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A perfect case is illustrated in an old study, begun in 1926, conducted by a Chicago pediatrician named Clara Davis. She foster-parented 15 babies “who’d never been exposed to ‘the ordinary foods of adult life’ ” and for six years let them eat whatever they wanted, in any order, from a list of 34 foods including “water, potatoes, corn meal, barley, beef, lamb, bone jelly, carrots, turnips, haddock, peaches, apples, fish, orange juice, bananas, brains, milk and cabbage.” They chose balanced diets — sometimes strange ones: One child ate liver and drank a pint of orange juice for breakfast. Their preferences changed often. Another child, who had started off with rickets, was early on given a glass of cod liver oil as medicine. Over the course of his illness, never encouraged, he drank it “ ‘irregularly and in varying amounts’ of his own free will until he was better,” Schatzker writes. This unconscious wisdom has been subsequently studied in goats and calves, showing ­repeatedly that if the body can make nutritional connections via physical feedback from flavor, it will be a good nutritionist.


Synthetic-flavor technology makes bland ingredients attractive without supplying the myriad benefits of the real thing. The twin forces of flavor dilution and fake flavor have short-circuited the biological basis for mutable appetite.

Reposted fromdoener doener viajaphy japhy

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