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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

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Performance
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  •  
    Trisha Lexington, KY 10-27-13
    Trisha Lexington, KY 10-27-13 Member Since 2010

    Trish

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    "Never want to eat processed food again!"

    This has been one of the best non-fiction books I have read on food. This author presented the information in a interesting manner. Revulsive the practices the big food industries employ to fill their coffers and retain their market shares.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Madeleine SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 10-24-13
    Madeleine SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 10-24-13
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    "Great material"
    If you could sum up Salt Sugar Fat in three words, what would they be?

    Informative, surprising, frightening.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved how it went behind the scenes and not only gave facts about the nutrition of these foods but also facts about the thought processes in the development of them and the marketing behind them.


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

    Haven't listened.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura 09-20-13
    Laura 09-20-13 Member Since 2009

    wasserkill

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A 'Must Read' Book"

    This book is for those who don't prepare all their food from scratch. Read this along with Pandora's Lunchbox. Together both detail what is wrong with our food today and help us understand the obesity crisis.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LongerILiveLessIKnow Pennsylvania 09-12-13
    LongerILiveLessIKnow Pennsylvania 09-12-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "No Shocker: Food Companies Seek Profits."

    Wonderfully researched and well-written, but not the shocker that Fast Food Nation was for some. What Moss shows us is not surprising: profit drives the food processing giants, not concern about its customer's long-term health.

    The most disturbing idea here is that the heavy doses of salt, sugar, and fat repeatedly delivered to children may alter their sense of what food should taste like....And, these children eventually grow up into adults who will only be satisfied by foods pumped with unnatural amounts of salt, sugar, and fat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Salem, OR USA 09-10-13
    Amazon Customer Salem, OR USA 09-10-13 Member Since 2013

    bigreader

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    "Very informative and a litlle shocking."

    This was a great and informative book. It both shocked me about how much we don't know about the food we eat each day and how much the companies don't care that they are killing its citizens. We really are addicted to processed food.
    I would share this book with my friends and relatives.
    The narrator was good, but it felt more like a story narrator and not someone who should share knowledge.
    Great and informative, eye opening. I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pattee Parsons Tulare, CA United States 09-01-13
    Pattee Parsons Tulare, CA United States 09-01-13 Member Since 2005
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    "Everyone Should Read This!"
    Would you listen to Salt Sugar Fat again? Why?

    Yes, this needs to be listened to again to make note of the foods to stay away from, the ones that have absolutely no food value, but just junk.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I find the research and facts found are compelling and some alarming. I should not be surprised, but the giant food manufacturers have no shame in trying to get us to buy total junk for our children. Shame! And our society wonders why Johnny can't read and our learning scores low.
    This book has made me pay more attention to food labels. It is amazing how much sugar is in our processed foods. I will never have another soda as long as I live, ick. This book is EYE-OPENING.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Food Bliss Will Kill You


    Any additional comments?

    This book should be handed out along with pregnancy/baby guides to all new parents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. LaSala NJ 08-30-13
    K. LaSala NJ 08-30-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Informative and shocking"

    An eye opening look into the big food business including how they intentionally trick consumers with shady marketing, how they use scientists to formulate precise equations to make processed foods as addictive, cheap and satisfying as possible so we go back for more and how when the food industry ran into trouble they turned to their friends in the tobacco industry to help them navigate through the obesity crisis...and still come out ahead.

    The supermarket is a battlefield, as the author says. And I will never look at potato chips the same way. Excellent, informative read. Pass the fruit, please.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reecia Thompson Stoglin Arlington, Texas USA 08-01-13
    Reecia Thompson Stoglin Arlington, Texas USA 08-01-13 Member Since 2007

    Re'

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    "Must Read"
    What made the experience of listening to Salt Sugar Fat the most enjoyable?

    This book tells the history of how the food industry has abused our trust. It shows how our health is of no concern to the food industry--it is all about making money!! This book will provoke anger and provide insight!!! This book changed my life and views of food forever.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Salt Sugar Fat?

    Calling a friend and saying, "see I told you Lunchables were trash and I was right!! Here is the proof :-)


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

    Fantastic as usual. I have bought things just because he was the reader! His voice is like no other. He could read nursery rhymes and I would buy them!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Learning that most breakfast cereals are 50% or more SUGAR and how marketing is designed to entice children despite the consequences to their health!


    Any additional comments?

    Everyone should listen to this book especially if you have children!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim United States 07-21-13
    Tim United States 07-21-13 Member Since 2011

    I don't write book reports.

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    "Mmm, Just So Good"

    Unlike other diet books, "Salt Sugar Fat" is strictly informational. There is no hidden agenda on how to change your diet. Other reviewers keep saying that this is a shocking read, or a must read, or will make you sick to your stomach, but it's just useful information on process foods. If you don't want to know what is going into your package meals, don't read this book because your diet and health is your business and you are responsible at what you put in your mouth.

    Many of these books on this topic tries to change your diet by having scare tactics and tries to make you feel guilty, but Michael Moss is just presenting the information on what is on the back of the box. We can only change on how people eat by educating them and not by reporting fear on what we consume.

    I just had strawberry cheesecake flavor ice cream and it was salty, sugary and loaded with fat, all at the same time. I will probably have another scoop because it was so good. I know that the ice cream is not good for me. I am responsible to my own bliss and no fad diets will change at what I consume.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven GRAND RONDE, OR, United States 07-10-13
    Steven GRAND RONDE, OR, United States 07-10-13 Member Since 2014
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    "not what I was expecting"
    What was most disappointing about Michael Moss’s story?

    Long and depressing.


    How could the performance have been better?

    I was looking for alternatives to better eating. Not just the history of all this bad stuff


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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