Analyzing the Text
Most of the food Americans consumed after WWII is processed, which is bland without any flavoring added. Additionally, after the war most of the European perfume industry moved to New England and switched to producing flavors.
He does this in order to show the scientific and technological wizardry that goes on in labs in just a small sector of the country.
Although they may contain the same ingredients, what distinguishes natural flavors from artificial ones is how they are made. Schlosser goes into a lot of detail here in order to make sure his readers understand how they have been duped by food companies.
He wants to demonstrate that not only do Burger King’s strawberry milkshakes contain ingredients with names we’ve never even heard of, but the one ingredient they don’t actually have is strawberries!
While it’s true that natural flavors are produced differently from artificial ones, products containing so-called “natural flavors” are not necessarily naturally flavored the way they taste: Flavors may have been added after the fact.
Schlosser wants people to do further research and view the label of “natural flavors” more skeptically.
His overall purpose is educating readers. His writing style is clear, concise, and not terribly formal. It draws the readers in by presenting intriguing information and describing his visit to IFF as though it were a scene in a story.