You probably assume that the safety of the food you eat is maintained by a government agency. But when it comes to many items labeled as “natural” or “artificial” flavors, that safety is maintained by a secretive trade group called the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association. And what are the specific ingredients and chemicals they’re testing (and you’re eating)? They’ll be happy to share that information just as soon as you’ve sucked your way through an everlasting gobstopper. From The Center for Public Integrity: The food flavor safety system is a black box.

+ “Our bodies learn to draw connections between flavors and the physiological responses they signal. Through this post-ingestive feedback, latent intelligence in our digestive systems is animated. We can seek out and find what we need, nutritionally, and stop eating once we get it.” The only problem is that we now optimize food for size and speed of growth. And we’re changing those flavors. The NYT Sunday Book Review with a very interesting look at The Dorito Effect.

+ If you’re a big fan of trans fats, you better get them now. They will be completely banned in the U.S. in three years.

+ How do we create the perfect chocolate bar or gum that never loses its taste? Follow your artificial nose.