August 22, 2007
|Poisoning Our Own Well||Corporations, Globalization Media|
This story's a couple of weeks old, but it's too important to let slide. AP:
Anything made by McDonald's tastes better, preschoolers said in a study that powerfully demonstrates how advertising can trick the taste buds of young children.
Even carrots, milk and apple juice tasted better to the kids when they were wrapped in the familiar packaging of the Golden Arches.
The study had youngsters sample identical McDonald's foods in name-brand and unmarked wrappers. The unmarked foods always lost the taste test.
"You see a McDonald's label and kids start salivating," said Diane Levin, a childhood development specialist who campaigns against advertising to kids. She had no role in the research.
Levin said it was "the first study I know of that has shown so simply and clearly what's going on with (marketing to) young children."
Study author Dr. Tom Robinson said the kids' perception of taste was "physically altered by the branding." The Stanford University researcher said it was remarkable how children so young were already so influenced by advertising. [...]
The study included three McDonald's menu items -- hamburgers, chicken nuggets and french fries -- and store-bought milk or juice and carrots. Children got two identical samples of each food on a tray, one in McDonald's wrappers or cups and the other in plain, unmarked packaging. The kids were asked whether they tasted the same or whether one was better. (Some children didn't taste all the foods.)
McDonald's-labeled samples were the clear favorites. French fries were the biggest winner; almost 77 percent said the labeled fries tasted best while only 13 percent preferred the others.
Fifty-four percent preferred McDonald's-wrapped carrots versus 23 percent who liked the plain-wrapped sample. [...]
Fewer than one-fourth of the children said both samples of all foods tasted the same.
Imagine you're a visitor from Mars, suddenly plunked down in the middle of American society. How crazy would this look: everywhere you turn, you see corporations directing powerful mind-control tools at our own population — every one of us, cradle to grave — with all the skill, sophistication, and guile they can muster. Programming us with insatiable desire for that which will leave us sick and empty and drowning in garbage. Treating our psyches like things to be plundered. Consequences be damned.
And we wonder why we're collectively going crazy. A system that brainwashes its own children to make a buck is one that has clearly lost its way. But we're so immersed in it we scarcely even notice.