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Articles / Delhi, Once Again

Delhi, Once Again

Published May 1, 2024

Plus, Ashley Gearhardt is this week’s guest on Food with Mark Bittman

Marigolds. Photo: Mark Bittman

About six weeks ago, there was a Wall Street Journal piece by Andrea Peterson headlined “The New Science of What Ultra-Processed Food Does to Your Brain.” As someone who’s been following the effects of junk food on our bodies for maybe 30 years, I had to read it. And indeed, the piece affirmed what many of us have suspected and reported about for a while: ultra-processed food triggers many of the same brain receptors as opiates, cocaine and other drugs.

Much of the new research on this subject is being done by Ashley Gearhardt, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, and she was quoted extensively in the article. It was an easy decision for me and Kate to invite her on, and she does not disappoint. In our interview, Dr. Gearhardt not only speaks articulately about the subject of chemical triggers and addiction, she also understands the social implications of the prevalence of ultra-processed food as a major source of calories for most of our population. I think you’ll enjoy and appreciate Dr. Gearhardt’s knowledge and attitude in this energetic interview.