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)
I am man who likes to learn either by reading or listening. There are so many good books it is hard to pick just one. I love this site!
this book was full of excellent information and wonderful anecdotes. it was very interesting and easy to listen to. I myself listened to it twice and the second time was better than the first. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to know why they cannot stop eating something.
Great book! Well researched and highly recommended. Author interviews vast numbers of insiders in the food industry and come away with a complete view of processed food in the US
I would not only recommend it but suggest it.
Kept me very interested.
yes, very much.
the truth behind the shelves
I am totally honored to have listened to the book. I loved it so much I am buying the paperback and give it as gifts.
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.
50 something female, not a bibliophile by any stretch of the imagination. Don't have time to sit. I love history and biographies.
I have known about marketing practices and chemicals in processed foods but I didn't realize how much the government influences food production. The connection from subsidizing cattle and dairy producers to hiding cheese in processed foods was interesting.
I have started listening to audiobooks while walking the dog, and sometimes it's easy to get distracted, but the performance and pacing was so good that that didn't happen.
I'm a very health conscious person so I knew some of the things in the book already but listening to it in a short time is a bit overwhelming. It's another thing horribly wrong with the U.S. and the west but hopefully we are on the way to a health revolution. Once people start eating better they do have a hard time going back to bad for you foods, but it needs to happen in the community at large or the peer pressure to eat junk can be overpowering.
If you're looking for more reasons to eat healthy or like a good true conspiracy theory kind of book, check this out!
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