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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

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book basically makes it impossible to go to the grocery store without rethinking everything you've ever bought. I mean, I never thought processed food was good for me, but I don't think I realized how bad it is either. I certainly didn't realize how manipulating most food companies are or how interconnected they have become over time. To be honest, it paints a rather bleak picture for consumers. We lead these fast paced lives and these companies have cashed in on our lifestyles. The take away, I think, is to be informed and to continue making these food companies be more transparent in what they offer consumers.

As for the book itself, it's structured into three parts - sugar, fat and salt. I appreciated this approach because it let him focus on what each ingredient truly does to processed food. While a little dry and repetitive in places, it was well researched and the author did not interject himself into the narrative very much. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to know a little bit more about where their food comes from.

BTW: I never received my 2012 Early Reviewer copy of this book. I checked the book out via my library and reviewed it in 2015. ( )
  rosylibrarian | Mar 5, 2015 |
Everyone who is at all concerned about their health and how processed foods contribute to our current health crisis should read this book. It is a real eye opener and I hope it makes us all wiser in the choices we make in the grocery stores of America ( )
  4daisies | Jan 24, 2015 |
(215) ( )
  activelearning | Dec 27, 2014 |
This is a must read for anyone concerned about their health and diet. ( )
  DaphneH | Dec 1, 2014 |
I suspect that if you are a certain age, you can track your life against the foods discussed in this book. Sugary cereals and Hungryman dinners in the 1970s and early 1980s, then giving your kids Lunchables and Capri Sun juice bags. And maybe when you were an adult, you weren't completely sucked in and knew that these things weren't the best options, but "it's only once in a while." (In my case, Capri Sun took over my kids' lives - they had them with their lunches, they had them at soccer practices, after games, at parties ....) And you might expect that you'll be made to feel terrible for how you ate or how you fed your kids. But let's be real - you already feel bad enough about that. This book isn't looking to make you feel worse. It's looking to make you more aware of how exactly you got sucked into using all those foods against your better judgment.

It's fascinating, really. The book covers the processes of creating these foods and the advertising that sells it to us, as well as the science behind why we crave them. It was interesting to me to hear how the industry and its scientists started off with non-evil intent (preserving foods to make them more easily available no matter where you lived, and decreasing the amount of labor required to feed a family) and eventually became a monster (cereals that are 70% sugar). I liked that the author kept from demonizing the scientists who worked on these foods, too. Often, their inventions either got away from them or they simply became wrapped up in a scientific problem without seeing where it was leading outside of their lab. I didn't learn anything here to change my eating habits (I did that years ago), but I did learn plenty. You'll never watch a commercial or read the front of a food package the same way again. ( )
  ursula | Nov 7, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 54 (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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