A Fat Taste Bud?

In the same way the discovery of the so-called “fifth flavor”, umami, changed the way people thought about taste and taste buds, the discovery, or should I say the possible discovery, of a “fat” taste receptor is changing the way some people are thinking about the development of the human senses. The discovery was made about two years ago by scientists in Burgundy, France, though so far the receptor (known as CD36) has only been identified in rats. Unfortunately, most of the excitement around the possible existence of a human fat receptor has come from governmental types on the Continent, wondering if it might be possible to turn the thing off in humans to prevent them from becoming obese and taxing government-run healthcare systems.

Talk about fat-o-phobia! But then I can’t see the Continentals (especially the French) ever going for it. Still, Saints preserve us from this kind of nutty thinking.

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