Category Archives: Food Industry

What Do You Mean “It Isn’t Really Olive Oil?”

Copy of Copy of Copy of NATURAL OPTIONS FOR ANXIETY (2)

If my readers know anything, they know that I am on a fake food crusade. We are all tired of buying foods that appear to be one thing, when in fact they are actually something else entirely.

Take for example, olive oil. One of the basic staples of every kitchen. My guess is you have a bottle of it in your cabinet right now. If you are like me, and love to get a good deal on a quality item, you probably have a rather large container of it in your pantry. I’m guessing your bottle says it’s 100% extra virgin olive oil, that it is imported, and possibly it has some other phrases that lead you to believe it is what it says it is.

Have you ever heard of the Agromafia? Neither had I.

Now watch this.

As if it weren’t bad enough that our food supply has GMOs everywhere, now we are being told that our olive oil isn’t really olive oil, it is diluted with other unhealthy oils, like canola or sunflower, or chemicals or deodorants (who knew?!)

The truth is that no matter what your olive oil container SAYS, there is a very strong chance it isn’t really 100% extra virgin olive oil.

How do you find it?

I’m so glad you asked.

Also, be on the lookout for certifications. If it’s from California, it should say “COOC Certified Extra Virgin.” Also recommended is the Extra Virgin Alliance (EVA) and UNAPROL, the respected Italian olive growers’ association. But if you are going to purchase an imported oil with nothing to rely on except its country of origin, both Chile and Australia are considered the safest best.

So basically, buy your EVOO from a small producer, make sure it’s that unique, luminous green color, and be prepared to spend more in order to get the real thing.

-Dr. Norton



Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in summer 2016.

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2017, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //





Is Food Addiction A Made Up Concept to Excuse the Overeater?




A significant portion of the U.S. diet is as addicting as heroin or cocaine.

Sugar, for example, especially in the form of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), registers in the same part of the brain as does heroin and cocaine!

Other staples of the American diet are addictive, too. Dr. Mark Hyman says that U.S. wheat contains “super starch and super gluten – making it super fattening and super inflammatory.” Hyman also says wheat has “a super drug that makes you crazy, hungry and addicted.”

The “super drug” Hyman is referring to is actually a group proteins called “gluteomorphins” (after gluten and morphine) that cross the blood-brain barrier. Converted “exorphins,” like endorphins, the small molecules in the brain that make you feel high during a long run, these proteins can lead to addiction. According to Dr. Hyman, their presence not only causes addictive eating behavior including cravings, bingeing, and overeating, but they can also “cause multiple problems including schizophrenia and autism.”

Those with obvious eating issues often think of themselves as weak-willed or victimized in some way when they cannot resist the urge to binge or over eat a particular food. But the truth is that polluted foods are designed to make you want more, and they are highly effective when it comes to driving over-eating.

-Dr. Norton


The Bliss Point

The Bliss Point

There are some foods that we just cannot stop eating once we start. You know it and I know it.

The food industry knows it as well.

Recently NPR interviewed Michael Moss about his book Salt Sugar Fat which deals with the how the food industry engineers our cravings.

That’s because these foods are manufactured to create a bliss point. What is a bliss point? Exactly what it sounds like! The point at which the food causes so much bliss that we cannot resist buying and or eating it! The term “bliss point” was coined by researcher/experimental psychologist Howard Moskowitz during his research on Prego Spaghetti Sauce.

This all sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Like a conspiracy theory. But it isn’t. It’s just business, according to Moskowitz. In this New York Times 2013 article by Michael Moss, Moskowitz has no regrets about his research. ““There’s no moral issue for me,” he said. “I did the best science I could. I was struggling to survive and didn’t have the luxury of being a moral creature. As a researcher, I was ahead of my time.”


I recently did a lunch and learn and talked about the concept of the bliss point and sensory-specific satiety with the group- you should’ve seen the look of horror on their faces.

The worst part is that the food industry has added sugar everywhere. It’s in products you wouldn’t even think of as a “sugary” product, like pasta sauce. Yogurts are another great example. Some yogurts contain as much sugar as a serving of ice cream. This is probably the worst offender of all- many of the cereals targeted to children are 50% or more sugar. Keep in mind, according to the latest dietary guidelines adults should be consuming 22 grams of sugar or less per day.

Combine this with the fact that how we eat has shifted dramatically in the past few decades, it isn’t hard to see why so many people are having health issues and are lost as to what to do. Remember, 90% of the average grocery store is full of processed, unhealthy, manufactured foods that are “optimized” for consumption. On average, half of food dollars spent in America in the grocery store. The other half are spent on eating out. So if we are eating out half the time, and the other half of the time we are shopping the middle aisles of the grocery store, it’s no wonder our health is in such a sorry state.

For patients who report that they “cannot stop eating” certain foods, learning that the food industry is designing foods to trigger our bliss point is always mind blowing. “So it really is the food?”

Yes, it really is the food. If you can call it food.

-Dr. Norton