Last 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.
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.