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how much sweat would a woodchuck sweat

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Dear Doctor Rude,

I was reading some of the food labels in the grocery store the other day and I happened to notice that several of them said things like "contains all natural flavors." Does this mean they actually contain ALL natural flavors, or can they leave out a few of the more disgusting ones?

Au Naturel

Dear Au Naturel,

Alas, due to truth-in-advertising laws, a product which is labeled "contains all natural flavorings" must contain at least a bit of every last natural flavor from wild cherry to woodchuck sweat. This isn't nearly as difficult a task as you might imagine, since there are now several companies that specialize in producing "universal flavorings" (as they are usually called in the industry) in convenient liquid form. These companies usually have large vats to which samples of every known natural flavor are regularly added and from which they can siphon off whatever they need to send off to their client food manufacturers.

Unfortunately, the universal flavorings usually supplied to such companies tend to be fairly inconsistent over even relatively short periods of time. As you might imagine, it can be difficult finding a cooperative woodchuck when you need one, so when one becomes available, they tend to add large quantities of woodchuck-based flavorings while they can, so that the woodchuck taste may dominate all the shipments made for the next several weeks until enough other natural flavors get dumped into the vat to even it out. Fortunately, most of the worst natural flavors available (cauliflower and brussel sprout medley, bad shellfish, and dung) are pretty much always easilly available and so may be added to the vat more-or-less continuously in small amounts.

Why produce food products with such bad tastes in them? Simply because being able to say "contains all natural flavorings" helps a product to sell--after all, to most companies, it is much more important to produce a product that sells well than a product that's good. Nonetheless, you can rest assured that any food product made by Doctor Rude Enterprises does not contain all natural flavorings. At Doctor Rude Enterprises, we specialize in unnatural acts and unnatural products and producing foods with unnatural flavors for you is just one of the many ways we have of saying, "we care."

Hope this clears things up for you,

- Doctor Rude

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