The Dorito Effect

The Dorito EffectAuthor: Mark Schatzker
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

Be prepared to never buy another food item without reading the ingredients label again.  And be prepared to be depressed at what you find.  Before going into this audiobook, I read labels on a semiregular basis.  I almost got a kick out of the fact that I couldn’t pronounce have the ‘ingredients’ listed, let alone actually knew what the chemicals were.  But The Dorito Effect focuses in large part on one specific term – ‘natural flavors’.

Yeah.  Prepared to be upset, disappointed, and slightly enraged at the state of our food by the end of this novel.  The hubby – let’s just call him Miller – and I have been slowly leaning toward becoming vegetarians this year thanks to my Year of Cooking Light challenge.  After reading this book, I doubt we’ll be buying much meat anytime soon.  It’s not just the horrid state of how we raise the meat we eat.  Sadly, this was not original news to me.  It’s also the fact that meat anymore – due to the way we raise it – has little flavor left in it.  Anyone who has eaten prepackaged boneless, skinless chicken breasts from their local grocery store can attest to this fact.  Food is cheap, and what we’ve done to be able to make it that cheap and widely available was because of necessity of a growing population and dwindling farming acreage.  But it has certainly come at a cost (which is why I find the GMO debate ironic.  Most people don’t realize that on some level, most – if not all – of their food – including produce and meat – has already been GMOs for a decade or two now).

While the narrator could at times get on my nerves with his inflection of terms and words – natural flavors – it was still an interesting read that will make you think twice about your diet.  It tied in well with aspects of The Secret Life of Fat and with my own realizations about food this year thanks to the transition in my own eating habits with my cooking challenge.  I learned about it from a podcast – I believe it was Stuff You Should Know – and only wish I’d listened earlier.


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