The Dorito Effect (Advanced Health Lesson Plan)

Download the lesson plan here: health-dorito-effect-advanced.docx

Doritos are flavourful.

Note: This advanced ESL lesson plan is based on the article The Dorito Effect: Healthy food is blander than ever – and it’s making us fat. The lesson focuses on vocabulary, reading, speaking, and writing. You will need to print the article as well to use this lesson plan.

Pre-Reading: Vocabulary from “The Dorito Effect…”


A. Read the following sentences and try to guess what the words in bold mean.

  1. “Rarely, however, do we talk about the corollary of this: that at the same time food companies mastered the art of engineering flavors to make things like soda and chips irresistible, real foods like meat produce have become increasingly bland.”


  1. “We know smoking is deadly because it causes cancer along with a host of other ailments.”


  1. “All the good stuff we grow has gotten continually more bland……they have become diluted of nutrients.”


  1. “We started producing flavors in factories and adding them to all sorts of things. We created flavors that were out of context.”


  1. “These flavored foods deliver deliciousness and calories, but they don’t deliver a diversity of nutrients.”


  1. “Arch West wanted to unleash tortilla chips on the market.”


  1. “ You’re not tasting the chicken- the chicken is more a delivery vehicle of flavoring that was created by flavor scientists. This is incredibly deceptive on the cognitive level, but it’s also messed up the palate.”


  1. “More recently, scientists developed the ability to make isolated flavoring chemicals in a `natural’ way. It’s just a distortion of policy and a legal labeling framework.”


  1. “Soy milk, for example, has this clean reputation. But when you start to look, it has a huge amount of flavoring and sugar.”


  1. “When I was researching The Dorito Effect, I thought there was an absolute trade-off between quality and quantity.”

Post-Reading: “The Dorito Effect….” Discussion Questions

A. Discuss these questions with your group.

  1. Did you find the results of Mark Schatzker’s research that flavor is what is making us unhealthy surprising? Do you believe that his finds might be correct?
  2. Do you find that raw ingredients (meat, vegetable, fruit, milk, eggs, etc.) in North America taste different from those in your home country? If so, how would you describe the difference?
  1. Are you careful about what you eat? Do you care about food labels such as organic, natural, artificial etc?


  1. During the interview, Mark Schatzker said that “we need to shop like a passionate Italian chef” is this realistic?


  1. Later he says that “by choosing quality over quantity only rich people would be able to afford truly delicious food” is this perhaps, already the case? Is any research about food that isn’t about how to make more of it for those who don’t have enough a waste of time and/or money?

B. Choose one of the above questions and write your answer below.




ESL lesson plan on health and food taste created by Katarina Ohlsson of (copyright)

English Current recommends Grammarly as a learning tool to reduce English mistakes. If you found this page helpful, consider a donation to our hosting bill to show your support!

One comment on “The Dorito Effect (Advanced Health Lesson Plan)

  1. Anonymous (Posted on 1-30-2017 at 10:00) Reply

    Thank you so much for this lesson! It is a perfect complement to “This apple could have been saved” by Scholastic. I have been using food waste and food costs throughout my lessons this year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.