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Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us In a nutshell the food industry caresabout money than human health and well being.Not in a nutshell in his detailed and well written book Salt Sugar Fat, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Michael Moss shows how the food industry has hooked Americans on salt, sugar, and fat He exposes how scientists calculate the bliss point of sugar to seduce consumers into craving , how companies reconfigure the chemical structure of fat to enhance its taste, and how the industry incorporates salt In a nutshell the food industry caresabout money than human health and well being.Not in a nutshell in his detailed and well written book Salt Sugar Fat, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Michael Moss shows how the food industry has hooked Americans on salt, sugar, and fat He exposes how scientists calculate the bliss point of sugar to seduce consumers into craving , how companies reconfigure the chemical structure of fat to enhance its taste, and how the industry incorporates salt into a massive variety of processed foods He includes a variety of perspectives, ranging from former bosses and employees of food companies, to researchers trying to crack down on how to understand people s propensities for salt, sugar, and fat.Moss has done extensive research here My favorite part of this book centers on just how specific he gets Moss delves into the scientific properties of these substances and their biological and psychological effects on humans with a confident and knowledgeable writing style He consults with renowned researchers and former company executives to get a true insider s view of how the food industry targets its marketing to make its products irresistible Moss s deconstruction of products like Lunchables and Tang impressed me, as he travels deep into the history and creation of these unhealthful foods He accomplishes all of this without demonizing the food industry while some of these folk may have hearts as cold as steel, others just want to provide jobs for their communities and income for their families A quote I enjoyed about the nature of such companiesIt s simply not in the nature of these companies to care about the consumer in an empathetic way They are preoccupied with other matters, like crushing their rivals, beating them to the punch The most amazing thing about the secret 1999 meeting of food company CEOs to discuss obesity was that they got together at all The grocery store, after all, is littered with the results of their war to outsell one another by arming their products withsalt, sugar, and fat Witness what happened when Post started coating its cereal with sugar Rivals came out with versions that went as high as 70 percent Or look at what happened when Hershey introduced its mega chocolate cookie in 2013 Kraft responded by rolling out a slew of fattier, sweeter Oreos I have a couple of minor qualms with this book First, I felt that Moss could have incorporated some of the consumers perspectives He discusses the repercussions that salt, sugar, and fat have on people quite a bit, so the book may have been eveneffective if he interviewed or spoke with some of these non industry or research oriented folk The ending of Salt Sugar Fat also struck me as abrupt Instead of Moss just writing now that you have all this info go ahead and be healthier people now he could have providedconcrete ways to makeinformed, nutritious decisions He also could have synthesized his writings about each of the substances to integrate the information presented within every section.Despite these few issues, Salt Sugar Fat serves as a searing exploration into the food industry and its products Would recommend to anyone interested in nutrition, marketing, and or the role the food industry has in perpetuating obesity Cynical people it s worse than you can even imagine Privacy infringements, systematic exploitation of children and African Americans, government corruption, and a willful disregard of consumers health Moss s three and a half years of investigative reporting for Salt Sugar Fat were well worth the effort, though his writing isn t concise, and boring when it came to describing the careers of food scientists he clearly admires, the points he makes are startling and incredibly important Although Cynical people it s worse than you can even imagine Privacy infringements, systematic exploitation of children and African Americans, government corruption, and a willful disregard of consumers health Moss s three and a half years of investigative reporting for Salt Sugar Fat were well worth the effort, though his writing isn t concise, and boring when it came to describing the careers of food scientists he clearly admires, the points he makes are startling and incredibly important Although America is the primary country talked about, the problems discussed are global issues.Children and people of African descent are the most vulnerable when it comes to salt, sugar and fat, because they reprone to acquiring a diet high in all those things, and the food industry has been quick to take advantage by addingandSSFs to out compete other brands by appealing to people s taste buds instead of their health, keeping an eye on their bottom lines and not their customers waistlines Before reading, I believed it was your responsibility to eat healthily, but reading about America s neglectful and downright harmful governmental practices, allowing food companies to fudge the