Thursday, June 2, 2011

Doritos Diva Downfall

Before I lost 100 pounds, I used to eat lightly (salads, chicken and fish)  for a few days, maybe a week or so, then binge on anything that fell onto my path and looked edible. Local? Healthy? Green? Organic? Ha, ha, ha! Not!!! And certainly not when I was "pigging out," which meant "Anything Goes," "Moon Over Manhattan," "It's a Great Race to the Death house," and "Free-For-All." Now don't play coy with me. You know you've had those days when you just ate your way through 1 pint of Ben and Jerry's Mint Chocolate Chunk and/or Napoleon Dynamite Ice Cream. Why? Because it was there and meant to be eaten, like Everest is meant to be climbed!

Like me, you are an American. You are not a supercilious, no- eating-between-meals France Frenchy. And being an American living in our culture, you are corruptible, food lascivious and snack gluttonous. You were taught this at an early age, probably not by your parents who counseled and guided you to eat moderately and wisely. You were captivated by the Ad men who, by the sweat of their brow, hyped you into enjoying indulgences; foods that contained amazing amounts of fat, flour, sugar and/or salt. And if not by Ad-men, because your parents monitored your TV and Internet viewing, then your friends who introduced you to the stuff, like they may have introduced you to other interesting sundries. Hmmmm.

Agreed, that you wilt when a sexy snack knocks at your appetite centers? Well,  Doritos made me weak at the knees:  a smacker on binge days because I wouldn't be caught with my hand in the chip bag at any other time. Too guilt laden. I had to lose a few pounds first before I rewarded myself with this orca feed. Did I realize how unhealthy it was to binge after eating lightly? Sure. Did I read the nutrition label of this stuff beforehand? Are you nuts?  No one reads the nutrition labels on those bags. If they did, they WOULDN'T BUY JUNK FOOD! The labels are NOT for junk food cave people. They're sops, put there to palliate and ingratiate the nutrition-obsessed Nazis. God forbid the FDA should ban such crap!!!!!

You know and I know when you eat refuse, you want to eat it simply because IT'S THERE (like Everest? remember?) and it tastes sooo good (THE YUM FACTOR) that you can get through three quarters or nine tenths of it before you realize that you feel like vomiting (THE YUK FACTOR). With junk food, the fullness factor is practically non-existent. AND THAT'S THE POINT!!! That's the way the "food" companies (it isn't really food and the companies are more like chemical processors) like it!  That way, you buy more, you eat more, they sell more. Easy.

Three years later, 100 + pounds lighter, my appetite centers (throughout my body...not just my five senses, my whole being) have been rewired. I actually do not put salt on my food because the organic food or live food I eat is so filled with phyto-rich nutrients, I can actually taste spinach, salad greens, swiss chard, carrots and they're all glorious. Did you know spinach has a lovely earthy, vital taste that springs off your tongue? Well, I didn't until I reconfigured myself. Now, please. I am not a food fascist. I am sharing my experiences. I want you to eat what you like; no deprivation. By all means eat one gallon of Chubby Hubby. And if you enjoy a savory, slender slice of lardo now and then, that's wonderful (Heat, by Bill Buford). To each his own.

Now for my lovey Doritos, the original Taco, with no adulterations like sizzling barbecue, or ranch style, etc. I bought a bag the other day. Just to taste. Stop smirking. Just to have one chip, I swear! I wanted to test the waters to see if the angel was stirring them up or not. I had been away from them so long, would I jump in head first and be the devourer? What would be the YUM YUK FACTORS? Would I snarf down the entire 290 calorie 21/8 oz bag or only eat half, 10 chips? Would I buy another two bags hungry for more? THE FULLNESS FACTOR.  (I've always done that if I started out small as I was doing here.)

The first chip snapped open into a blossom on my tongue. It was alive with fire and stinging with salt. My tongue withered, pruned, a river bed dried in an overheated dessert oven. A teaspoon of salt was all I could taste, that and the metallic seasonings, and other things. Shock, amazement, awe! I had come to this? I had been broken on a wheel of my own making. I don't know how it happened. I threw the bag away.

Fortuitously, a few days later when I was speaking to a friend, she told me about what she had seen on a TV Show, sorry, I can't remember which one. Maybe you saw it. The reviewers were featuring junk foods without the food colorings which are added to charm the eye and appeal to our proprietary senses. The colorings are the artists of our appetites, what we learn to expect and expect to receive, so when we see the chips, our food epicenters spark, our imaginations record remembered pleasure and with great anticipation we reach and grab that bag of "goodness" from the shelf.

For Doritos, the colorings were not all listed on the second bag I picked up to check (the 7-Eleven clerk thought I was weird). But I noted that they "included," Yellow 6 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake, Blue 2 Lake, Yellow 6 and Yellow 5. In the test kitchens where millions are spent to gauge what is the preferred color, apparently, humans love the yellows for their crispy chips, with a little blue thrown in. Now, remember, not all the colorings were listed. That's what should be looked at...the omissions. But no one is checking, certainly not the FDA which is understaffed, overworked and underpaid, except for the top officials who, after they retire, may work as lobbyists for the same groups they were supposed to have policed.

Gray. Gray. Gray. That is the natural color of Doritos. Gray. Think of it. After all the chemicals and flours and oils and compressions and stirrings of corn and MSG and Whey and Corn Maltodextrin, and Corn Starch, and Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, and Artificial Flavors, etc., the color is GRAY. My God. Who would eat gray chips? Give me the artificial food colorings, please. Gray is a YUK. And that got me to thinking. What do real Pringles look like? How about the cereals? How about Jell-o? How about meats? Bologna? I've heard that after a while, chopped meat turns gray also.

Back to the Doritos. Artificial Flavorings? I thought I was tasting chips. The taste is artificial? What does that mean? I am so confused. My Doritos are gone forever. They are no longer lovey. From a YUM FACTOR of  10 (highest), I now give it a YUM FACTOR OF  O (lowest).  And a 0 crosses the threshold into a YUK FACTOR of 10 (worst). That means you vomit even before you've eaten anything. Doritos, pass me the seasickness bag. I'm nauseous.


Anonymous said...

I never thought about the look of foods minus the additives - YUK!

Carole Di Tosti said...

Neither did I. Might be interesting to visit a test kitchen one of these days. We'd probably all faint at what we'd see. Heard that jell-o is color.