Food For Thought
Wilbur Olin Atwater is
credited as the person who developed the standardized measurement of
food calories. The calorie as a measurement of heat appeared in lectures
given by Nicholas Clement in Paris between 1819 and 1824.
Around the same time
I was reading about the accuracy of caloric measurement in foods we
purchase and eat, I found this interesting information about the origins
of Tang in an article called 9 Surprising Facts About Junk Food. It was number 8.
8. Tang wasn't developed for astronauts.
I grew up thinking the treacly orange stuff somehow grew out of the US
space program (which added to its appeal). Moss set me straight. Turns
out, it grew out of the efforts of a giant company called General Foods
to think outside the cereal box in marketing breakfast foods to kids
through their mothers in the 1950s. The idea was to create a "synthetic
juice" to eliminate the drudgery of making orange juice from concentrate
or—gasp—squeezing it from fresh oranges. Early efforts were promising
but unsuccessful—they had a "good mouthfeel," but tasted "horribly
bitter and metallic." A company engineer got to the root of the
problem—the technicians had been adding a range of vitamins and minerals
in an attempt to replicate the nutritional composition of orange juice.
By eliminating all of the nutrient additives besides vitamin C—which
imparts a tart flavor that jibes with orange juice—the company came up
with a winner, launched in 1958.
And there actually is an after-the-fact space angle—and it's scatological:
the space program, needed a drink that would add little bulk to the
digestion, given the toilet constraints of space. Real orange juice has
too much bulky fiber in its pulp. Tang, however, was perfect—what
technologists call a "low-residue" food.
embraced Tang for its orbit around Earth in 1962, giving the instant
drink a lingering marketing boost—removing untold nutrients and fiber
from the US diet.
The rest of the article
was just as informative, and eliminated any doubts I may have had about
the immoral extremes that businesses will go to in order to increase
about the small companies that start out selling quality products that
contain the very best ingredients. If they are really successful, the
company gets too big for the owners to operate and they hire a corporate
management firm. The management companies don’t care about the
product(s), but apply their expertise to reducing costs and increasing
profits. The next thing you know, the stuff in the box is not the same
high quality item that you expected.
I call this,
“Too big to trust”. When I am asked to give my opinion in a survey for a
product that I enjoy, and know is good quality, I usually find a place
to suggest they stay small. That way they will be happy, keep their
integrity intact, and have a devoted, healthy customer base.
It is my hope
that my words will save them from the enticing glitter, and siren song
of soul crushing millions of unethical profit dollars. For that leads to
lower quality, questionable ingredients, and business
practices that disrespect their customers, (me for one).
Today’s Cartoon Food Video;
Jeepers, It’s Jiminy Cricket