“Like all dreamers, I mistook disenchantment for truth” – Jean-Paul Sartre
Kipling wrote this quote towards the end of WWI, or maybe a little after, and it seems to be a reflection of his feelings about his son John dying in the war. Arguably, the quote is reference to British leaders claiming they were more prepared for the war than they were, but I think even the hawkish Kipling probably realized by the end the war had kind of been a waste. I found this quoted at the end of Adam Hochchild’s To End All Wars and it seemed fitting for so many wars that have been fought.
Image was put together with GIMP and is 2560×1440
Image made with GIMP and is 2560×1440. I really like this quote because it pretty much perfectly enunciates my feelings about color. I love color. I love abstract patterns of color. It’s so easy to use them as a mirror of your feelings. Anyway, the quote is, “Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways,” Oscar Wilde
I recently finished Salt, Sugar, Fat a book that describes the pressures within the processed food industry to use more and more salt, sugar, and fat. The book begins with the description of a meeting of the leaders of the biggest processed food companies about how they should respond to the possibility of increasing outside pressure concerning their culpability for the obesity epidemic in the U.S. and around the world. The companies fail to reach any agreement on voluntary industry wide restrictions on the nutritional content of their products. The book describes the industry’s use of sugar, fat, and salt in the three primary sections of the book. Describing the research that led to the discovery of the bliss point, the perfect level of sugar or sweetness to a food, the mouth feel created by different kinds of fats in various products, and the use of salt as a preservative, taste enhancer and to cover up the bitter tastes processing foods sometimes leaves. The brilliance and energy spent innovating processed foods always amazing me, probably more than it should and definitely more than is intended by the author. The book argues that the pressure from Wall Street to constantly increase sales and profits forces competitiveness within the industry that has led to processed foods that are essentially addictive. They’re formulated so carefully and perfectly to our taste buds that we can’t help but want to eat more and more of them, leaving far too many of use obese. The author finishes by arguing that government regulations are necessary to protect us from ourselves, well our desire for delicious foods, and from an industry that constantly pushes incredibly unhealthy, I know it’s actually unhealthful, foods. Beyond the beginning of the book when the industry couldn’t come to any agreement, the author details the efforts Kraft made earlier in the century to reduce the calories, fat, sugar, and salt in their foods in a effort to proactively respond to critics, Kraft being owned by Phillip Morris and well aware of the impact of criticism of the health value of their products. In the end, Kraft failed to improve their food much. This is mostly due to the difficulty in reducing fat, sugar, and salt for formulation reasons and investor pressure not to lose sales. The Kraft example, even more than the industry failing to agree to reduce salt, sugar, and fat, effectively shows why government regulations to improve processed foods are necessary. Even if a company wants to improve their food they can’t really do it due to outside pressures. It’s times like these that government can play an important and necessary role. The book does a good job of showing the value of government intervention in this problem, but suffers from an irrational distrust of processing food. Overall, the book is worth reading.
I just googled the book, it’s called Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss