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 is a well done piece of journalism that clearly shows what is happening behind the scenes with our food and encourages people to take their power of choice and use it. Recommended.
This was a real eye-opening book. Even companies that wanted to give us healthier options abandoned their efforts when we didn't buy them. They sell us what we want. The problem lies in what we say we want and what we, as consumers, actually purchase. We're making ourselves sick and fat. A must read/listen. Scott Brick was a wonderful narrator.
the ingredients to preserve, hide in wanted flavors, and keep you craving . is and will continue to be a health issue until one starts taking matters into their own hands,
From the beginning it held my interest explaining the history of snack foods and why they are purposfuly addictive. A fair assessment in the efforts of manufacturers attempt at healthier snacks vs profit. Very eye opening even to a health conscience person. I recommend to anyone who believes there is such thing as healthy chips.
This is an informative look at the food industry, and I listened to encourage myself to stick to my low carb diet. Unfortunately, listening did the opposite: I found myself craving many of the chemical-laden foods the book chronicles. While I only cheated on my diet once (with a tiny pack of Smarties, not a package of Double Stuffed Oreos), I need to warn others that the constant references to junk food made the listening experience an exercise in willpower.
Brick is a good narrator, but his style is better suited to fiction as opposed to non-fiction. I found his intonations a bit over-dramatic at times.
Thought I knew a lot about processed food already. But Michael Moss showed me I did not. Scott Brick is an outstanding narrator as well. Very helpful and informative!
Brilliant book about the state of "food" in America and a very compelling listen. One of the most well written and well performed non -fiction books I have ever read. Also, whether on accident or on purpose, this is one of the best and easiest to understand pieces of writing on the fact that a free market economy in the US is a fallacy.
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