artificial_flavorToday food is stuffed with all sorts of artificial ingredients that are designed not only to enhance taste experience but also to preserve the food so your favorite pizza does not rot as soon as you take it out of the freezer. The list of ingredients on food label is scary long like a toilet paper. How much chemistry you can possibly stuff in a tomato soup? Should it be just tomatoes with water and some herbs? How come it has 15 ingredients with unpronounceable names? How come half a glass of salty water can be squeezed out of chunk of ham? Despite sheer amount chemistry the food from different manufacturers has almost indistinguishable taste. Moving from from one brand to another brand we can see different sizes, shapes and colors but out taste buds say “No, it is still the same dish…”.

Easy access to variety of ready-made foods made us lazy and incapable of learning any sort of cooking skills. We are in a world of taste insignificance where process of eating is reduced to stuffing stomach with salty and sweet things. Of course you can cook your own food if you have time and you know how to do it. Instead of buying canned or frozen food we can get a bunch of raw veggies and cook it. We also have a choice between regular veggies and an overpriced “organic” veggies that are sold in fancy hipster places like Whole Foods.

This makes me think of modern mass produced cars. Sit in any car today and you will face dashboard and central console full of buttons, knobs, touch screens and shiny lights that make the car interior feel like a data center with Christmas tree ornaments. Automakers are somehow convinced that putting 10 inch LCD, 35 buttons and 12 cup holders will magically made a car better. Long list of artificial enhancements printed on car datasheet looks like labels on Campbell soup. The plain mechanical engineering, that is responsible for handling and driving experience is pushed away to peripheral regions of car characteristics. Throw most of modern cars to tight corners and they behave like piano falling from the stairs. Hopeless under steer has to be compensated by all sorts of electronic stability control gadgets to prevent from crashing. Driving modern compact car is like eating tasteless pizza preheated in a microwave oven – it will certainly stuff your belly but also it may give you a stomachache.

While the food industry offers organic options to chose at higher price, automakers also target audience that looks for something else than LCD touch screen and 4-zone climate control. Massive amount of electronic gadgets are replaced by the organic feeling of well designed chassis that does not shatter every time you cross railway tracks, steering system that provides good feedback, and handling that does not make you sick when you corner with speed higher than 60km/h. There are quite a few healthy choices that would let you experience a real taste of driving: BMW M3, Jaguar XFR, Audi R8 or Lotus Evora. Unfortunately those are expensive imports that are not affordable for average Joe.

So, if you are tired with cardboard food full of artificial enhancements, but you can not afford fancy organic foodies, you have to find a middle ground: buy regular veggies and cook a nice dish at home. And here is a problem: automotive industry (especially in Canada) unlike food business, does not really have any affordable option that would possibly fit the middle ground. So far we have only two affordable contenders: front-wheel driven Golf GTI and rear-wheel driven Subaru BRZ, and they are both imports. You can not call it a true variety, nor competition.

American manufacturers have been neglecting this market for many years offering big heavy cars full of gadgets but poorly handling. The only driver-oriented sedan – G8, bites dust with the entire Pontiac. We are left with Camaro, that is an amusingly cartoonish car, Corvette that can not be called affordable nor practical, and Cadillac that is still perceived as a vehicle for retired golf players despite its great improvement over the last 10 years.

If GM was a restaurant the new Cadillac could be fancy salad made out of fresh organic veggies and fruits, since it has good engine, chassis, manual gearbox and it handles better than anything else GM made so far. Unfortunately interior of the new Caddy feels like cramped space ship with weird LCD screen in place of regular clocks, and the entire center console is made out of touch buttons. The healthy organic salad is served with thick layer of gravy sauce! To add insult to injury: this is as expensive as a similar size BMW.

Therefore one more time I will skip this organic-wanna-be dish that is designed by a GM committee where no one agreed on anything and I will cook some home made chili in a crock pot.


About Robert

Just another petrol head who likes cars, driving and everything about motorization.
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