nutritional information on their products, stops the grocery shopper from making an informed decision about what they wish to put inside their bodies, and therefore food companies are indeed responsible for various serious health conditions, i.e obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease cholesterol , and cancers The top contributors to weight gain included red meat and processed meats, sugar sweetened beverages, and potatoes in all its forms.SSF addicts are referred to as heavy users by companies, though even their ex presidents and CEOs many of whom Moss personally interviewed admit the harm they ve caused, feel guilty about their part in it, and actively avoid consuming their own products Jeffrey Dunn, ex president of Coca Cola, developed Dasani bottled water and stopped marketing in schools, but was ultimately fired, for which he was grateful, and now he only works with healthy foods.Privacy infringements abound Coke data mined customer loyalty cards General Foods had mass mailing lists composed entirely of the names and addresses of children, in order to better target them with promotions Insidious marketing strategies are plentiful pushing comics like The Adventures of Kool Aid Man published by Marvel multiple child friendly websites pushing junk food advertising to those who ve over indulged, targeting people with diabetes for their sugar free products adding vitamins or a smidgen of fruit for a false healthy image e.g Capri Sun or removing real ingredients that you d think would be essential e.g Cheez Whiz no longer contains real cheese.Parallels are drawn with the tobacco industry and the health crises surrounding it, and it just so happens Philip Morris, having made its dough in tobacco, now owns a cadre of food brands Our food is handled by large conglomerates controlling hundreds of brands, who pump potentially harmful artificial additives and who knows what else oh, wait horsemeat into our food Maybe it s time we invested in the little guys going it alone again, where the people in control know exactly what s in their food, and the distance between the guy on the ground floor and the one in the big office on the top floor, is a lot shorter Takethan a little salt, or sugar, or fat out of processed food, these experiments showed, and there is nothing left Or, even worse, what is left are the inexorable consequences of food processing, repulsive tastes that are bitter, metallic, and astringent Moss suggests taxing SSFs before they re added to processed foods, though companies will probably pass on that cost to consumers He also advocates the use ofherbs and spices, but again, since salt is so cheap compared to alternatives, they d rather stick with what they know than spendon higher quality, healthier alternatives Or, we as a society, need to go back to eating the standard three fresh meals a day when we ate SSFs in moderation instead of snacking on convenience foods Now it s becoming harder to peddle SSFs to the public in developed countries, they re despicably looking to exploit the Third World developing nations like India and Brazil.I started my first official diet with the help of MyFitnessPal.com just before reading SSF, and it s made me acutely aware of what I m eating Now I read the back of every item while grocery shopping, before deciding to buy it My nemesis are grain based carbs, potatoes, orange juice, and butter I don t have a problem with salt and my bliss point for sugar dropped considerably in my late teens, which is the last time I drank soda Salt Sugar Fat is definitely a highly recommended read.SUGAR a methamphetamine Cocaine acts on the brain in a similar way to sugar researchers have conditioned rats to expect an electrical shock when they eat cheesecake, and they still lunge for it Drugs countering the effects of opiates curb the appeal of high fat, high sugar snacks Nearly every food contains some amount of sugar, naturally occurring in fruit, veg, and milk, so we have no need for added sugar Sugar is an analgesic a pain killer Americans consume 22 teaspoons of sugar, per person, per day , yet 5 teaspoons are recommended that s half a can of Coke Fructose is sweeter than glucose and table sugar combined, and has been commercially available since the 1980s Sugar has a bliss point a Goldilocks amount, that creates the most pleasure Sweetened foods make youhungry, not less Sweet liquids bypass the body s controls preventing weight gain Soda and fruit juice concentrates are liquid sugar Cereals contain up to 70% sugar, and some believe cereals over 50% sugar should be sold as candy The Cola War with Pepsi saw Coke inventing supersizing, endorsement deals, and combination deals e.g burger with fries , they even put Cokes into the hands of soldiers in WWII at a loss, all to encourage brand loyalty and addiction Coke s biggest ingredient is water, followed by sugar, then caffeine Hypertention and diabetes in a bottle Mmm, healthy.FAT an opiate 9 calories per gram, twice that of sugar or protein Sugar masks and enhances the taste of fat, encouraging you to eatNo bliss point for fat, thethe better Whole milk is only 3% fat American eat up to 33 pounds of cheese per year 60,000 calories , triple the amount in 1970s It s the biggest source of saturated fat in American diets, followed by red meat, then cakes and cookies Industrialisation of cows bred indoors on a diet of corn and fat, has increased milk production but lowered the nutritious value of the milk When Americans moved to low fat milk, the excess fat was converted to cheese, and the