The food industry. Video and Test.

Here you have a very interesting video presentation about the food industry and our brain. Yes, these words sound a bit strange together, don’t they? Well, watch the video and find out what the video is about. The transcript and a comprehension quiz are included.

Today we are going to talk about the food industry. And I’m going to ask you a question. Can the food the industry influence what you eat, how you eat, and the overall decisions towards your dietary behaviour? The first thing you need to realise that the food industry is an industry. And you are the target of that industry. So what this means is, in order to make money and to survive the food industry has to find out how to get you to eat what they’re selling. This is very, very interesting, because we now have more diet, more exercise, and more health information than we ever had before. However we still find ourselves in this situation where we want to eat more, and more. and more. And we all love particular foods that we can’t seem to control ourselves when it comes to eating them. Obesity is on the rise, there’s more, and more overweight people, and although we have all this information, we just can’t seem to figure it out.

Let’s look at it in terms of the brain, because the brain really controls everything, so when you eat food you get a particular reward, and the reward you get is pleasure. Now, this a great strategy from your brain, because food is essential to your survival, so if we didn’t eat food, you wouldn’t have anything to sustain yourself, and then you’d just die. So our brain as these mechanism to give us pleasure when we eat food. Now for a lot of us to feel pleasure might be to feel good, to feel happy, we have an overall sense of well-being. Whatever it is it some sort of pleasure. However, it can become dangerous, because some people can get addicted to this pleasure from food. And what the food industry has done is they have specifically looked at the pleasure areas of the brain, and they’ve tried to figure out how they can produce foods that really give a specific hit to this pleasure centres of the brain.

The food industry refers to this as a food “palatability”. Now we say “palatability” we often refer to a food’s taste. This is what the food industry thinks about when they say food “palatability”. What they are really talking about is how their food can influence your appetite, and how a particular food can make you want to eat it more, and more, and more. And this is what we refer to when we say “palatability”, because if the food industry can get you to eat more of their food, then that means that they are going to sell more and they are going to make more money, and that’s really what they want to do. So what they’ve done is they’ve created this huge amount of food that is extremely palatable to us. The first thing that they did was they looked at fat and sugar, and they realised that fat and sugar are extremely palatable to the human brain, the reason being that fat and sugar are really brain food. Another reason is that up until 30 or 40 years ago, fat and sugar weren’t really much available to us. However, nowadays fat and sugar are really available. Now when they weren’t available, whenever you came across fat and sugar your brain would tell you to eat as much of it is you could, because it wasn’t sure if you’d get any tomorrow, the next day, or any time in the future. And because fat and sugar can give us so much energy, your brain really wants you to eat it. Now, in today’s society your brain doesn’t really realise that we can get fat and sugar whenever we want. So whenever there is fat and sugar available, your brain is still going to tell you to eat it, and this is what makes foods particularly palatable.

Another thing that makes foods really, really palatable is if they can influence or have an impact on all your different senses, and the food industry has realised this. Now, just think about it for a sec. When you think about chocolate cake, you don’t just think about how it tastes, you also think about how delicious it looks, or how it smells, or how the texture will feel in your mouth. And all of these things come together to give you a specific sensory stimulation, which makes you a lot more likely to desire that food, and to go back and eat more, and more, and more of it. When we describe foods we often call them cold and creamy, or having a specific aroma, or being nice and crispy, and all these things don’t really relate to taste, they really relate to how palatable the food is. So the food industry has manipulated their foods in order to make them more palatable to us so that we will seek them out and eat more of what they are selling.

So when you add the all these factors together, a lot of fat, a lot of sugar, a lot of different sensory stimulation, you create this experience in your brain that is extremely desirable, you get a lot of pleasure from eating these foods. And because you get a lot of pleasure your brain wants you, gives you motivation to seek out these specific foods, and oftentimes we get addicted to eat these specific foods, because they create this amazing experience in our brain.

Okay, I hope you’ve enjoyed this short presentation and you’ve got some useful information. If you’d like to learn more come to Thanks again and I’ll see you later.

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