“Flavorists at [the food company] Givaudan go into orchards and fields to find natural flavors that can be chemically isolated and introduced into food to make it more pleasing. Among the flavors they’ve found: castoreum, which beavers secrete in urine to mark their territory. Castoreum tastes like raspberry and vanilla and is listed on labels as “natural raspberry flavor.”
For decades, manufacturers have been learning how to make prepared foods out of the most inexpensive ingredients, not necessarily the most healthful ones, and improving the taste with chemically isolated flavoring compounds. This explains the long ingredient lists on packaged foods.
Many researchers believe that these industrial foods are contributing to the obesity epidemic. It’s plausible: people stopped cooking at home and increased their intake of industrial foods at about the time the obesisty epidemic started, in the 1970s; and since the 1970s industrial foods have increasingly diverged from natural foods.”
—Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet, Perfect Health Diet, 2012