This particular post gets a disclaimer. I debated about actually posting it, but decided this particular processed food issue is too crazy to just not mention. So here’s the disclaimer. This post is not in any way intented to be political. Please do not make it political. I am looking at this issue purely from a strange things done to food perspective and if anyone feels the need to post political comments on it, I won’t approve them for posting. Please don’t take offense at this… but this is a blog about our food.
Sooo… deep breath. Here goes… I recently read about a company that makes food additives – flavorings to be exact. And the process they use to do this involves using fetal stem cells. From a purely scientific standpoint, it’s an interesting process. From a why on earth would we need this much science for our food standpoint, it’s alarming. I am not a scientist (liberal arts major actually) so please forgive the very basic understanding of this process, but basically they use kidney cells and can tell how these cells react to various flavorings to see if they are sweet, sour, etc. This saves them the time and expense of using an actual human being to perform initial tests. The cells aren’t actually part of the flavorings, so it’s not quite a Soilent Green situation, but there’s absolutely nothing natural about it. Below is a synopsis of the story and link to a site that discusses it. I particularly like the last line of the synopsis “Flavor enhancers do not need to be listed on food labels, falling instead under the generic category of artificial and/or natural flavors.” All the more reason to avoid products with the vaguely named artifical flavor, or actually even natural flavor…
Here’s a synopsis of the story and link to a site that discusses it.
“The biotech company Senomyx creates novel flavor enhancing compounds for the processed food industry in order to make foods and beverages that taste good while reducing sugar and salt content. Customers include Pepsi Co., Ajinomoto Co. (the maker of aspartame and meat glue), Nestlé and others.
The genetically engineered flavor enhancers work by triggering taste receptors on your tongue, effectively tricking your taste buds into sensing sweetness, saltiness, or “coolness”
Senomyx has created a taste testing system that provides scientists with biochemical responses and electronic readouts when a flavor ingredient interacts with their patented receptor, letting them know whether or not they’ve “hit the mark” in terms of flavor. This process uses human kidney cells originating from an electively aborted human fetus.
These fetal kidney cells (HEK293) have been cloned for decades, as they offer a reliable way to produce new proteins using genetic engineering. Senomyx has engineered HEK293 cells to function like human taste receptor cells.
Flavor enhancers do not need to be listed on food labels, falling instead under the generic category of artificial and/or natural flavors.” http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/03/17/senomyx-flavor-enhancers.aspx