A Matter of Taste

th-1Last week, an earth-like, exoplanet made its way into the annals of NASA ‘discovery.’ The fact that Kepler-452b is 1.6 times larger than our earth is significant, in light of this week’s discovery: A sixth basic taste — fat.

Wait. Sixth? I guess a fifth has joined sour, sweet, bitter, and salty. The Japanese have added umami. This taste is the mood-swing chemical known as MSG. Or, “No-MSG” that appeared on windows of Chinese restaurants after somebody claimed temporary insanity from eating everything from column A on the family feast menu.

So, what’s the skinny on FAT?

Warning. The chemical industry, also known as the food industry, now has the ability to trick our brains and palates. Aldos Huxley would be proud: A process that can render the stuff that hugs a rib-eye steak or the wrinkle on a strip of bacon into a taste — a formula that can be applied onto any object other than what Mother Nature envisioned would appear on my plate at Outback Steakhouse.

Perhaps it’s a blessing that Keplor-452b has been discovered. We can lick pictures of corn-on-the-cob and T-bone steaks on the 1,200-lightyear journey to reach it.