The Dorito Effect is a food book in the same vein as Salt, Sugar, Fat and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, in that it discusses how the food industry is manipulating (and in many cases making worse) the food that we eat. Schatzker focuses on the flavor component of manipulation, and not just how adding flavors that were once upon a time associated with healthy foods (like strawberry flavoring in yogurt that contains little to no actual strawberries) messes with our intake of nutritional ingredients, like vitamins and amino acids, but also how healthy food that was once succulent and flavorful, like tomatoes and chicken, now taste bland and need an abundance of ranch dressing (among other flavorings) to make them palatable.
This book illustrates that when people from older generations say they remember juicier and more flavorful fruits, vegetables, and chickens from their childhood, they may actually be speaking the truth. While I thought this book was interesting and provided a new perspective on the food industry, I also found it to be less engaging than Salt, Sugar, Fat and The Omnivore’s Dilemma. If you haven’t delved into reading books about the food industry yet, I would definitely start with one of those two over The Dorito Effect. However, if you’ve already read a couple (and found them interesting) this is a nice addition.