Quick: what image comes to mind when I say "Oreo"? The sweet round cookie with a creamy center that you dunk in milk?
Apparently, that's not the image that comes to mind in China: The iconic cookie is a long,
think thick, four-layered water wafer coated in chocolate... and it's not so sweet. Here's why:
Oreos were first introduced in 1912 in the U.S., but it wasn't until 1996 that Kraft introduced Oreos to Chinese consumers. Nine years later, a makeover began. Shawn Warren, a 37-year-old Kraft veteran who had spent many years marketing the company's cookies and crackers around the world, arrived in Asia in 2005 and noticed that Oreo's China sales had been flat for the previous five years.
Back then, Kraft was selling the U.S. version of Oreos in China. Albert Einstein's definition of insanity -- doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results -- "characterized what we were doing," says Mr. Warren, vice president of marketing for Kraft Foods International. [...]
Mr. Warren assigned his team to a lengthy research project that yielded some interesting findings. For one thing, Kraft learned that
traditional Oreos were too sweet for Chinese tastes.
Here's an interesting article by Julie Jargon of The Wall Street Journal on how food giant Kraft finally got nimble by trusting local managers: Link - via Beyond Madison Avenue
high-fructose corn syrup: your body in its natural state was made to process natural sugars. when you introduce fake sugars, your body has to work harder to try and process them. you're forcing your body to translate a foreign language without a dictionary, and i think everyone can relate to that. we know how hard normal life can be when you get older, as your bones become more brittle and you can't process a piece of fruit the way you should, these inconsistencies can overhaul your body and shut down important processes that are supposed to occur. in this case, because you've been tampering with your blood sugar for so long, your pancreas will slow its insulin process and eventually cause such ailments as hypoglycemia and diabetes.
hydrogenated/hydrolized oils: these are bad because they create false images and you can't digest them. they create false images because they replace real flavors. notice that all the little debbie cakes all taste relatively the same? you can taste these oils in your food, if you are able to differentiate between trans-fat and non-trans-fat foods, because it leaves a film on the roof of your mouth. kinda like after you eat a bowl of fruity-pebbles, there's that gross layer of >ick< all over your mouth and on top of your milk? think of it this way- that film is coating your insides and they aren't going away. you may argue 'yea, but the film goes away after a little bit.' this may be, but your insides don't get the same amount of attention that your mouth does. you're constantly rinsing, swishing, tonguing, and picking at your teeth, while your insides just sith there, absorbing everything you put in it. while all this builds up, your body isn't as capable of absorbing what nutrients you need, and you get blockages. hence the rise in colonoscopy awareness, heart disease, and obesity. oh yea- it's addictive too, and it's in (i would say.. don't quote me on this one) 95% of the commercial food we buy. there aren't any studies about any of this because these two "baddies" have only been used in the last couple decades, and it's impossible to have a long term study on something that has only been used for a couple years. but i digress.. and leave you all the better things to read. be good! buy smart! and read your labels!
"high frusctose corn syrup" and "hydrogenated oil"
you know why they're used? because they're cheaper than sugar and real corn syrup. these two preservatives have only been used in the last two decades, and obesity/type 2 diabetes/heart disease rates have gone up in the last two decades as well.. coincidence? i think not.
other countries do not use these preservatives because frankly, they're too sweet. also, other lands aren't as spread out as ours so they don't really need an extensive use of such preservatives. the high-fructose corn syrup is used to replace sugar. they concentrate the fructose, which gives you more sweetness in a smaller amount of space. also, it's more fake because it has gone through a process to make foods last longer. truthfully, food is not supposed to last longer than nature intended. sams club, meijer, and wal-mart don't help because they sell almost everything in bulk, and the only way they can do that is by bulking foods that can be in storage for long periods of time. but people buy in bulk because it's cheaper. catching on?
hydrogenated oils are used as a preservative and a flavor enhancer. you might say that it replaced MSG. these oils make food taste sweeter and richer. they are also what we call 'trans fats' and we all know the troubles with those (remember McD's said they no longer cook fries in trans-fat? that does not mean the rest of their food isn't caked with it). they're artificial and incredibly bad for you. trans-fats are actually banned in countries because of their health risks. which brings me to what i thought about first when you said "oreos" at the top: oreos are illegal in canada! fun fact of the day.
the reason these are so bad is because they're in EVERYTHING. believe me.. read any food label and you WILL find one or both. always. unless you shop organic and/or all natural. trans fats do not pass the natural/organic code.
There are so many scrumptious exotic foods that aren't brought to light here.