In a recent article in the New York Times called "The Hard Sell on Salt" the food industry attempts to explain why added salt is an important ingredient in processed food. Salt adds flavor and the food industry is reluctant to reduce the amount of salt they add to processed food despite the government's attempt to do so for health reasons. The following quote from the Times article explains the industry's use of salt best:
Beyond its own taste, salt also masks bitter flavors and counters a side effect of processed food production called “warmed-over flavor,” which, the scientists said, can make meat taste like “cardboard” or “damp dog hair.”
I'm sorry, but my taste buds don't tend to lie. If something tastes like cardboard or damp dog hair, then what I am eating probably comes pretty close to being exactly that. I'm not saying that the processed food companies are selling unsuspecting consumers cardboard in place of food, but that the quality of the food they are selling is so very poor, it must be close in quality to damp dog hair.The article then goes on to explain how salt also enforces the fat and sugar grip on consumers:
Salt also works in tandem with fat and sugar to achieve flavors that grip the consumer and do not let go — an allure the industry has recognized for decades. “Once a preference is acquired,” a top scientist at Frito-Lay wrote in a 1979 internal memorandum, “most people do not change it, but simply obey it.”
Let me see if I have this right. The processed food industry produces food of such poor quality that they need to salt it to death to get people to eat it. Then they load it up with fat and sugar and use additional salt to create a constant desire for this quasi-food item. Basically they cause an addiction for salt, sugar and fat...all things that contribute to many different health problems in this country. This explains why those people whose diet is centered around processed food suffer from obesity, hypertension, and diabetes.
So, even though the government is trying to reduce salt in processed food and the food industry is resistant, this really is a non-issue. Reducing salt or fat or sugar in processed food will not make it any better for you. As I see it, processed food is not real food but instead something that has been created in a lab and flavored in such a way to get busy people to eat it. Any nutrients that may have once been in the food have been processed and preserved and heated out of it. Leaving us with a meal of fat, sugar, salt, and damp dog hair.