What’s On Miles’ Mind: Flavor

By Miles Jaye
Columnist

Flavor is the enemy! Flavor is a formidable, powerful, merciless enemy. Flavor is the new Massa and we’re still slaves. We’re slaves to the incessant drumbeat of pleasure and temptation of flavor. 

Flavor is defined as “the distinctive taste of a food or drink.” It’s determined by messages sent to the brain and like crack or heroin; flavor can leave you strung out craving increasingly more of a good thing. Flavor drives our appetite, and appetite drives our decisions. We love one another to death, with good cooking–flavor. 

Flavor is emotional! Popeye’s “the sandwich is back” commercial is emotional! It begins with moans and groans of enjoyment. Then an actor says to the chicken sandwich; “Look at you, lookin’ all special” as if he was complimenting his woman. Then an actress says to her chicken sandwich; “I’m experiencing some things right now…” like she’s on the verge of an orgasm. That’s the power of flavor! 

I recently saw a commercial where the actor was singing a love song so passionately about his chicken that I was convinced—it was love, real love! The twist is to keep you coming back, keep you strung out, and in order to do that, make it affordable and accessible like any good drug dealer. Burger King offers 10 nuggets for $1. Wow… a dollar? That’s exactly how a drug dealer gets you hooked and keeps you hooked– keep the product cheap and keep it in the neighborhood. If you don’t think you can control an entire population or segment of that population with flavor? Think again! 

After your Triple Bypass Heart Surgery, the doctor warns, “no more fried foods, your heart can’t take it”—but you can’t resist. “If you don’t control your fast food cravings, you’ll die”—but you can’t resist. Your doctor tells you, “control your urge for sweets, and we can wean you off of insulin”— but you can’t resist. What the doctors won’t tell you is that appetite for flavor is a drug addiction and you can’t stop! You want to fight the flavor, but you can’t win the flavor war! It’s bigger than you! 

Even when you want to stop, when you know you need to stop, your size, weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and overall health tell you if you continue on this path you’ll die, you can’t control it. The flavors have you beat! French fries, chips, macaroni and cheese, BBQ anything, smothered everything, Pepsi, Coke, sweet tea, candy, red velvet cake all have you under a spell that you can’t break. 

Taste buds are flavor soldiers! These buds are an army of tiny sensory sentries found on the surface of your tongue that use salty, sweet, sour, and even bitter to your disadvantage. This is war and you’re outgunned! Taste buds render you their prisoner. It’s intentional and by no means an incidental component of a plan to keep you psychologically and emotionally hooked, dependent on substances that define how you provide nutrition to your body—primarily sugar and salt, both eerily similar in appearance to cocaine. 

Appetite, the natural or not-so-natural desire to satisfy a bodily need, is the agent of persuasion to which you yield all will power and common sense. Appetite and cravings alter your perception of reality. They convince you that your desires are actual needs, needs that need to be satisfied. Appetite and cravings remove rational precautions and convince you that a little bit more of this or one more bite of that can’t hurt you— after all, it’s your birthday, it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Homecoming, etc. 

Shackles have been replaced by the chemical dependency of flavor. Traditions, cravings, appetites and insatiable yearnings for flavor have rendered us prisoners of war, and we’d rather die than give up our flavors. Bad food, camouflaged and rendered acceptable with colors, aromas, and flavors, robs you of any hope of biological homeostasis, or perfect health and wellness. 

Flavor has no bearing on nutrition and slaves to flavor can never enjoy excellent health, they can only feel good if the meal is good. All the enemy has to do is taste good and we’ll do the rest. That’s what’s on my mind!