Food Fight; Taste Buds Under Siege

“Ever since the federal government required that schools serve healthier food – less sodium, more whole grains, more fresh produce,” reported the Sacramento Bee on May 16, 2016, “districts across the country have observed a drop in the number of students getting their lunch at the cafeteria.”

This tragic response to government’s good intentions is a microcosm of a bigger problem.

Our knowledge of good nutrition and intention to eat well is often over-ridden by our cravings. Our cravings are often controlled by our taste buds that cast the final vote on what we eat and don’t eat.

Food scientists have created extremely flavorful, nutrient-deficient, highly addictive foods that have hijacked our taste buds into preferring artificial, packaged, processed foods over real foods

.french fries“The food we should be eating is getting more bland and the food we should not be eating is getting more flavorful!” says Mark Schatzker, author of The Dorito Effect; the Surprising New Truth about Food and Flavor.

Dieters are also plagued by this injustice.

Schatzker’s theory is supported by the Sacramento Bee report that student lunch purchases have declined since they became healthier.

“Many of our students are not used to or don’t like the taste of whole grain items,” says Monique Stovall, San Juan unified director of Nutrition Services.

The school district is experimenting with adding herbs to enhance the taste of menu options, but they are also calling for a lessening of the requirements to allow more processed foods. This is sad.

What is the solution to this conflict?

It’s an uphill battle, but parents who start their kids on whole, healthy foods and avoid processed foods will be helping their children develop  lifelong healthy eating patterns. The school garden programs, where elementary school children plant and raise their own crops, also contributes to healthy food consumption.

The habit of healthy eating must be started early to pre-empt this current dilemma.

What will you do to challenge this schism? Whose side are you on?


Theodora Wilner, MA, RYT, HC Theodora
Author & Wellness Advisor

An Ivy League graduate and early Wellness Pioneer, Theodora works with active older adults seeking to reclaim health, reduce cravings, and restore energy. Her 3- or 6- month  health coaching program begins with a 7-Day Kickstart Cleanse.

Eat, Sleep, Seek, Stride; An Autobiographical Wellness Guide is available at

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