The New York Times continues its crusade against all foods fattening with “The Extraordinary Science of Junk Food.”** You don’t often think of your food as having been designed, but this articles makes the case that processed food is in fact one of the most carefully designed consumer products, and one whose design is solely centered around desirability. Taste, color, aroma, mouth feel, and packaging are all carefully optimized for desirability. We might think of the lunchables tray as clearly a “designed” product, but if Cadbury Schweppes is paying researchers to write a 135 page report on how to optimize the flavor of a new soda product, isn’t that a kind of design too?
**They publish a long feature on this at least once every six months. See Gary Taubes in “Is Sugar Toxic” or Mark Bittman in everything he’s written this year.