The vanishing flavor of foods
- Created on Wednesday, 20 January 2021 03:42
I have realized for a long time that many natural foods do not taste as good as they used to. They don’t have the flavor that they once had. Take avocadoes. They used to be savory. There was a very distinctive flavor and fragrance that they had, above and beyond having monounsaturated fat. Once upon a time, you could savor avocado the way some people savor chocolate- with your eyes closed. And that’s because the flavor was intense and would evolve and change in your mouth as you masticated it. In other words, it was a complicated taste, but not any more. Today, avocadoes are bland.
And isn’t it a shame that, even though there are over 900 known varieties of avocado, only one variety is commonly available commercially, the Haas. But, even the Haas used to taste a lot better than it does now. And the sad thing is that even when I buy organic Haas avocadoes, there is little, if any, difference. They’re bland too.
So, what happened? I have to think it’s due to modern agricultural practices that sacrificed flavor for production; the stimulant fertilizers; the repeated hybridization; and the widespread depletion of the soil.
Other foods that have lost their taste luster include honeydew melons, which used to be exquisitely delicious, celery, which used to be sweet, juicy, and succulent, and of course tomatoes. Modern strawberries are large and fibrous when the used to be small and heavenly. The fact is that practically everything doesn’t taste as good as it used to.
I’m not saying this just to lament the loss of lusciousness and deliciousness in foods. I’m saying it because nutritional value may also have been compromised. Vitamins and minerals are first what come to mind, and of course, millions of people try to compensate for that by taking a multi vitamin/ mineral supplement. And I do, myself. I take Core Multi from Klaire Labs which is excellent.
But, foods are, by nature, extremely complex, containing thousands of compounds, which are collectively referred to as phytochemicals or phytonutrients. Those are the entities that I worry about. They include substances that are known to be protective against cancer.
So, what can you do besides taking a good, high quality multi? I recommend eating dark leafy greens as much as possible because the slight bitterness of these greens, like kale, collards, etc. is indicative of a high phytonutrient content. And naturally, if you can get them organically grown, all the better. And if you can get them both organic and homegrown, that’s the best. I’m lucky because I have a garden that currently has collards and kale and bok-choy and romaine, and I eat from it every day. And these greens love cool weather like we get in the winter here in Central Texas. It’s rarely cold enough to hurt them, and when it is, I cover them.
Another thing I like to do is eat food from trees with very, very deep roots, such as pecans. There are some huge pecan trees in Texas that are 100 feet tall, which means that their roots are 100 feet deep. When you can mind the Earth to that extent, there is a greater likelihood of obtaining all the resources needed to produce quality food. And I can’t say that I have noticed a loss of good flavor in pecans. Another good example are walnuts, and they say that walnuts are one of the least modified foods, that the walnuts of today are practically unchanged from the walnuts that were growing wild in Iran a million years ago. That’s right, a million.
And if you ever get a chance to eat wild foods, that’s likely to be a good bet. I remember accompanying friends to a mountain in Virginia, a state park, at the top of which there are wild, unfettered blueberry bushes. They went every year, and they would pick all they could. They would bring them back and freeze them. These berries were small but very flavorful and exquisite tasting. That complex, evolving flavor, they had it.
Do the best you can because your nutrition is the single most important thing in your resistance- to infection, including viruses, novel or otherwise; to depression and disorders of mood; to early aging, and really to stress of all kinds. It’s really the core, the foundation, of your well-being, and the rampant disease and disability and early degeneration we see in people all around us is due, in large part, to inadequate nutrition.