Era of the Junketarian


Evolving food habits have given rise to the new age eaters called Junketarians. How do we define this group?! Well, such a diet includes everything coming from plant and animal sources as well as factories. In fact this group will largely be consuming chemicals or artificial food rather than anything natural.

Fast food being served today contain ingredients which are not meant for human consumption. The food industry has rather become a chemical plant where food is pumped with chemicals causing it to lose is original identity and produce what can be called “engineered food”.  Their appeal lies in indulging all your senses including smell, taste, sight and flavour/mouth feel

Chemicals like monosodium glutamate is used to give a “meaty”, “savory”, or “brothy” taste to foods by stimulating the glutamate receptors on the tongue and also the brain, where glutamate is a neurotransmitter. MSG likely exerts its effect by adding another taste quality to the food, i.e. umami, which improves palatability.

Artificial flavors are additives designed to mimic the taste of natural ingredients and are added in the end to enhance flavor of foods which have been sapped of all its nutritional value and originality.

When you see “artificial flavors” on a food label, it could mean a single unnatural additive or a blend of hundreds of chemicals. Strawberry flavor, for example, contains 49 man-made chemical ingredients and the typical artificial butter flavor is made of 100 different man-made chemicals! They are typically found in processed and refined foods, and are known to cause allergic and behavioral reactions

Artificial Colours such as Bright yellow and blue color are found in everything from cereals to cosmetics, candy to pharmaceutical drugs. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, chemical food dyes are made from known carcinogens.

Artificial colours increase the attractiveness of food but should BE OF SPECIAL CONCERN for the parents as artificial dyes have been linked to hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

So the Junketarian can be an infant (unknowingly) or an old man (unwillingly) but the extent of harm is equally damaging. It’s time to regress to the Stone Age and become a “Primatarian” before it is too late.

Author: drpoojachhawcharia

Dr Pooja Chhawcharia is the Senior Nutritionist at eKincare with over 7 years of experience in Nutrition education, diet counseling and research. She is a Registered Dietician with the Indian Dietetic Association and Certified Diabetes Educator recognized by the International Diabetes federation . She is also interested in ancillary sciences such as Yoga and Naturopathy.

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