Ottawa's Festival of Ideas Since 1997
Christ Church Cathedral414 Sparks St.

The Dorito Effect with Mark Schatzker

Hosted by Sean Wilson

The Dorito Effect with Mark Schatzker

Hosted by Sean Wilson
Christ Church Cathedral
414 Sparks St.
Mark Schatzker

In The Dorito Effect, Mark Schatzker argues that our approach to the nation’s number one public health crisis has gotten it wrong. The epidemics of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes are not tied to the overabundance of fat or carbs or any other specific nutrient. Instead, we have been lead astray by our inability to distinguish between artificially created flavours added to nutrient-empty foods and truly natural flavours that signal nutrition-rich foods.

Join us for a conversation on his historical and scientific research, which casts the food crisis in a fascinating new light, weaving an enthralling tale of how we got to this point and where we are headed. We’ve been telling ourselves that our addiction to flavour is the problem, but could it actually be the solution?

Since the late 1940s, we have been slowly leeching flavour out of the food we grow. Those perfectly round, red tomatoes that grace our supermarket aisles today are mostly water, and the big-breasted chickens on our dinner plates grow three times faster than they used to, leaving them dry and tasteless. Simultaneously, we have taken great leaps forward in technology, allowing us to produce in the lab the very flavours that are being lost on the farm. Thanks to this largely invisible epidemic, seemingly healthy food is becoming more like junk food: highly craveable but nutritionally empty. We have unknowingly interfered with an ancient chemical language—flavour—that evolved to guide us to nutrition, not to destroy it.

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