Foods have changed. Take, for instance, the humble Twinkie. It used to be made from actual sponge cake, but now it’s a rubbery, inedible mess, says Cheese Boy. McDonald’s french fries used to be pretty good–maybe because they used to be fried in beef tallow, says Karl S (in Canada, they still are). From fake chocolate in packaged chocolate chip cookies to fake vanilla in Girl Scout cookies to high fructose corn syrup in practically everything, packaged treats these days bear less and less resemblance to actual food.

Food tastes different because it’s made differently. Excessive processing, meat from the feedlot and the factory, vegetables optimized for ease in shipping, trans fats and chemicals–“if we can discern changes in tastes, imagine what all that artificial chemical gunk is doing to our bodies,” says Seaside Tomato. All this underscores the importance of buying locally produced food. “Even that organic stuff that’s out of season at a chain supermarket was bred for shipping capability,” says MakingSense. As support for local food grows, more local sources will become available–and the less dependent we will be on HandiSnacks and Campbell’s Tomato Bisque Soup to meet our nutritional and aesthetic needs.

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What Food Products Have Changed?

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