American government protected the dairy industry by ludicrously buying up the excess cheese and beef Cheese products were made mac cheese, meaty pizzas, etc Even celeb chefs were asked to promote cheese in cookbooks On behalf of producers, the government aggressively marketed cheese and beef to the American public and in Mexico Chilled prepared foods saw the introduction of Lunchables, containing a child s maximum daily allowance of saturated fat and salt, andthan a can of Coke s worth of sugar The Department of Agriculture has ignored experts in its Center for Nutrition and has conspired to get the public to eatLean meat doesn t necessarily mean low fat McDonald s was the first to remove pink slime from its burgers When opening a package containing multiple servings, you relikely to eat the whole thing.SALT Sodium pulls fluids from the body s tissues and into the blood, which raises the blood volume and compels the heart to pumpforcefully This causes high blood pressure The least addictive of the big three We learn this addiction, it s not innate like sugar and fat Low salt diets increase taste sensitivity to salt, so less is eaten It s a preservative, masks bitterness, sweetens sugar, adds crunch to things like crackers 2,300mg recommended maximum per day England s Food Standards Agency set a limit on how much salt a product could contain and discouraged of salt substitute potassium chloride, effecting US based companies the most Processed meats contain added salt e.g bacon Cargill, one of the wealthiest privately owned companies in the world, sells 17 types of sweeteners, 40 types of salt, 21 oils and shortenings.The Horsemeat ScandalThe below paragraph shows me how easy it would be for the European horsemeat scandal to spread to the US the Department of Agriculture is actually complicit in the meat industry s secrecy The burger that Stephanie paralyzed by E.Coli ate, made by Cargill, had been an amalgam of various grades of meat from different parts of the cow and from multiple slaughterhouses as far away as Uruguay The meat industry, with the blessing of the federal government, was intentionally avoiding steps that could make their products safer for consumers The E Coli starts in the slaughterhouses, where feces tainted with the pathogen can contaminate the meat when the hides of cows are pulled off Yet many of the biggest slaughterhouses would sell their meat only to hamburger makers like Cargill if they agreed not to test their meat for E Coli until it was mixed together with shipments from other slaughterhouses This insulated the slaughterhouses from costly recalls when the pathogen was found in ground beef, but it also prevented the government officials and the public from tracing the E Coli back to its source When it comes to pathogens in the meat industry, ignorance is financial bliss That s illegal in the UK under traceability and safetyMy thanks to Random House and Netgalley for the e ARC in return for an honest review. Every Year, The Average American Eats Pounds Of Cheese And Pounds Of Sugar They Ingest , Milligrams Of Salt A Day, Double The Recommended Amount, Almost None Of Which Comes From Salt Shakers It Comes From Processed Food, An Industry That Hauls In Trillion In Annual Sales In Salt Sugar Fat, Pulitzer Prize Winning Investigative Reporter Michael Moss Shows How This Happened Featuring Examples From Some Of The Most Recognizable And Profitable Companies And Brands Of The Last Half Century Including Kraft, Coca Cola, Lunchables, Kellogg, Nestl , Oreos, Cargill, Capri Sun, And Many Moss S Explosive, Empowering Narrative Is Grounded In Meticulous, Often Eye Opening Research He Goes Inside The Labs Where Food Scientists Use Cutting Edge Technology To Calculate The Bliss Point Of Sugary Beverages Or Enhance The Mouth Feel Of Fat By Manipulating Its Chemical Structure He Unearths Marketing Techniques Taken Straight From Tobacco Company Playbooks To Redirect Concerns About The Health Risks Of Products He Talks To Concerned Executives Who Explain That They Could Never Produce Truly Healthy Alternatives To Their Products Even If Serious Regulation Became A Reality Simply Put The Industry Itself Would Cease To Exist Without Salt, Sugar, And Fat This book has me torn It does have a lot of in depth research and it makes a lot of interesting points But, it demonizes some businesses and foods that I don t necessarily feel deserve it I love food and I know some of it is bad for me just like when I used to smoke I knew it was bad for me the whole time But, it was my choice and I was not kidding myself that I was doing my body justice I like fast food and junk food, but I try and eat it in moderation and I exercise when I can I know This book has me torn It does have a lot of in depth research and it makes a lot of interesting points But, it demonizes some businesses and foods that I don t necessarily feel deserve it I love food and I know some of it is bad for me just like when I used to smoke I knew it was bad for me the whole time But, it was my choice and I was not kidding myself that I was doing my body justice I like fast food and junk food, but I try and eat it in moderation and I exercise when I can I know that the focus in this book is on people with kids who do not make smart choices and the businesses that take advantage of that But, I think it is harsh to attack a business for trying to improve sales Sometimes making food better means adding salt, sugar, and or fat, but what can you do it s what people want So, while I didn t completely dislike this book I think