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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 (1116 )
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  •  
    Linda 04-17-13
    Linda 04-17-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Wow! Informative & revealing!"
    Where does Salt Sugar Fat rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This rates at of the top for informational books. I had always suspected we as a public have been groomed to improve profits for the industrial food industry. This is an enlightening journey into the understanding of how the industry works. It gives us as a community the insight to make heathier choices and realize that we as consumers have been unkowingly falling into their increasing profit tactics for years.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Scott Brick is an excellant narrator. He brings the book to life with his inflections and emotion in reading this critical information. If I were to try to read this book in print, it would not have the same impact. Scott takes a complicated subject and brings understanding and clarity so we can make choices for ourselves.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claudia 03-25-13
    Claudia 03-25-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Buy food at a supermarket? then a must read!"
    If you could sum up Salt Sugar Fat in three words, what would they be?

    The new food groups: SSF


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

    The forethought that food companies have given to snare the unsuspecting customer into becoming "obese".


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

    n/a


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    What not to eat and where not to shop for my food.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sabre Jet Colorado Springs, Co USA 03-21-13
    Sabre Jet Colorado Springs, Co USA 03-21-13 Member Since 2012
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    "I'll never drink another Coke"
    What made the experience of listening to Salt Sugar Fat the most enjoyable?

    I did not get bored. I backed it up if I thought I missed something. It moved quickly. Very interesting.


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

    It's just an expose. It doesn't sound like the author is really slamming all of these companies it is exposing, it just feels like you are privy to being there at every private meeting among the money grabbers. They don't care about humanity, in my opinion. They care about money. It's a free country. They can do that. But this book has equipped me with some insight to see what they are doing, and not fall victim to it. It's eye opening. It will help me feed myself and my family more thoughtfully, not that I have ever been one to gorge myself with any of this fast food stuff, Fritos, Hot Pockets, etc., but it seems that even the stuff you think might not be so bad, is so bad. I've heard it, but it didn't register. Now I don't feel so stupid for falling into their grip. They have many scientists who have figured out the best way to "hook" the best of us. We all have free choice. This book is going to help me make better choices.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erin TRENTON, NJ, United States 03-21-13
    Erin TRENTON, NJ, United States 03-21-13 Member Since 2012
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    "If you enjoy eating, you should read this book!"

    Great book. An eye opener and very informative. An excellent choice for anyone on a diet, thinking about losing weight, or just interested in simple choices they can make to improve the general health of their family.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Saven 03-09-13
    Greg Saven 03-09-13
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    "Another good reminder of our poison food supply."

    There is nothing "shocking" about the information presented in this book. If the fact that "food" corporations... I mean the "substances that we shovel into our gluttonous pie holes" corporations are not acting in our best interest is surprising to you, then you are naive.

    However, it is an interesting listen. One should listen to as many books of this nature as one can, and as often as one can, so as to be reminded to stay on the right path. The "substances that we shovel into our gluttonous pie holes" corporations are frighteningly powerful and are unfortunately winning the war against good health.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denis Torrance, CA, United States 04-01-13
    Denis Torrance, CA, United States 04-01-13

    Business owner, optimist, father of two. Want to make the world a better place and a dent in the universe.

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    "Mostly very good"

    The book was very good mostly.
    In the middle it kind of get boring, but the story picked up at the end.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee LOUISVILLE, KY, United States 03-18-13
    Lee LOUISVILLE, KY, United States 03-18-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Life-changing information, appropriate reader"
    Would you listen to Salt Sugar Fat again? Why?

    Yes. To be reminded that the food processing industry is indirectly poisoning us.


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

    YES. This is much more to Mr. Brick's style than, say, a sci-fi narrative. He relies on his 'sing-song' speaking technique (phoning it in) too much for thriller, etc. But for non-fiction, he's just great.


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

    Yes. The information about Lunchables. I actually started an 'all lunchables' diet once...so uninformed.


    Any additional comments?

    Great Book. Recommending it to friends.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Craig Yamasaki 03-25-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Good start to Interesting Series"

    I enjoyed the twist on the old assassin genre with a Japanese American "hero". Somewhat formulaic tie-up for a book plot ending, but not unsatisfying, given the hints that there's more to come, and allows for a return of the "lost love". Even though, I thought to myself, "Well, it had to end this way, given his profession. (a necessity to be "the loner"), hence the loss of the newly found love object), It was a good enough ending, to consider trying one more in the series. I'm surprised at the multiple voices playing the lead AND the mixed reviews of the reader, both good and bad for someone I thought did an outstanding job of reading the lead? Weird to see such disparate reviews over someone I would have given and DID give 5 stars for Performance.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
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