Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a really interesting history of the processed food industry. I've been reading it for a while and I think about it all the time when I'm at the grocery store or convenience stores. Basically, I was left feeling manipulated, not just by the food companies, but also by our government that's supposed to be safeguarding our health.
Here are just two quotes (of many) that stood out for me and pretty much summarize my thoughts on the whole thing:
The most crucial point to know is that there is nothing accidental in the grocery store. All of this is done with a purpose.
It is, perhaps, not unreasonable...to think of the grocery store as a battlefield, dotted with landmines itching to go off. ...[I]f you accept this, then it becomes all the more apparent why the food industry is so reliant on salt, sugar, and fat. They are cheap. They are interchangeable. They are huge, powerful forces of nature in unnatural food. And yet, for us, knowing all this can be empowering. You can walk through the grocery store and, while the brightly colored packaging and empty promises are still mesmerizing, you can see the products for what they are.
[The author] found that many of the executives I talked to go out of their way to avoid their own products. It got so that I couldn't resist asking everyone I spoke with about their eating habits: John Ruff from Kraft, who gave up sweet drinks and fatty snacks...; Bob Lin from Frito-Lay, who avoids potato chips, along with most everything that is heavily processed; Howard Moskowitz, the soft drink engineering whiz who declines to drink soda. Geoffrey Bible not only stopped smoking his company's cigarettes; when he oversaw Kraft, he works just as hard at avoiding anything that would send his cholesterol surging.
Before reading this book, I had already significantly decreased the amount of processed food I was eating, but this book has compelled me to work even harder at it. I definitely recommend everyone check this one out.
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