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The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor Paperback – March 15, 2016
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"Illuminating and radical." (The New York Times Book Review)
“Mark Schatzker’s book comes at a time when healthful eating and sustainability are increasingly on everyone’s minds. The Dorito Effect is a quick, engaging read that examines the essential role that flavor plays in the way we eat today. As a chef, I know that people want to eat delicious food, but Schatzker goes further and investigates how we engage with flavor to address the growing health crisis.” (Daniel Boulud, Chef/Owner, The Dinex Group)
“Mark Schatzker has done something monumental in The Dorito Effect, he explained how the American food industry has interfered with our body's conversation with itself. The use of flavor to change this conversation is one of the major reasons for the decline in the American diet leading to major health issues. The Dorito Effect is one of the most important health and food books I have read.” (David B. Agus, M.D., author of The End of Illness and A Short Guide to a Long Life)
“In The Dorito Effect Mark Schatzker explores a novel - and to my mind, key – theory to explain our increasing consumption of the low-quality food that is undermining health. Modern food production has made much of what we eat flavorless, and a multibillion dollar flavor industry has stepped in to fool our senses, leaving us unsatisfied and craving more and more. I strongly agree with his advice to go back to eating real food.” (Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. New York Times bestselling author of Healthy Aging)
"I don't know when this much science has been this fun to read. Brilliant." (Joel Salatin, author of Folks, This Ain't Normal and farmer at Polyface Farm)
"After decades of conflict over sugar, carbs and fat, this extremely well researched book journeys to the heart of the food problem—flavor—and delivers the perfect solution." (Dr. Richard Bazinet, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto)
"If you want to understand why the future of healthy eating is delicious eating, read this book." (Howard Moskowitz, inventor of Prego Extra Chunky Spaghetti Sauce and food industry legend)
“Mark Schatzker knows food. He is dedicated to quality and is always looking for the best ingredients. This is an important book that tells us why good food is so essential for everyone.” (Bonnie Stern, bestselling author of HeartSmart Cooking for Family and Friends)
"A sobering account of humanity’s attempt to overcome modern food blandness with flavor compounds, at the expense of nutritional integrity. Schatzker's engaging chronicle of how naturally occurring food flavor is as an evolutionary tuned sensory marker of nutritional value is bound to give consumers and scientists a new perspective on judging food quality and health effects." (Dr. Ameer Taha, Department of Food Science and Technology, UC Davis)
"This book is important, possibly life altering for anyone who eats!! In The Dorito Effect, Schatzker gets to the heart of where our relationship with food has gone wrong. Through lively storytelling and proficiency he points out the many issues we are facing and that the solution is right in front of us." (Jonathan Gushue, Principal, Gushue Hospitality Inc.)
“Entertaining storytelling… After reading this engaging book, readers may wonder with every bite of food if what they are tasting is real.” (Kirkus Reviews)
"Schatzker dishesup a 5 star serving!” (The Washington Post)
About the Author
Mark Schatzker is an award-winning writer based in Toronto. He is a radio columnist for the Canadian Broadcast Corporation and a frequent contributor to the Globe and Mail, Condé Nast Traveler, and Bloomberg Pursuits. He is the author of The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor and Steak: One Man’s Search for the World’s Tastiest Piece of Beef.
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Top Customer Reviews
This will definitely clarify the way we think about food.
Nonetheless, I find the history of food to be very history. I heard about The Dorito Effect when listening to one of my favorite podcasts. With such a ringing endorsements from my electronic commuter companions, I decided to buy a copy.
The first dozen or so pages were really interesting: learning about the start of Weight Watchers and the rise of the flavored chip known as the Dorito. After that though, everything went downhill. The rest of the book seems infatuated with barred rock chickens and garden gem tomatoes. With a title that includes the word, Dorito, I expected more of an expose on snack food or the flavoring of processed foods. Instead, this book talks about how farmers set out to find food that can be massed producing more easily, which resulted in fat, young chickens with little taste and unripe tomatoes with no character.
The author was not very preachy. He did not try to condemn the reader for eating a Dorito, but he strongly suggests that your life is incomplete with improper foods. All said and done, I did not enjoy this book as much as I thought I would.
In an effort to increase size, and production, we have taken the natural flavor out of food. Our bodies naturally crave flavors that the current food isn't providing so we eat more trying to fill the flavor void we're missing. Focusing on mainly chicken and tomatoes, Schatsker does an excellent job tracing how the change in our food happened and the results. There is a complex relationship between flavor and nutrition in food and we have diluted the flavor to increase size and production. Chicken today doesn't taste anything like the chicken of the past. Tomatoes today are mostly water. "The rise in obesity is the predictable result of the rise in manufactured deliciousness. Everything we add to food just makes us want it more." Schatzker points out that the big food companies have "created the snack equivalent of crystal meth and gotten us all hooked." Not only is more and more manufactured flavor being added to things, the availability of the food with enhanced flavors is more available.
"The Dorito Effect, very simply, is what happens when food gets blander and flavor technology gets better. This book is about how and why that took place. It's also about the consequences, which include obesity and metabolic disturbance along with a cultural love-hate obsession with food. This book argues that we need to begin understanding food through the same lens by which it is experienced: how it tastes. The food crisis we're spending so much time and money on might be better thought of as a large-scale flavor disorder. Our problem isn't calories and what our bodies do with them. Our problem is that we want to eat the wrong food. The longer we ignore flavor, the longer we are bound to be victims of it. This book is also about the solution. The Dorito Effect can be reversed. That's already happening on small farms and in pioneering science labs."
Schatzker notes the words to look for on your food that indicate the presence of chemicals that fool your nose and chemicals that fool your tongue. "The following words indicate the presence of chemicals that fool your nose: natural flavor(s) natural flavoring(s) artificial flavor(s) flavoring, flavor. The following words indicate the presence of chemicals that fool your tongue: monosodium glutamate MSG disodium guanlyate disodium inosinate torula yeast yeast extract hydrolyzed protein autolyzed yeast saccharin (Sweet Twin, Sweet N Low, Necta Sweet) aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, Sugar Twin) acesulfame potassium (Ace-K, Sunett, Sweet One) sucralose (Splenda) neotame (Newtame) advantame stevia."
I have been talking about this book the whole time to anyone who will listen. Schatzker does and exceptional job presenting the information and scientific research in an entertaining, accessible, and informative manner. In The Dorito Effect he divides the book into three parts: He tells us what the Dorito effect is, the importance of flavor, and the cure for the Dorito effect. As is my wont, I was thrilled to see a bibliography, notes and index.
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Simon & Schuster for review purposes.
An absolute MUST read for anyone with any interest in food and flavor.........and who doesn't have an interest in food and flavor???