Eric Schlosser reveals shocking information about food production. His book "Fast Food Nation" throughout the year is not going down the list of best-sellers, "The New York Times."

With a tasty and innocent looking food McDonald's lies to the incredible level of advanced science, technology, and marketing aimed primarily at children. Those who uncritically swallow the propaganda Corporate McDonald's (presenting their products as nutritious, and their shrines for fine place to spend with your family free time), you should fasten your seat belts. You have a unique opportunity to find out much more than McDonald's wants its customers to disclose. Enjoy.


Frying chips was almost sacred to me" - he wrote in his autobiography, Ray Kroc, one of the founders of McDonald's. - "Preparation was rigorously repeated ritual." During the early years of McDonald's fries are made ​​from scratch every day. Potatoes Russet Burbanks type were peeled, cut into strips and fried in McDonald's kitchens. In the mid-sixties, which is when the network has grown up all over America, it was decided to lower costs, reduce the number of suppliers and make it fries tasted the same at every point of the network.  

McDonald's began to flip through the frozen french fries in 1966 and few customers noticed the difference.  Despite this change had a huge impact on agriculture and the American diet. Universal food has been converted into a high-tech industrial goods. McDonald's fries now come from big factories, which can peel, slice, fry and freeze one million kilograms of potatoes every day. McDoanld's rapid expansion and popularity of cheap, mass-produced fries changed the eating habits of Americans. In 1960, Americans consumed an average of about 40 kg of fresh potatoes and 2 kg of frozen french fries. In 2000, they consumed an average of about 25 kg and 15 kg of fresh frozen French fries.  

Today, McDonald's is the largest buyer of potatoes in the United States. Taste McDonald's french fries played a major role in the success of the network. The chips bring more profit than burgers and are praised by customers, competitors, and even critics. Their distinctive taste does not come, however, on the type of potatoes that McDonald's buys the technology it uses, or devices that frying them. Other networks also use Russet Burbanks potatoes, buy chips from the same major suppliers and have similar equipment in their kitchens. Flavor chips is mostly designated type of oil used. For decades, McDonald's fry their french fries in a mixture of cottonseed oil and 93% beef fat. The mixture gave frytkom unique flavor and more harmful fat in each gram of product.  

In 1990, under the weight of criticism of cholesterol in French fries, McDonald's switched to pure vegetable oil. This, however, created a problem: how to make chips that taste like beef - but without frying them in beef fat? A look at the ingredients in McDonald's French fries suggests how the problem was solved. At the end of the list of ingredients is inconspicuous, and yet looking mysterious term "natural flavor" ("natural flavor"). This ingredient helps to explain not only why the fries taste so good, but why do most fast foods (in fact - most of the food that it America) tastes like it tastes.  

Open your refrigerator, freezer, pantry - and look at the packaging of your food . You'll find "natural flavor" or "artificial flavor" on almost every list of ingredients. The similarities between these two broad categories are far more significant than the differences. Both are obtained by man additives that impart a specific flavor of most foods. People generally buy specific foods for the first time because of its packaging or appearance. Taste usually determines whether they buy it again.  

Approximately 90% of the money that Americans now spend on food falls on technologically processed foods.  

Techniques for canning, freezing and dehydration, used for reworking, destroying most of the taste of food. In this way, in the U.S. there was a great industry, designed to make food more appetizing. Without this flavor industry today's fast food simply does not exist. Names of the leading American chain fast food like McDonald's or Burger King, were rooted not only in the American reality, but they have also become extremely popular all over the world. Despite this, few are able to identify the companies that produce flavors for fast food.  

Flavor industry is shrouded in great mystery. Leading companies do not want to disclose the exact formulas of flavor ingredients, nor indicate its customers. The secret is considered a fundamental matter, having to protect the reputation of popular brands. This is to be done to help the network fast food can continue to keep the public in the belief that the taste of the food they sell come with their own kitchen and not from distant factories run by other companies. McDonald's French fries are one of countless foods whose flavor is only part of a complex production process. In fact, the appearance and taste of what we eat today is an illusion, and that's on purpose. 

Corridor taste 

 The highway from the New Jersey Turnpike's heart flavoring industry - corridor, which is full of refineries and chemical plants. International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), the largest such company in the world, has a factory at the exit number 8A in Dayton, New Jersey. Givaudan, the world's second-largest flavor company, in turn, has its plant located next door in East Hanover. Haarmann & Reimer, the largest German company, has a plant in Teteboro - in the shadow of Manhattan, just like Tagasako, the largest Japanese flavor company. Flavor Dynamics has a plant in South Plainfield and Frutarom has settled in North Bergen, at the upper Manhattan. Elan Chemical is located in Newark (in the vicinity of aircraft landing near the Polish - MK). A dozen companies manufacture flavors in the corridor between Teaneck and South Brunswick.It is produced in the region is about 2/3 flavors sold in the U.S.

IFF plant in Dayton is a great, light building with a modern complex of offices, attached in front. It is located in the vicinity of the factory, plastics factory near the German chemical company BASF, as well as Jolly French Toast factory and the factory that produces cosmetics brand, "Liz Claiborne". Dozens of trucks were parked at the IFF loading dock the afternoon when I made ​​a visit there, and the vents on the roof hung a thin cloud of steam. Before entering the factory signed a form that prohibits the disclosure of the names of brands of food, which are used in flavors produced by IFF.  

