The most postmodern-philosophical passage from the May 16 New Yorker

The overriding impression I carried away from my … visit was that, although it all comes back to taste at PepsiCo, the physical sensation of tasting has been so thoroughly mediated by advertising and packaging that no one knows anymore where the physiologoical experience ends and the aspirational experience begins. It’s hard to guarantee the “same great taste” in a scientifically advantaged product when no one is sure just what that taste is.

— John Seabrook, on PepsiCo’s attempts to reduce salt and sugar levels in its snacks without changing the taste. (The article is available online for subscribers only.)

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