A great point along this theme was raised by J Stanton in the comments section of his consistently excellent Gnolls site,
- "...no one seems to make the connection that our bodies need all these vitamins because they're supposed to be in food! And if what we're eating requires us to take vitamins, or dump vitamins into it (“fortification”), maybe we're not eating the right food! "
Looking at this the other way, if you are eating something that prior to such an intervention is neither palatable nor nutritious, then can it actually be classified as food?
Let's take a quick detour to Dictionary.com and see what their definition is of food:
- "any nourishing substance that is eaten, drunk, or otherwise taken into the body to sustain life, provide energy, promote growth, etc. "
- "to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth."
Some foods do seem to be an acquired taste - liver and lamb can be very strong tasting for example, but our caution with some tastes - such as bitterness, has confered upon us an evolutionary advantage. Taste along with smell and texture are cue's to assist in us recognizing foods.
Food technologists know this, and they target these cues to 'add value', and make the 'cheap and inedible' 'edible and profitable'. Despite what your parents told you, money DOES grow on trees. Humans are the only animal species smart enough to manufacture their own food (and dumb enough to eat it).
- If it needs vitamins (and flavouring) adding to it, it is not food.
- If you need to supplement your diet with vitamins, you are not eating the right food!