Place reminded me of a chocolate factory. In the corridors floated wonderful smells. Men and women in neat white aprons enthusiastically went about their tasks, and laboratory tables and shelves fixed hundreds of small bottles. These bottles contain a strong, light sensitive chemical taste. Protect them from light brown glass and tight nuts. The long chemical names on little white labels were as mysterious to me as medieval Latin. These substances with strange sounding names are mixed and transferred, and then converted into new substances, like magic potions.  

I was not invited to the factory IFF, venue of the production process. It was feared that I might reveal trade secrets. In return, I visited various laboratories and kitchens, where the flavors of well-known brands are tested and corrected, and where the basics are created entirely new flavors. "Laboratory snacks" is responsible for the taste of potato flakes and corn, bread, crackers, and pet food. "Laboratory Confection" inventing flavors of ice cream, cookies, candy, toothpaste, lotions, mouthwash and medicines stomach. Everywhere I turned, I saw a well-known and widely advertised products, lying on the desks and shelves laboratory. Laboratory of Fluid was full of brightly colored liquid in a clear bottle. They come here, among othersflavors of the popular beverage, tea, wine and wine similar, natural juices, organic soy drinks and beers. In one of the kitchen food technologist met neat, middle-aged man with an elegant tie into a clean apron, who carefully prepared batches of cookies with white icing and pink and white dots. In another kitchen I saw a pizza oven, BBQ, a machine for making milk drinks a "milk shake" and a machine for cooking chips - identical to those seen in countless bars, fast food (McDonald's, etc..).  

IFF, except that it is the largest flavor company in the world, also produces fragrances for six of the ten best-selling perfume in the U.S., including: Estée Lauder - Beautiful, Clinique - Happy, Lancôme - Trésor, and Calvin Klein - Eternity. The company also produces fragrances for household products (including deodorants, detergents, soap, shampoo, polish for furniture and flooring). Creating all these flavors is based in practice on the same principle - the appropriate handling volatile chemicals. The secret behind the scent of your shaving cream is exactly the same as that which determines the taste of dinner from the supermarket freezer.

Natural and artificial

Scientists believe that people have developed the sense of taste, so that it can protect them from poisoning. Edible plants typically taste sweet, harmful rather tartly. taste buds on our tongues can detect the presence of a few basic tastes, including sweet, sour, spicy, salty and sour taste of umami discovered by Japanese scientists, which is triggered by amino acids in the food, as meat, fish, mushrooms, potatoes and sea weeds. However, on the tongue taste sensors are limited in comparison with the human olfactory system, which can detect thousands of different chemical flavorings. What is felt by us taste? - It is primarily the smell of gases that are released by the chemicals that you put your mouth is.
It is the aroma of food can be 90% responsible for her taste. act of drinking, sucking or chewing a substance releases volatile gases. These pass from the mouth and nose (or by the back of the mouth) to a thin layer of nerve cells, called "olfactory epithelium," located at the base of your nose and between the eyes. Your brain combines the complex smell signals from the olfactory epithelium ("olfactory epithelium") with simple taste signals from your tongue, determines the taste for what is in your mouth and decides further.

Preferences human habits, like nature, are formed in the first few years of life, through a process of socialization. Infants from birth prefer sweet tastes and reject sour. Older children can learn to liking to spicy food, ordinary healthy food or fast food - depending on what people eat around them. The human sense of smell is not yet fully tested. But we know that it is very dependent on psychological factors and expectations.

'Human mind deliberately focused only on some aromas that surround us, and rejects the vast majority. People can grow up in a habituation to unpleasant or pleasant odors. They can also stop noticing something that once bothered. Smell and memory are interconnected. Smell may suddenly get out of our memories long forgotten the situation. Food smells from childhood leave a lasting impression and adults often return to them, do not always know why this is happening. This "comfort food" that memory comes back to us, it becomes a source of satisfaction and sense of security. It is a fact that high-speed networks using food carefully. Memories of childhood Happy Meals that are served with fries, can translate into frequent visits to McDonald's in adulthood. On average, Americans eat fries out about 4 times a week.

Taste of human desire was in most cases not appreciated and researched by force in history. Over the millennia, empires were built, unknown lands conquered, and the great religions and philosophies forever changed - all the spice trade. In 1492, Christopher Columbus set out to find spices. Today, the influence of taste to the world market is no less effective. Rise and fall of corporate empires, the companies of beverages "soft drink" (Coca Cola), dry snacks (like potato chips) and network-foods (like McDonald's) are often determined how their products taste.

Short history

Industry flavor appeared in the mid-nineteenth century, when the processed food technology began to be produced on a mass scale. Recognizing the need for flavor additives, early manufacturers of processed foods have asked the perfumers who have a long time experience with essential oils and volatile aromas.

The great perfume houses of England, France and the Netherlands produced many of the first flavors. At the beginning of the twentieth century, thanks to a strong chemical industry, Germany took the lead in the production of technical flavors. (Translator's note: the first combat use of natural gas to the mass murder of soldiers in World War I is an example of advanced German chemical industry during this period.) As the story goes, a German scientist discovered methyl anthranilate (one of the first artificial flavors) by accident, during the mixing of chemicals in his laboratory.

Surprisingly, the laboratory was filled with the sweet smell of grapes. Methyl anthranilate later became the chief added flavor to the drink grape Kool-Aid brand, now one of the most popular in the United States /Eric Schlosser, "Fast Food Nation"/#end.