From a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter at The New York Times comes the explosive story of the rise of the processed food industry and its link to the emerging obesity epidemic. Michael Moss reveals how companies use salt, sugar, and fat to addict us and, more important, how we can fight back.
Every year, the average American eats 33 pounds of cheese (triple what we ate in 1970) and 70 pounds of sugar (about 22 teaspoons a day). We ingest 8,500 milligrams of salt a day, double the recommended amount, and almost none of that comes from the shakers on our table. It comes from processed food. It’s no wonder, then, that one in three adults, and one in five kids, is clinically obese. It’s no wonder that 26 million Americans have diabetes, the processed food industry in the U.S. accounts for $1 trillion a year in sales, and the total economic cost of this health crisis is approaching $300 billion a year.
In Salt Sugar Fat, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Michael Moss shows how we got here. Featuring examples from some of the most recognizable (and profitable) companies and brands of the last half century - including Kraft, Coca-Cola, Lunchables, Kellogg, Nestlé, Oreos, Cargill, Capri Sun, and many more - Moss’s explosive, empowering narrative is grounded in meticulous, often eye-opening research.
Moss takes us inside the labs where food scientists use cutting-edge technology to calculate the "bliss point" of sugary beverages or enhance the "mouthfeel" of fat by manipulating its chemical structure. He unearths marketing campaigns designed - in a technique adapted from tobacco companies - to redirect concerns about the health risks of their products: Dial back on one ingredient, pump up the other two, and tout the new line as "fat-free" or "low-salt". He talks to concerned executives who confess 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. Just as millions of "heavy users" - as the companies refer to their most ardent customers - are addicted to this seductive trio, so too are the companies that peddle them. You will never look at a nutrition label the same way again.
©2013 Michael Moss (P)2013 Random House Audio
"What happens when one of the country’s great investigative reporters infiltrates the most disastrous cartel of modern times: a processed food industry that’s making a fortune by slowly poisoning an unwitting population? You get this terrific, powerfully written book, jammed with startling disclosures, jaw-dropping confessions and, importantly, the charting of a path to a better, healthier future. This book should be read by anyone who tears a shiny wrapper and opens wide. That’s all of us." (Ron Suskind, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President)
"In this meticulously researched book, Michael Moss tells the chilling story of how the food giants have seduced everyone in this country. He understands a vital and terrifying truth: that we are not just eating fast food when we succumb to the siren song of sugar, fat, and salt. We are fundamentally changing our lives - and the world around us.” (Alice Waters)
This was pretty repetitive overall. A lot of ideas were mentioned over and over again. The saving grace of the book was the investigative journalism. There is some interesting information about processed food companies here but you have to get through the fluff.
I think that my reaction of "Man, those guys are AWESOME! I wish I was in the food creating industry!" is not the one that the author was going for.
Great book, excellent narration, and man I have been drinking a lot of Pepsi since starting this book.
I believe over 90% of readers will not get through 50% of this book
I made a point to listen to ALL of it, just information without any summaries and a lot of repeat with similar food items that should be kept in order and with more of the writers conclusions along the way
Way too long without a punch or two :)
Yes. I would listen again much for the same reason one would listen to anything again - go absorb more the second time. The text was so laden with facts and events that it would be worth a second listen.
I think that the looks into executive meetings between multiple food companies were most enticing and informative.
This is a nonfiction text.
The Illusion of Choice.
While the information is well researched and very interesting, the style of reading makes it difficult to tolerate. Nonfiction doesn't require drama. Narration should not distract. I had to buy the hard copy to finish.
Probably. With a voice that it interesting to listen to no matter what they are saying.
2 ½ hours in and absolutely no new information and nothing surprising apart from the names of some people. Could be summarized in about 2 paragraphs. Narrator seems to try to speak slower to drag it on (more hours pay more???). Hoping it will get better and not make me regret the loss of my credit....
this info will make you feel you have duped most of your life by both the government--who doesn't care a bit about YOU and ME--and the big companies--who are only in it for the $. no one cares about your health when it comes down to the dollars in your bank accounts, so read, read, read and learn what is healthy and what isn't. nothing that is manufactured and comes in a package is healthy!!
Yes its very interesting well resurched and well read
Realizing the people I treusted could not be trusted
The Cold hard truth about our food and the people who make it.
I think it need to be given more publicity or given out free
While the number of books demonizing the food industry grows larger every year, this one deserves a place very near the top. Moss just lays out the economic and human drivers behind the fundamental alteration in the food chain. There is just a wealth of fascinating information, and human interest stories.
But then there's Scott Brick. Why does every sentence have to sound like a roller coaster? It wears you out after a while. Luckily, this is a Whispersync for Voice book, so I can consume most of it on my Kindle.
Food justice and access to nutritious food is one of my interests. This book did not disappoint as it traced the increasingly industrial process of bringing our food to market and how the processes strips our food of nutrition. It also clearly shows how food production is no longer a quest to feed people but to improve both market share and Wall Street performance.
A challenging read and, I hope, just one more nail in the coffin of big, industrial food production. If this does not challenge us to grow our own gardens and support local food producers I do not know what will. Even more importantly it clearly shows that good, nutritious food is becoming the preserve of the rich and those on limited and no incomes are not able to access the food their bodies need.
Loosing our lunch in its processed pre-packaged form is not only a health issue, it is a social justice issue and I hope that we can all add our voices to the increasing need to transform our food economy.
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