1. Blame Your Tongue
Why is junk food so popular? Well, the obvious answer is that it simply tastes allot better than the healthier alternatives. Our tongue find sweet and fatty stuff more gratifying than sour and bitter flavors. There is a complicated explanation behind this, which goes deep into evolutionary biology. Suffice it to say, that this hardwiring originally served a good purpose, but it leads to neuronal misfiring in our modern society.
2. You Vote with your Wallet
The companies behind junk food will not make it unless people buy it, unless they want to kill their company. You are really voting with your wallet, and businesses will dance around your money with astonishing servility. The very existence of junk food proves how far companies will stoop to serve a trend in society. Fortunately, we can use such greed to incentivize positive changes as well. This is the point where some state that “healthy food is too expensive”… nope… fruits, nuts, corn and veggies are not expensive.
3. Spineless Politicians
Donald Trump IS actually correct in saying that sponsors have a big influence on politicians. Many fast food companies, and candy producers, would be crushed like cockroaches if politicians were more proactive on this public health issue. The long-term consequences of junk food is extremely costly, and taxpayers have to pick up the tab. I do not think politicians should move so fast that they destroy jobs. They can easily send strong signals and timelines for future tax increases, hence giving the company’s time to prepare.
4. Public Resistance towards Artificial Flavors, Fragrances and Colors
Have you hear of miracle fruit? It contains a chemical that makes EVERYTHING taste sweet, even a grape! Imagine if we could make an apple taste like a chocolate, carrots like caramels, and how about changing the texture and color of these healthy foods to make them look, taste and feel like junk food? THAT WOULD BE AMAZING! Unfortunately, the public occasionally likes to shoot itself in the foot, by both disliking the rise of junk food and revolting against those that could solve the problem.
5. The Rise of a Hedonistic Culture
Hedonism is certainly very characteristic of our times, from junk food, to drug legalization, crap on TV, to porn etc. It is not like “everything was better back in the day”, though it is equally incorrect to think every modern development is for the better. The great philosopher Socrates liked to separate between the higher and lower pleasures, and the former certainly fall into the latter group.
Music: “Breaktime” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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