Frankenfish and Other Stupid Industrial Food TricksSaturday, March 2, 2013
Genetically engineered salmon is one step closer to your unsuspecting plate. First came the farm-raised fish lacking the health benefits of wild-caught fish, and now food culture is taking one more step toward lunacy by creating genetically modified animals in the form of Frankenfish. The FDA will likely approve this untested experiment for human beings for consumption as food, thanks to a biotech company called AquaBounty Technologies. The company created this so-called food product via a new gene construct that combines Chinook salmon growth with a regulator gene from an eel-like fish called an ocean pout. This concoction is then injected into Atlantic Salmon eggs, and the result is a non-food product that reaches market size in half the time of one of nature’s salmon.
Another interesting article on the stupid tricks of the industrial food system is presented at Mother Jones: “9 Surprising Facts About Junk Food.” Tom Philpott discusses some of the insights from Michael Moss’s new book Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us. The book investigates the tactics of the industrial food machine and how manufacturers carefully craft chemicals in such a way to subvert natural satiety sensors to overwhelm the human brain and keep people desiring more food. From the book:
Some of the largest companies are now using brain scans to study how we react neurologically to certain foods, especially to sugar. They’ve discovered the brain lights up for sugar the same way it does for cocaine, and this knowledge is useful, not only for formulating foods. The world’s largest ice cream maker, Unilever, for instance, parlayed its brain research into a brilliant marketing campaign that sells the eating of ice cream as “scientifically proven” way to make ourselves happy.
Here’s the NPR interview with Michael Moss.