During my ten-year gig at The Big Corporation up north, I took part in a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test. In the late 80’s and early 90’s, it was a trendy tool for “team building.” My teammates and I found out what our “type” was and then we posted the letters outside our cubicles so there would be less friction and better team work. I liked most of my teammates, but there were one or two people who provoked skeptical thoughts. I just had a “sense” that these one or two people weren’t cut out to be my best friends in or out of the office.
I was an INFJ.
I haven’t thought about Myers-Briggs testing in a while and we haven’t done any testing at the current Big Corporation. I may very well be a person who functions primarily by my intuition and that’s why I’ve had a sense, for the last twenty-five years, that something was wrong with our food here in America. I’m sure my mother had something to do with it, too. Helen got “into” health food during the 70’s when she and her sister read Let’s Get Well by Adelle Davis.
Being an INFJ and having a sense that something is wrong sometimes keeps me from doing academic-style research on issues. Lettuce traveling in a bag from California just seems odd to me. When one of my co-workers continually asked me “Have you seen Food, Inc.?” or “Have you read “The Omnivore’s Dilemma?” I would say “No” and “thanks for the suggestion?” I had no plans to watch or read information I knew intuitively. Thanks to the magic of the internet, I can now confirm my intuitions about these books and movies by doing a quick Bing search. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Dark Ages Luddite. I’ve also learned that it’s important to read and research things because it’s a much more powerful argument to say “I THINK” instead of “I FEEL.” I read books, articles, and blogs; I use different news aggregators to find information to support or refute the different things I might be feeling.
But enough about me and my INFJ ways.
Yesterday, this article came over the transom. The picture of a Dorito caught my attention and I started skimming the text. Why do Doritos always capture my attention?
It was a long article; too much to read on an i-phone, so I printed it off and read it carefully when I got home. Then I tossed and turned all night, trying to figure out what was the most important thing about the article and what I needed to say about it. It disturbed me to read that scientists in the employ of giant food conglomerates used their knowledge to tinker with food and make it into a dangerous and uncontrollable commodity. One market researcher, trained in mathematics and experimental psychology, was asked if he had any qualms about the work he had done to create the “crave” factor in processed food. He said “I did the best science I could. I was struggling to survive and didn’t have the luxury of being a moral creature. As a researcher, I was ahead of my time.”
This is a strange kind of Friday Pillow Talk; my face was uncomfortably mashed into my pillow all night and I slept fitfully. Although I try to avoid pontificating on this blog, I think there is something gravely flawed with our food. Much of it really isn’t even food; it’s a science experiment. Conversely, I think people have the right to eat what they want and I’m not interested in a government czar to supervise my snacks. I am not a lab rat and I am not a consumer. I am a human being and so are you.
The truth is out there and it’s still free. Find it.