In the book Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser writes about the fast food industry. Schlosser tells the story of J.R. Simplot, the man behind McDonald’s source for potatoes. He started his own business right out of the eighth grade, after dropping out. He started out small but eventually became one of the riches men in America. He owned then 160 acres of land to start off this business. He sold his potatoes to companies at first all natural. But he soon discovered that if you dry out the food it will keep for longer, more companies then bought from him. Then in the 1950's he found out about freezing them, and the method of frozen food. McDonald’s started buying and selling Simplot fries. The customers seemed to like it, they didn't mind the change or even realize it. As a result though from freezing the potatoes, they lost a lot of the natural flavors. Companies began cooking their food in a high percentage of animal fat to capture that flavor, but soon they switched. They traded beef fat for more chemicals. The fries flavor all depends on the chemicals, it is all fake, and there is even more saturated fat from their fries than in their burgers.
The fries people eat today are so unnatural that each fast food place has a different taste. "Their distinctive taste does not stem from the type of potatoes, that McDonald’s buys, the technology that processes them, or the restaurant equipment that fries them"(Schlosser 119). McDonald’s and other companies use fries now with distinguished taste, one that is different than its competitor. They also put chemicals in other things like their milk shakes and burgers. Almost everything there is chemically enhanced.
They also rely on scent of their product, Schlosser says, the aroma of the product is again chemically done, and the scent influences the flavor.
Although flavors usually arise from a mixture or many different violatile chemicals, a compound often supplies the dominant aroma. Smelled alone, that chemical provides and unmistakable sense of the food. Ethyl -2-methyl butyrate, for example, smells just like an apple. Today’s highly processed food offer a blank palette: whatever chemicals you add to them will give them specific tastes. Adding methyl-2-peridylketone makes something laste like popcorn. Adding ethyl-2-hydroxybutanoate makes it taste like marshmallow. The possibilities are now almost limitless. Without affecting the appearance or nutritional value, processed foods could even be made with aroma chemicals such as hexenal (the smell of freshly cut grass) or 3-methyl butanoic acid (the smell of body odor). (Schlosser...