Audio Book Review: The Dorito Effect by Mark Schatzker

May 16, 2016 Advanced Readers Copy, Audiobooks, Book Reviews 0

I received this book for free from AudioBook Reviewer in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor by Mark Schatzker
Published by Simon & Schuster on May 5th 2015
Length: 7 hrs and 14 mins
Pages: 272
Source: AudioBook Reviewer
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A lively and important argument from an award-winning journalist proving that the key to reversing America's health crisis lies in the overlooked link between nutrition and flavor.
In The Dorito Effect, Mark Schatzker shows us how our approach to the nation's number one public health crisis has gotten it wrong. The epidemics of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes are not tied to the overabundance of fat or carbs or any other specific nutrient. Instead, we have been led astray by the growing divide between flavor - the tastes we crave - and the underlying nutrition.
Since the late 1940s, we have been slowly leeching flavor out of the food we grow. Those perfectly round, red tomatoes that grace our supermarket aisles today are mostly water, and the big breasted chickens on our dinner plates grow three times faster than they used to, leaving them dry and tasteless. Simultaneously, we have taken great leaps forward in technology, allowing us to produce in the lab the very flavors that are being lost on the farm. Thanks to this largely invisible epidemic, seemingly healthy food is becoming more like junk food: highly craveable but nutritionally empty. We have unknowingly interfered with an ancient chemical language - flavor - that evolved to guide our nutrition, not destroy it.
With in-depth historical and scientific research, The Dorito Effect casts the food crisis in a fascinating new light, weaving an enthralling tale of how we got to this point and where we are headed. We've been telling ourselves that our addiction to flavor is the problem, but it is actually the solution. We are on the cusp of a new revolution in agriculture that will allow us to eat healthier and live longer by enjoying flavor the way nature intended.

audiobook review done

I have been trying to be serious about looking at my diet for a while now. My husband and I eat pretty healthy. We would not be considered health nuts but we know our way around things like Quinoa, Kale, and avocados. But we also like pasta and meat! Lots of pasta and meat. The idea that we can get healthy through a diet that consists of all of the vitamins we need, while also having the tastes that we crave, is that perfect spot that we are still trying to attain. It hasn’t quite happened and even with the healthy food, we both have a few pounds that we could lose.

My first thought was not even about The Dorito Effect, but about the narrator. I did not look prior to getting this book so I was pleasantly surprised to hear Chris Patton! I listened to his Yesterday’s Gone narration and simply loved it. His voice definitely jumps out of the headphones so I was even more excited to listen to this book.

If you enjoy non-fiction and are curious about what the dorito effect entails, be prepared for a no holds barred look at what America puts into their food. It is disgusting. Or would be if we didn’t crave these yummy materials so much. There is so much in this that I could talk about but one thing that really caught me off guard was “Natural Flavors”. The author describes natural flavors as flavors that are actually not natural at all.

It’s funny because I have been curious about what in the world they are for quite some time now. It saddens me to find out that they are these synthetic flavors that spice companies just come up with to make our taste buds crave more! With all the substances that we have to look for, you would think that this is probably the least harmful but it does not seem so. Sadly, during my last grocery shopping trip, I noticed that nearly everything has natural flavors. Thankfully there is a new health trend so there are some things that are natural and only have the few things that make up that ingredient. But these are few and far between!

The book continues to give insight about what we eat and why we still crave it even after knowing what it is. The author even talks about McDonald’s and although he knows it is horrible, he eats there still! I have to admit to their fries being awesome. Once again, the taste of the food, not the substance, is what our brains think we want! And it is so hard to fight against.

Back to Chris Patton. It is interesting how he narrates. He has such a chipper, upbeat voice, that listening to the idea that companies are blatantly adding in crap to our food and making us obese, does not sound so horrifying! There are moments when he gets a bit more somber, however, for the most part he is his cheerful self. I think this book needs that bit of levity. Otherwise, the reader will wind up spiraling into a depression. There is a lot of depressing moments in this so his lending the cheerful voice helped a lot. The audio was perfect and very well done.

There is so much information in here that you may want to get the print version just to be able to highlight and write notes! I’m going to have to listen to this at least once more. It is chock full of knowledge and a great read.


Rating Report
5 / 5
Writing Style
5 / 5
Personal enjoyment
5 / 5
5 / 5
Overall: 5 / 5
The Author


In my new book, THE DORITO EFFECT, I examine the food crisis — obesity, metabolic disease, etc., through the lens of flavor. For 50 years, we’ve been arguing over fat, carbs and sugar. Does the way food taste have something to do with how much people eat? I think the answer will surprise, frighten, and thrill you. My first book, which came out in 2010, was STEAK, in which I traveled the world searching for the single greatest piece of meat.


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