Taste Bud Chemistry

Our tongues are being taken over by chemicals to invoke, for false profit, the taste and the memory of foods that no longer exist.  This fooling of the taste buds — this mocking of experience with lies — provides us a context that crumbles in ignition and a present that only mirrors the past instead of finding reflexively inspired knowing.


How did we come to this faked chemistry of tasting instead of relying upon natural taste to guide our palate and soothe our levels of delight?

Factory farming is one cause — we’ve immorally ruined the taste of the things we eat by feeding animals their own kind and by using pesticides to betray the natural abilities of crops to thrive or die based on their own fortitude and ability to adapt to an ever-changing environment.

Chemistry is also a major foe of real tasting:

I think the rise of chemical additives changed a lot of the quality of our modern foods.  30 years ago there was far more human effort in making things taste good naturally with natural ingredients. 

Now we can replicate any taste in nature from a chemist’s lab much cheaper and faster than we ever could by relying on nature alone.  I can tell the difference between a scientist’s hand and a cook’s palm but maybe that’s because I’m always looking for the human touch.

I find any sort of food that requires sweetness to make its notes is not the same as a similar childhood delight.  I blame it on the rise of high fructose corn syrup, refined sugar and chemical sweeteners.

Will we ever be able to return to simple food enhancers like salt and sugarcane? 

Or have we perpetually left behind the simple pleasure of the tongue in exchange for the complex and complicated vulgarities of chemical taste buds?

2 comments

  • Kathakali Chatterjee

    How true David!
    Artificial flavor is cheaper no doubt but the original tastes much better.

  • Katha!
    Yes! The mechanization of taste is glorified now with cheap chemicals that burn the mouth and ruin any sense of natural taste. What a disappointment in technology and science! Sometimes nature is better left alone and untouched.

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