouldn't listen to him at first to include Theodore Roosevelt before he became president.

    Once Roosevelt was president and had "seen the light" it was somehow his idea to investigate what was truly in our foods.

    Cocaine was in Coco-cola in the being.

    Much like our politics here in the States ... how are we to "know" what our politicians are truly doing of us. And will they follow through with their campaign promises.

    But America is busting full of kind and good people. Some are just silent when we need to find our voices.

    299 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/22/2020 8:48:06 PM
  • no profile photo INCH_BY_INCH
    emoticon emoticon
    300 days ago
    Here's to hopeful!
    300 days ago
    In the interest of bipartisanship, I hope somebody does a fact-check on the RNC and Trump's speech next week. It will not doubt be printed in volumes. Thanks for sharing the link. It was a good read.
    300 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/21/2020 10:56:03 PM
    Voting is a tough thing, you listen to those standing for whatever office having to take at face value what they offer, promise, aspire to do if elected. There are times when they over step their offerings and then take back or say it can't be done for what ever reason.

    The ones who have given service in the past can be watched and noted how they used or walked in the privileged position they were voted into.

    Do they make themselves available to voters to talk about 'their' lives or are they in their 'position' unapproachable?

    Have they been in politics so long they have forgotten what 'real' life is for people?

    :) I would like all politicians to have a two week "work in the community around you " time :). Talk to 'real' people, listen ... :)
    300 days ago
    Have to agree w/Phebes . . . . the fact that a few Republicans were speaking @ the convention gives me hope, too. We ARE a good and decent people. We just need to vote our conscience in November.

    HUGS and thanks for the link.
    300 days ago
    It was a great talk.
    As to the fast food, it is also very cheap unfortunately.
    300 days ago
    300 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4114015
    emoticon emoticon
    300 days ago
    300 days ago
    300 days ago
  • BJAEGER307
    300 days ago
  • no profile photo CD18090386
    I will be sure to listen....with DH later this evening! Missed it last night......
    301 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    301 days ago
    Wonderful - thanks for sharing the link. Have a wonderful weekend emoticon
    301 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    301 days ago
    Thank you for the link. Stay well
    301 days ago
    'Just the facts, maam, just the facts' says Sgt. Joe Friday and then there is Nathan Jessup: "You can't handle the truth!" from A Few Good Men.

    Somehow we seem to be living in another space...they don't call it junk food for nothing.
    301 days ago
  • DESIREE672
    Here in Japan, we watched a documentary yesterday about health workers in New York during the worst of the pandemic. Some were volunteering their help. It was very moving.
    301 days ago
    Good and bad everywhere...
    301 days ago
    Interesting read. Your newspapers always seem to be on top of things. I do think this site should remain politics free and stick to the topic at hand of health and wellness. That neutrality is what makes it so welcoming to all people and allows them to get along. Fortunately you seem to have a nice circle of friends who have not said anything against the Dems postings. Interesting they are not allowing media at Trump's convention, unusual for a social media lover like him.
    301 days ago
  • NANCY-
    I'm really tired of the BS that is going on down here. We must do our due diligence. And vote.
    Reading about the hyperpalatable foods and dopamine hit, made me realize that is what I crave at night.
    So I need to fix that, higher protein snack perhaps? Thanks for making me think.
    301 days ago
    You and Donna, our neighbors to the north, are so right - for whatever reason, US politics seem to affect the rest of the world more than we know.

    Yes, we need to make a smart choice this November. For many of us, that choice has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with human decency.

    And the fact that there were a few Republican politicians speaking at the Democratic National Convention gives me home that more and more people are voting with their eyes and minds and hearts opened, and not voting with party allegiance.

    Let's hope the numbers turn out so that the popular vote IS the electoral college vote!!!

    301 days ago
    It a darned shame some people think we American have no goodness or kindness!
    Perhaps it's because those qualities don't come with megaphones, microphones, bright lights and cameras. Goodness and kindness abounds. It doesn't seek celebrity.

    I am not looking forward to, but will watch, the next convention so I am informed. Now I can say my political nerves made me eat the blueberry muffin this morning; I don't even like blueberries OR muffins!

    301 days ago
    Good info...I do think more are about goodness and kindness than the negatives. We hear less about them. It's always a treat to hear/read a story about the good, but the media has tried to identify some anyway. The bad news is easier to scoop and sell, I'm afraid...
    301 days ago
  • LYNCHD05
    Ellen we Canadians are not voting in this election but you would think we were. We seem to be more in tuned to this election than to our own politics. This coming election for our neighbours is affecting the whole world. Let’s hope people take the time to listen and make an informative choice not just a party choice. There is too much at stake.
    301 days ago
    Great Blog! Thanks for posting, and for the link.❤️👍
    301 days ago
    Fast- check. Palatable- check. Easy- check. Unquestioning- check. ?Lazy- maybe bordering on likely. Seems to be a condition of these times that we find ourselves in, the one I like to call the "as long as I'm alright then it's good" syndrome. Drives me to distraction. emoticon
    301 days ago
    Well said. It takes more effort to eat healthily and it should not be that way. I don't have any answers but I do take the extra effort.
    301 days ago
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