Review: Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us
In this book, Michael Moss, a Pulitzer prize-winning investigative reporter for the NY Times, supplies sobering supporting evidence for why it is vital to our well-being to adopt Well Rule #2: Substitute whole food for processed food. Clearly, steady increases in the consumption of processed foods over the past fifty years is the major contributor, along with sedentary living, to growing numbers of persons with diabetes and heart disease, especially Boomers.
As only skilled reporters are able to do, Moss got access to CEOs and other high level managers in the largest industrial food manufacturers in America, and got them to divulge information you’d expect them to keep secret because it is so damning. They are fully aware that they play a role in America’s obesity epidemic and sky-rocketing healthcare costs. Of course, our health is not their problem. Their goal in life is to enrich themselves and their shareholders.
Although hard to believe, they created an almost $1 trillion industry using three simple, inexpensive ingredients – salt, sugar, and fat (mainly hydrogenated vegetable oils). They did this by buying the best and brightest chemists and psychologists, with disarming like ”food technologists” and ” bio-psychologists,” who used state-of-the-art imaging technologies to map our brains to create foods that are addictive, although they prefer the word “crave-able” because it doesn’t have the harsh connotations of addiction. Their rationale for producing this stuff is that they are giving people what they want. However, like the heroin pusher, they forget to mention that they did, and do, use any means possible to make people want it.
What is also stunning in this book is how many high level people getting rich off these foods don’t eat them because they know their products are unhealthy. Even more ironically, several of the CEOs Moss interviewed were actually banned from the very products they manufacture by their doctors .
Unfortunately, Moss also details how the USDA, which should exist to protect us, is totally controlled by the industrial food giants. For this reason, the actual amounts of added sugars do not have to be revealed on the food label because they are a “trade secret” and artificial ingredients are approved willy-nilly with little testing for long-term safety. Of course, this is also why the USDA has supported the proliferation of genetically modified foods. The list goes on and on…
Read Salt Sugar Fat and, the next time you are in the supermarket, remember how they are deliberately hurting you, your family and friends, and even our country.
If you find it hard to shun those foods because they taste so well-engineered, recall this disgusting fact from Katherine Shanahan, MD, in her book Deep Nutrition: “Take a look at the back of a bag of dog or cat food, and here are the ingredients you’ll see: corn meal, soy meal, (occasionally) wheat, partially hydrogenated soy or corn or other vegetable oil, meat and protein meal, and a few synthetic vitamins. But guess what? The animal pushing the shopping cart is buying foods with the same list of ingredients for himself.”
Moss is skeptical that the destructive processed food manufacturers will be stopped any time soon. In addition to controlling the USDA, they have massive amounts of marketing funds and are also able to purchase scientists, when needed, to cast doubt on emerging evidence that processed food is THE cause of many of our expensive and deadly health issues.
However, his closing message is that we can still do something. He writes: “They may have salt, sugar, and fat on their side, but we, ultimately, have the power to make choices. After all, we decide what to buy.”
Buy whole foods.