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Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us | [Michael Moss]

Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us

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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, February 2013 - I’m going to go ahead and predict that Salt Sugar Fat will be the biggest exposé to hit the food industry since Fast Food Nation. Intelligently and lucidly written (by a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, no less), this book is going to make serious waves. It’s already causing mini-waves in my own home as I frantically figure out what in the world to stock my cupboard with. In Salt Sugar Fat we meet the major players inside the processed food industry, as well as learning about all the things that they understand about human nature that the average person doesn’t. Quite simply, we are built to crave salt, sugar, and fat, and the big food companies make sure they deliver it cheaply and by the truckload. You’ll never view food – and your relationship with it – the same again. —Emily, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

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.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2013 Michael Moss (P)2013 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1136 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Stephanie Burg-Brown 06-27-13 Member Since 2008
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    "A Must Read!!!"

    This book was an eye opener to how manufacturers of food products have been deceiving the consumer for years. I have to admit after listening to this book changed my supermarket shopping habits. I have also successfully lost weight and this book is not a weight loss book. The stories are believable and backed up with facts and interviews. If you are looking for what really goes on the advertising and marketing of products, this book is for you. You will not be able to forget about this book and will want to listen to it again and again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ilinca Romania 06-17-13
    Ilinca Romania 06-17-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "not revolutionary, but compelling"

    There isn't much I didn't know either from information or common sense. However, the case is strongly made and documented - and the most telling testimony, I think, is that the book has convinced me to start moving away from processed foods and cutting severely on red meat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexandria Vancouver, BC, Canada 06-09-13
    Alexandria Vancouver, BC, Canada 06-09-13 Member Since 2013

    Geek girl, unrepentant Japanophile, epicurean, and gimp. I recently began listening to audio books due to physical limitations, and am eager to explore this new method of information absorption and entertainment.

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    "Everyone Needs to Read This"

    Pardon brevity, but I just wanted to chime in and say that while the book does get repetitious on occasion, and the performance could be a titch better, the substance and message really needs to be digested by the masses.

    I've known about the details in bits and pieces over the years, but it's nice to see an entire treatise on the subject of our terribly mis-represented nutrition, its history and future.

    A great read for those who are unaware or those who like to see all the threads of this deceitful web intertwined.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michaela parsonsburg, MD, United States 06-02-13
    Michaela parsonsburg, MD, United States 06-02-13
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    "Makes you think"
    What did you love best about Salt Sugar Fat?

    I am not normally a reader of books like this- im skeptical. i think a lot of non foction and self help type books cam be slanted tO the authors liking, while that may be somewhat the case here , the author seems to have well done and through research into all sides of the food industry- not hair additives. It touches on everything that makes you reach for one more chip, cookie, and soda.


    Any additional comments?

    While we may not be able to cut all processed food out of our lives- it does make you examine what you really want and why- and has helped me make some better choices .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    matthew san diego, CA, United States 05-23-13
    matthew san diego, CA, United States 05-23-13 Member Since 2014

    I am an English teacher in China and can now read and write some Chinese.I have been to 13 countries on 4 continents.I am an avid audiophile

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    "We have been deceived"

    The author points out so many truisms about food.We eat food for taste not nutrition.We have been duped by the industry of food with false advertising and subsidized commodities.I now feel that anything that has been packaged up in a brightly colored jacket,be it a bottle or a bag is suspect of having these insidious three ingredients within its confines.Now I have experimented with things like making my own fruit shakes.I figured out that even the plain yogurt I was using was laden with sugar,so now I simply use plain water.I was shocked by how much less sweet it is.In a crazy world we reach for the convenient options again and again.We have lost the ability to create real,wholesome food and we traded that in to the advertisers who make everything cool and festive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Escondido, CA, United States 05-22-13
    John Escondido, CA, United States 05-22-13 Member Since 2013
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    "My kid hated me"

    My kid was born in 1984... he hated me cause I never bought 'snacks' and the sodas and sweets around the house were rare. Well here he is 29yrs old and me in my late 50's - both thin and pretty... damn I wish I beat this guy to writing Salt Sugar Fat... LOL

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    FatOldBroad 05-11-13
    FatOldBroad 05-11-13 Member Since 2015

    FatOldBroad...lover of mystery/thriller genre and biographies.

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    "Eye-opener on food industry"
    Would you listen to Salt Sugar Fat again? Why?

    Yes! There's so much information in here, I'm sure I'd glean more from multiple listenings.


    What did you like best about this story?

    How the industry has evolved, and the lengths these companies will go in pursuit of the almighty dollar. Not necessarily surprising, but interesting. Invites comparison to Big Tobacco.


    Have you listened to any of Scott Brick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes. I'm a big fan of Scott Brick. He's quite versatile!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    There are some funny/humorous aspects. The most extreme reaction would be my incredulity (followed by 'doh' head slaps at my own naivete) at this industry's business as usual.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank 05-07-13
    Frank 05-07-13
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    "Processed food will kill you"
    Where does Salt Sugar Fat rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    If you have any concern for your future health, and have any sense that what you eat may be connected with that future health then YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Onalee BROOKSVILLE, FL, United States 05-07-13
    Onalee BROOKSVILLE, FL, United States 05-07-13 Member Since 2014

    Avid fan of sci-fi and James Marsters, I use audio books to inspire me to exercise, taking them on morning walks. It's a perfect combo!

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    "Eyeopening!"
    Any additional comments?

    Although at times repetitive, the data presented in this book is astounding and eyeopening! How did our country and our kids come to be hooked on salt, sugar, and fat-laden convenience foods? It wasn't by chance! And the most shocking thing is that the GOVERNMENT has helped the food giants all along the way. Well worth the listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chris 05-05-13
    chris 05-05-13
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    "Eye opening food facts"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Salt Sugar Fat to be better than the print version?

    Updates since the print version


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    none


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    reading


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    cant


    Any additional comments?

    Eye opening and revealing facts regarding the food industry and how they are able to adulterate our foods. Sad and scary facts on what we are eating and what we have become as a society of obese with chronic ailments. This can give you good insight on how that's happened and how to avoid the foods discussed. Interesting from a scientific standpoint add a star if you are a food technologist or chemist.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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