it was very one sided Also, I am not sure that very many of the people this book would need to reach i.e people who eat fast food 3 meals a day and snacks the rest of the time are going to end up reading this book and changing their ways 400 repetitious pages is a hard way to make a point like this one I have a hard enough time getting people to read short e mails.All this book made me want to do is eatfood Update 5 27 2016 Just noticed that I forgot to mention this is a Scott Brick audio that made the experience worth it Several years ago I developed a candida infection my doctor urged me to give up all sugar products for at least three months.Easier said than done It didn t take me long to realize that nearly everything in the grocery aisles contained sugar And now I know why.Michael Moss, a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter, has written a brilliant book that doesn t scold, lecture, or patronize Rather, it reveals the reasons why one out of four American children are at risk for diabetes and why Several years ago I developed a candida infection my doctor urged me to give up all sugar products for at least three months.Easier said than done It didn t take me long to realize that nearly everything in the grocery aisles contained sugar And now I know why.Michael Moss, a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter, has written a brilliant book that doesn t scold, lecture, or patronize Rather, it reveals the reasons why one out of four American children are at risk for diabetes and why high blood pressure and obesity is soaring out of control The average adult today is 24 pounds heavier than in 1960.He brings us inside the industry game at companies such as Kraft, Kellogg, General Mill, Coca Cola, Frito Lay and Nestle Surprisingly, John Ruff from Kraft gave up sweet drinks and fatty snacks Luis Cantarell from Nestle eats fish for dinner, Bob Lin from Frito Lay avoids potato chips like the plague and so on Many of the executives of the most highly profiled companies go out of their way to avoid their own products.They are, of course,in the know than the average consumer, who swallows whole the marketing ploys and behind the scenes science that turns us into their unwitting pawns As one executive said at Kraft We don t create demand We excavate it We prospect for it We dig until we find it How First, the companies locate the bliss point that crucial point that identifies when consumers fall in love with a product without the need for the company to pay a pennyThen, they follow the better for you formulation It works like this when people clamor loudly enough for healthier products, the companies provide a better for you formulation lower fat potato chips or sugar free ice cream, for example If done right, they can boost sales or the original full calorie and full fat version by drawingshoppers to the brand.To play it fair, Mr Moss shows that it s hard to really get the consumer on board for change When the big three sugar, salt and fat are removed, Corn Flakes taste like metal fillings, the Eggo rozen waffes like straw Cheez Its lost their golden yellow hue, turning a sickly yellow, and they went all gummy when chewed The buttery flavor of the Keeber Town House Light Buttery Crackers, which contained no actual butter to begin with, simply disappeared Small wonder, then, that companies would not give these three up in any real way, without a major fight Salt, sugar and fat are the foundation of processed foods and the American public clamors for convenience and taste, not health benefits In a particularly unsettling chapter, Mr Moss shows how the Department of Agriculture and the FDA are really looking out for the interests of the food industry, not the consumer With a slew of bench chemists, behavioral scientists, package designers, food technicians, lobbyists, Wall Street executives and the government on its side, one can empathize when one executive tells Mr Moss, I feel sorry for the public This is an important book for any one who is concerned about obesity or diseases any one who cares about the future of their children to read As Mr Moss concludes, We, ultimately, have the power to make choices we decide what to buy We decide how much to eat Becoming informed and in an engaging manner is a vital first step Once you read this book a trip to the grocery store will never be the same You will watch your fellow shoppers walk around the store an pick up items like mindless creatures like your the only one who knows whats really going on, kind of like in the film They Live The section on fat is mostly about Phillip Morris s acquisition and then spin off Kraft Foods As the author talks about the various executives, marketers, and product developers I can t help but think of the characters in Mad Men Once you read this book a trip to the grocery store will never be the same You will watch your fellow shoppers walk around the store an pick up items like mindless creatures like your the only one who knows whats really going on, kind of like in the film They Live The section on fat is mostly about Phillip Morris s acquisition and then spin off Kraft Foods As the author talks about the various executives, marketers, and product developers I can t help but think of the characters in Mad Men since some of the events take place at the same time.It also tells the story of Kellogs, Post, Oscar Mayer and Lunchables , General MIlls, General Foods, Kraft, the dairy and meat industries coziness with read heavily lobbied the USDA and their tax payer funded scheme