The Brain Bliss of Chocolate Chip Cookies
It’s your choice … will it be the cookie without chocolate chips or the cookie with chocolate chips? I wager your choice will be the chocolate chip cookie and I’ll most likely be wrong only if you are allergic to chocolate or gluten products or if you have achieved total control in the face of temptation (which is highly unlikely, save for a few mortals).
Why can I be so certain? It’s simple. Women love chocolate more than men. It seems that chocolate and especially dark chocolate contain a number of chemical compounds known to affect women’s emotion, moodiness and craving sensations more so then men. There are even some women who will flat out declare that it’s even better than sex (sorry guys).
However, despite any reason you think you have for choosing a chocolate chip cookie, the real reason is how that chocolate chip cookie has been engineered by food scientists to reach your “bliss point”. Maybe that’s why some women find it better than sex, sorry again guys!
According to Dr. David Kessler, Harvard pediatrician and former head of the Food and Drug Administration, a bliss point is a brain circuitry sensation tied to a desire for more. Dr. Kessler writes in How Food Makers Capture Our Brains, that the food industry appears to be following in the footsteps of the cigarette industry’ manipulated use of nicotine to perpetuate smoking.
Some of you may recall that Lays Potato Chip commercial that said “I bet you can’t eat just one!” Well, there is more truth in that due to food science than perhaps you would want to believe.
The food industry has refined their science to increasing your consumer purchases by increasing your bliss point experiences. Besides flavorings and additives, they are, according to Dr. Kessler, also manipulating the combinations of salt, sugar and fats to not only stimulate your brain’s circuitry loops of pleasure but enhance it to a bliss point level with multi-layered taste sensations.
I’m all for bliss experiences, so long as you know there is a cost involved. Whether it is the chocolate chips cookies or any other taste craving, there is usually a premium purchase price to be paid for the bliss experience. Again, no problem, as long as you are willing to pay the premium price.
In today’s fast-paced, fast-food world, the smarter money choice may be to give a second thought to your food choices. If it is the flavor you crave, just remember it’s most likely been artificially manipulated to pleasure your brain.
But, if you want food to power your brain for peak performance and make it easier to maintain your ideal body weight and overall health, then the better investment with the greatest return can be found in the simpler bliss foods closer to the state of natural science than food science. Organic apple anyone?