Considering that the majority of soybeans grown in the US are genetically engineered, with little testing done by the FDA, I put soy food into the artificial foods group. While it may not have always been this way, that's how it is now, and the food industry is not required to inform the consumer that the food they are eating was enhanced so.

I've heard that there's a really good way of getting rid of e coli. Cook your meat.

But back to the subject: Why eat imitation food? Simple. You don't have a choice. If you buy your food from a grocery store, chances are it's not real. It may look and smell and taste like food, but most people don't know any better. Ask your elders, "did food always suck?" and see what they tell you.

Because it's cheap. The lowest quality foods are the ones with the most crap in them, adn the highest prices food are fresher and are crap-free (which has now become a feature). The world may not have thought of pesticides and growth agents as crap before, but since pests still exists, and small apples taste better anyway, I'll refer to them as crap.

Because it's the easiest way to get food to your urban dwelling ass. Do you think that bananas or mangos grow anywhere near NYC? How do apples wind up in Louisiana? By coating them with a veil of the unnatural, you are now allowed to enjoy foods that have nothing to do with your climate. Fresh, imitation food.