to make is all drinkmilk Got Milk and meat Beef Its Whats for Dinner through programs called checkoffs.Four cheese Sounds good, right No, just a way to make you eatcheese Diet Coke That s kind of like a filtered cigarette it s healthy er , so indulge Main points Most processed foods bread, cheese, cereal, snacks, candy tastes terrible without salt.When a food is labeled as having less sugar, it might havesalt and or fat.When a food is labeled as having less fat, it might havesalt and or sugar.When a food is labeled as having less salt, it might havefat and or sugar.When a food is labeled as having a large number of vitamins added, it is to compensate for the fact that it has large amounts of sugar and or salt and or fat.If you switch to low salt or low sodium versions of a food your sensitivity for salt will go down You might notice it the first few times you eat it, but eventually it will taste like it has the same amount of salt Processed food is loaded with salt since it helps extend foods shelf life, so the industry has an intrest in keeping your tolerance hight, which is bad for you Real fruit juice or natural fruit juice and no added sugar claim on drinks is a trick The juice has had all of the fiber filtered from it, so it is all sugar The fiber is what makes fruit healthy, so the benefit is lost It is not too different from extracting high fructose corn syrup from corn, and then claiming real corn juice Diet versions of bad food are healthier in the way that filtered cigarettes are healthier Of course neither one is healthy You re tricked into picking the lesser of two evils.The tobacco company Philip Morris purchased Oscar Mayer, who used their cigarette like marketing tactics to get kids to think Lunchables were cool The daughter of the inventor Lunchables did not let her kids eat it The inventor of Lunchables has regrets.Kraft created a council that tried to make their foods healthier It included at least three people industry insiders that truly wanted to help reduce sugar, salt, and fat They succeeded but once shareholders started to complain about the stock s performance, the companies, to the dismay of the three health conscious council members, reversed course and expanded into new geographical territories.A conclusion I came to that was not covered by the book after reading the book Food that never contained gluten and that you would not think of as containing gluten will be labeled as gluten free, possibly to counter the perception of its large quantity of sugar, salt, or fat A fascinating in depth and well researched look at the processed food industry I recommend this for anyone who buys food at a grocery or convenience store aka everyone I read this book hoping to learnabout processed foods and how to avoid them, and I definitely got what I was looking for Before reading this I was trying to avoid processed foods, and this book has helped increase that resolve, as well as educated meon how to do it It is absolutely amazing and frightening how man A fascinating in depth and well researched look at the processed food industry I recommend this for anyone who buys food at a grocery or convenience store aka everyone I read this book hoping to learnabout processed foods and how to avoid them, and I definitely got what I was looking for Before reading this I was trying to avoid processed foods, and this book has helped increase that resolve, as well as educated meon how to do it It is absolutely amazing and frightening how many processed foods some of which I remember fondly like Capri Sun have enough salt sugar fat to easily account for a quarter or half of your daily recommended limit This makes it super easy to go way over, and the result is unhealthy, fat Americans.One of thepowerful things of this book was that Moss went deep into the food industry to really understand the dynamics at play He didn t just demonize them for making the US one of the fattest countries in the world He interviewed dozens of insiders current and retired, to get their perspectives And the bottom line is scary The food industry has zero incentive to produce healthier food Because the high calorie food that they make that is stuffed with salt, sugar, and fat sells really well It s tasty and convenient and cheap, and people buy whats tasty, and have no time or money to make or buy healthier options And when the industry has tried to reduce the salt, sugar or fat, every time they find that it doesn t sell as well Sure they have made some incremental improvements here and there, but by and large, the grocery store is a scary place if you don t want to vastly exceed your daily caloric intake It seems clear to me that things will never get better without government intervention something that Moss also concludes in the book Trying to understand a food label is impossible for most people, as 1 you have to know by heart the daily recommended values for calories, salt, sugar, and fat, and 2 you have to do math to figure out how many servings you are eating Doing both of these just won t happen for 99% of the population, and thus we are where we are We cannot rely on the food industry to make healthier products we have make them do so by choosing with our wallets In my opinion, the FDA or someone in the government needs to get a good designer to fix food labels and get them to a state where any American can easily look at them and go oh my gosh this can of pasta sauce will account for a quarter of my daily recommended caloric protein fat sugar intake if I eat it Maybe some startup can combine a