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Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked…

Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us (2013)

by Michael Moss

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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» See also 57 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
This book is such an eye-opener! So many things I already knew or suspected are laid out in black and white with supporting evidence about how the food corporations are ignoring the health and welfare of customers for the bottom line.

What did come as a surprise is how the food companies and cigarette companies became allies either by coming under a common parent company or by utilizing each other's strategies to overcome the public's fear of ingredients in their products.

I think this book will help me in my fight for better health by changing my shopping habits. I will be better able to ignore the chip displays and easily stride past the shelves of soda to get the unprocessed foods I know are better for me. I just needed the positive reinforcement! ( )
  mamzel | Apr 9, 2014 |
A tough but important read about the processed food industry and how it has made Americans dependent upon salt, sugar and fat. It was really discouraging to read about all of the techniques food companies employ to encourage people to continue buying their products through their use of ingredients and advertising...and how successful it is, especially with children.
This book was eye-opening; I always knew that processed food wasn't nutritious, but now I have more specific facts that will make me more aware about my food choices when I'm at the grocery store. One of the most surprising tidbits was about cheese--Americans consume about 33 pounds of cheese per person each year. Much of this is because food companies have changed cheese into an ingredient--something you add to a dish, instead of something that you'd eat on its own.
There was a lot of overwhelming information in this book, but the author tied it up nicely at the end with a few ideas about how we can fix this problem. ( )
  goet0095 | Mar 27, 2014 |
5 stars...but I am a sucker for books on the food industry especially when they include marketing. Great book - a good audio book too. If you are constantly reading labels and buying local and organic and cook from scratch you will know most of what is in here...read it as a pat on the back. If you don't know the issues and politics involved in enticing shoppers to buy and consume crap food - pick this up.

Large companies just looking to improve bottoms lines at your health expense. Be amazed at what the government has done to support the madness (hello dairy cooperative) and then decide if that crazy hippie is really the wacky one! ( )
  dms02 | Feb 27, 2014 |
I honestly believe that the food industry did not intentionally set out to hurt anyone. I also believe that the tobacco industry did not intend to hurt anyone either. However, when both industries found out they were hurting people, neither of them fessed up and neither of them stopped producing harmful products. To this day, these addiction-inducing industries rake in money hand over fist while plying products that are unhealthy and market their products to vulnerable populations. It should then be no surprise that big tobacco companies like Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds own food giants such as Kraft, General Foods, Nabisco, and Miller Brewing.

Salt, sugar, and fat are essential ingredients in varying combinations in processed foods. Their proportions and manipulations have become a science. New additives derived from these three components are invented to mitigate health concerns, but the end products still remain dangerous to the public health. For example, when concerns about fat arise, food companies will pull back on fat while adding more sugar or salt. This way they won’t have to sacrifice the taste of their products while claiming to be more healthful. In reality, it’s all a shell game.

Processed foods have become so much a part of our daily lives and our culture for two reasons – marketing and lack of regulation. Junk food began to show up in our lives more and more often beginning in the 1950s. Foods that were once rare treats became daily snacks, such as chips as sides to sandwiches when you used to get a pickle. When women began to work more and had less time at home, processed food truly exploded. Convenience became the mantra. Marketing to children, especially when their mothers became busier, was another very effective way to increase sales.

Although more efforts have been put into place to educate the public about the nutrition of their foods, the processed food industry still finds ways around providing a clear view of what we are eating. One way they do this is by downgrading portion sizes to make the salt, sugar, and fat content seem lower. Another method is to invent new ingredients that mimic salt, sugar, or fat. However, these new inventions come with their own negative health impacts.

The truth is that processed foods do not taste good if you reduce the salt, sugar, and fat to appropriate levels. Food that does not taste good does not sell. When having to answer to shareholders and in an industry as competitive as processed foods, making products healthier rarely outweighs making them more profitable. Although regulation has been slow and sporadic, it may be the best and only way to make processed foods healthier.

Michael Moss provides a compelling read, and his research on this book is in-depth and fastidious. His interviews give readers an inside view of the processed foods industry where we meet scientists, executives, and marketers. This was a pleasure to read.
1 vote Carlie | Jan 30, 2014 |
Read from March 28 to December 31, 2013

While it took me MONTHS to finish this book, I still think EVERYONE should it. It made me MUCH more aware of the problems with what most of us choose to eat and how little the government really regulates anything.

I mean, read this book. You'll want a nutritionist, too.

Reading Progress
05/12/2013 page 21 4.0%
08/04/2013 21.0% "I read a chapter, but then have to stop because I'm so frustrated by the food industry."
12/22/2013 page 116 27.0% "I wish this ebook had links to the ads for these super sugary cereals."
12/22/2013 page 163 38.0% "Now onto the evils of fat."
12/23/2013 page 199 47.0% "I gotta stop eating anything that's even a little processed."
12/26/2013 page 279 65.0% "After that chapter I want Oreos and I am disgusted with my desire. Now onto the evils of salt!"
12/31/2013 page 423 100.0% "Do now I need a book on avoiding all processed foods and meats that might have additives and well...anything that's bad for me. I think I need a nutritionist."
12/31/2013 marked as: read ( )
  melissarochelle | Jan 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
There is a certain enlightened segment of America that relishes a good gastro-scolding, whether delivered gently by a Michael Pollan (“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants”) or more vituperatively by a Mark Bittman (“In the time it takes to go into a McDonald’s, stand in line, order, wait, pay and leave, you could make oatmeal for four while taking your vitamins, brushing your teeth and half-unloading the dishwasher”). But there is a much larger segment of America whose members heedlessly eat processed foods that make them overweight and unwell. Michael Moss, a dogged investigative reporter who neither scolds nor proselytizes, is here for them.
added by lorax | editNew York Times, David Kamp (Mar 15, 2013)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Mossprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The first thing to know about sugar is this: Our bodies are hard-wired for sweets.
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The author explores his theory that the food industry's used three essential ingredients to control much of the world's diet.

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