What's With All The Salt & Sugar In Everything?

Charleston, SC(Zone 9a)

In recent years I have begun to find that just about everything (that isn't cooked at home) is (gag) outrageously salty or sweet or both. Health issues aside, things are so salty and/or sweet that I can't even tolerate the taste. I can't taste the food anymore, just the salt (or sugar). Has anyone else noticed this? Deli food. Convenience food. It's as though the primary flavors out there these days are salt and sugar. Everywhere.

Some of the things that taste like a salt-lick are: bacon, ham, sliced deli meats and s/w meats of all types, sliced American cheese, mac & cheese (from box mix), and lately even canned biscuits, deli fried chicken, some canned soups, seasoned mashed potato mixes, and countless other things I just can't recall at the moment. The other day I bought cornmeal mix by mistake instead of cornmeal. It was so briny I could not use it.

The sugar issue is also out of control - and I like sugar. But not in everything, and not at such high quantities. I would like to be able to taste the food. (Although I prefer sugar to the corn syrup found in most things these days, for this discussion, I'm treating all sweeteners as one and calling them 'sugar'.) All canned baked and BBQ'd beans are disgustingly sweet. I can't eat them unless I find a brand that is less sweet and then add things to cut the effects of the sugar. Sandwich meats are often too sweet, especially those labeled as honey cured. I once bought a whole, BBQ chicken from a grocery store deli and was amazed and disgusted to find that I actually could not taste the chicken at all for the sugar. At 1st I thought I would be able to get around the problem by removing the skin, but the sugar (actually corn syrup) had been injected directly into the breast, thigh, and leg meat. It looked like chicken, but tasted like syrup.

There are many, many more instances of this problem. These are just a handful of the ones that come to mind. I'm not a great cook, so I use a lot of prepackaged and convenience foods - although I am starting to cook more now to get around this problem. I run into problems with things being horribly salty or sweet pretty much daily. It effects pretty much everything unless I make it from scratch (or someone else does).

Anyone else having this problem? Or is it just my taste buds?

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