phone camera and some image recognition to do this The right organization to drive this is the FDA, but they are not acting.So why doesn t the government act to prevent the obesity epidemic and yes, that word is appropriate Moss spends a bit of time in the book examining this question, interviewing people at the FDA and the Dept of Agriculture His conclusion is that they aren t incentivized or enabled to act The food industry is well capitalized and has for some inescapable reason to me been able to fight every report of how bad their products are Regulation is a tricky subject in America, but it seems that even the role of getting information to Americans about how to protect their health is completely broken One of theinteresting things I learned from the book is how sophisticated the food industry is in marketing their products Their segmentation is impressive, and they find the right products, messages and mediums for each segment They have learned to be on top of trends and perform slight of hand tricks with ease For instance Americans initially loved their breakfasted cereals when marketed using the word sugar When people finally caught on that many of these were 50 70% sugar the industry changed their marketing to promote other aspects, and removed the word sugar Sugar Frosted Flakes became Frosted Flakes Same thing for low salt or low fat or includes some vitamin or nutrient trends This is good to know if you are in the grocery store, as they still use these tricks If a product is low sugar , it s probably high in fat and or salt, and same for low fat or low salt Or they will pick a nutrient or vitamin and promote that to hide the high amounts of salt, sugar fat for instance Tang was marketed as having lots of Vitamin C but was and is really bad for you One of the biggest trends that led to processed food in the past 40 years is summed up by the word convenience That s been a big part of the food industries marketing tactics, and it s worked Life has become increasingly busy and complex, and we don t have time to go to work and shop for and cook a healthy meal An aspect of this that I hadn t thought about is the rise of dual working families we have gone from 50% of women in the workforce in 1970 to 80% today Families simply don t have time when both parents work to spend hours cooking when they get home Thus, convenience , or foods that are easy to buy and make, have risen drastically in that timeframe Emotionally, I could see how this marketing worked on me as a kid Hearing about products that I used to eat and remembered fondly was kind of sad Capri Sun, lunchables, hot pockets are just a few such examples mentioned in the book, none of which is particularly good for you.The most damning evidence Moss finds is that none of the executives or insiders he talked to eat their own dogfood In fact, they all have diets that explicitly prohibit it I think that s very telling Overall, I think book will open your eyes to the battlefield for space and attention that goes on in the grocery store, and to payattention to the labels That s a big educational process, but one which everyone needs to learn how to do We need to force the food industry to stop producing foods that are unhealthy by stopping buying them Where I got the book my local library.Food is weird At least, it is nowadays Humans like variety variety in food makes them eatPut science and industry at the service of variety, and you get Be still my British heart.There are tens of thousands of different products in the average grocery store One thing I learned from this fascinating book is that a successful strategy to increase sales is by line extensions, where, for example, you take a bestselling product like Oreos and come up Where I got the book my local library.Food is weird At least, it is nowadays Humans like variety variety in food makes them eatPut science and industry at the service of variety, and you get Be still my British heart.There are tens of thousands of different products in the average grocery store One thing I learned from this fascinating book is that a successful strategy to increase sales is by line extensions, where, for example, you take a bestselling product like Oreos and come up with variations on the theme, until you reach thisand then you realize you ve been keeping your researchers up at night for too long.And, because the food industry is big business, and big business has shareholders to keep happy, the food industry wants you to eat its food Lots of it.GREED IS GOOD.Yes, my friend, Wall Street wants you to be a greedy pig It WANTS you to eat the whole bag of chips because, dagnammit, you re supporting the economy It is the American Way to crave a FourthMeal A Giant Gulp is a patriotic gesture But the trouble isThere s a price to pay Obesity and its first cousins heart attack and diabetes are roaring along at record levels And the food industry knows it But the food industry is, first and foremost, an industry, responsible to its shareholders As Michael Moss says, It is simply not in the nature of these companies to care about the consumer in an empathetic way Salt, sugar and fat are the food industry s weapons in the war to sellfood, gain bigger market shares and keep the Wall Street analysts happy Moss goes into the science behind why, theprocessed food you eat, theyou WANT to eat these foods are painstakingly engineered to be, well, as addictive as possible The addiction factor is supported by marketing campaigns that literally make your mouth water, and by careful product placement