If you're like most people, you take your job seriously. You work hard at it. You bend your intellect towards doing your job well. You've gained valuable experience over the years, and you take pride in the fact that you're contributing to your field in a meaningful way.
There are tens of thousands of food scientists out there who feel exactly the same way about their jobs. They work hard, they scribble ideas on napkins at lunch, they go home and kiss their spouses, and talk about their day just like you do, except their job is to make food as irresistible as possible. There are very smart people who, as you read this, are using molecular chemistry and materials technology to produce a more perfect potato chip, candy bar, salad dressing, sports drink, and untold other products to appeal to your senses.
These food chemists are able to break down food into its fundamental qualities, then adjust those qualities to make a more potent experience that you'll come back for. Here are just a few examples of the things they think about all day long:
Hitting "the Bliss Point" - this is that magical zone where saltiness, sweetness, and fattiness come together to make a food heavenly. It's a bit different for everyone, but if you have a specific weakness, like chocolate chip cookies for example, it's because that food is hitting your bliss point. Food engineers will run thousands of tests trying to inch their food towards that bliss point. They are very good at it.
Achieving "vanishing caloric density" - made famous by the Cheetos, this is when a food begins to melt in your mouth before you even swallow it. This not only makes for a more sensuous eating experience, it fools your brain into thinking the food has many less calories than it does. This makes you eat more. There are a lot of different ways to achieve this melting effect, from making foods with delicate crystalline structures all the way to stabbing thousands of tiny needles into the product to "pre-chew" the food before it even hits your mouth.
Dodging "sensory specific satiety" - if you eat a food with a strong overriding flavor, your brain becomes overwhelmed and responds by depressing the urge to eat more. Food scientists strive to pack as much subtle, layered flavor into their products as possible without crossing this line. This is why the most successful foods, things like Coca-Cola or Doritos, actually have quite complex flavor profiles. The goal is to titillate your taste buds without any one strong flavor sending your brain into "stop eating" mode.
This is the reason we make the philosophical choice at Kenzai to simply cut out processed foods. I don't pretend to have the willpower or mental fortitude to resist thousands of very clever scientists who have spent their careers making their products irresistible to me. These scientists are superstars in their field, passionate, highly paid, and turning the formidable power of their minds towards making food that we can't say no to.
That's why we opt out. A food you never eat has no power over you. Eat fresh whole foods that you mostly prepare yourself and taste a different kind of bliss point; control over your choices, and freedom from the food-industrial complex!.
Patrick Reynolds // Kenzai Founder