overseen by regular visits from food company employees.Yep, the checkout lane That insidious piece of marketing we all accept as normal.Chances are that if you ve picked up this book, you re already converted to the idea that processed food is bad for you As I am, after years of weight gain and other symptoms, blooming in middle age into terrible and socially awkward gastric attacks and asthma attacks as my body tries to expel that xanthan gum that snuck into my soup or the polysorbate 80 in the cream The last few years have been one long lesson about what I can and can t eat, label reading and an increasing adoption of the clean eating ethos.But enough about me What will you find inside this book Well, for one thing, absorbing entertainment and thought provoking findings such as the very telling fact that the top executives in the food industry go out of their way to avoid eating the very foods they foist on the unsuspecting public in America, but increasingly all over the world BECAUSE THEY RE UNHEALTHY Moss doesn t hesitate to name names in fact, one of the most fascinating aspects of Salt, Sugar, Fat for me is the way he engages with the personalities behind the products He reminds us that the food industry isn t faceless these are people who earn a living persuading us to eat.Not all of them There are renegades and prophets of doom those who remind their companies of the moment when forty or so states rose up against the cigarette industry on behalf of their health care systems Obesity costs money what the food companies gain, the economy as a whole suffers because of rising health insurance costs and sick employees.There is a lawsuit waiting to happen or, as Moss speculates, the solution may come in the form of government regulation And he concludes with an appeal to the consumer They may have salt, sugar, and fat on their side, but we, ultimately, have the power to make choices After all, we decide what to buy We decide how much to eat Except that healthy food is an industry all its own Open up any magazine aimed at consumers who are trying to eat right and you ll find it full of ads for products made by the selfsame companies that bring you the 32oz soda and the candy bar Every time there s an eating trend, the industry jumps all over it and produces a solution that s not a solution Low fat products that havesugar and salt to make them taste better without the fat Low sugar products that havefat and salt than the regular version Oh, I could go on There are so many goodies to feast on in this book that I could talk about it all day Moss s journalistic style, while not always as fluent as I d like, is that of the educated man on the street, and he appeals to a fairly well informed audience in his use of facts and figures and his incorporation of science If you re starting to wake up to the power of food in your life and want to gain a better understanding of the role of the food industry in our global economy and everyday existence, you could do worse than to read this book Probably like most of you, I thought Michael Moss s Salt, Sugar, Fat would be about how these ingredients are not good for us, how to eliminate them from our diets, and perhaps a few recipes to get us started I was wrong This book is farfascinating than that It s a well written, in depth look at the food industry, and how the products we all know came into being and developed over the years It names companies like Kellogg s, Kraft, Campbell s and the soft drink giants that produce Coke Probably like most of you, I thought Michael Moss s Salt, Sugar, Fat would be about how these ingredients are not good for us, how to eliminate them from our diets, and perhaps a few recipes to get us started I was wrong This book is farfascinating than that It s a well written, in depth look at the food industry, and how the products we all know came into being and developed over the years It names companies like Kellogg s, Kraft, Campbell s and the soft drink giants that produce Coke, Pepsi, and even Dr Pepper, as well as other.Did you know that the amount of sugar and cheese that we each eat today has tripled since 1970 No wonder there is an obesity epidemic today I was very interested in the story of how the US Government was responsible for the increase in cheese production, how the excess was stored, and how it finally made it s way into a lot of everyday foods as time went by There are stories about the science behind product development, and how advertising and product placement get our attention, and get us to buyOne thing became very clear, and that is that processed foods could not exist without salt, sugar or fat Even some of the people who used to work for these companies now know that in order to avoid these substances, they also have to avoid the very foods those companies produce While I do a lot of my own baking, and seldom buy convenience foods, I m starting to think the cans and boxes that are currently in my house may be greatly reduced in the future I will likely makeof my own soups and salad dressings and maybe even bread in the future.I think this is an important piece of literature that will withstand the test of time, and will likely be a great reference book about the food industry for many years to come It s a thick book over 400 pages but not difficult reading It will be available for purchase March 12, 2013 Look for it when the time comes I think everyone should read it I ve read a number of books on food and the food industry What to Eat,

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