Salt, Sugar, Fat

Salt, Sugar, Fat

How the Food Giants Hooked Us

Book - 2013
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Random House, Inc.
From a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter at The New York Times comes the troubling story of the rise of the processed food industry -- and how it used salt, sugar, and fat to addict us. 

Salt
Sugar Fat is a journey into the highly secretive world of the processed food giants, and the story of how they have deployed these three essential ingredients, over the past five decades, to dominate the North American diet. This is an eye-opening book that demonstrates how the makers of these foods have chosen, time and again, to double down on their efforts to increase consumption and profits, gambling that consumers and regulators would never figure them out. With meticulous original reporting, access to confidential files and memos, and numerous sources from deep inside the industry, it shows how these companies have pushed ahead, despite their own misgivings (never aired publicly). Salt Sugar Fat is the story of how we got here, and it will hold the food giants accountable for the social costs that keep climbing even as some of the industry's own say, "Enough already."

Publisher: Toronto : Signal, c2013
Description: xxx, 446 p. ; 25 cm
ISBN: 9780771057083
Branch Call Number: 338.47664 Mos

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m
mrcholly
Jul 20, 2017

Highly recommended.

a
ALR14
Mar 05, 2017

This was a really in-depth look at America's food industry and everything that happens behind the scenes to get food on the supermarket shelf. I found it fascinating and thought Moss told the information in a easily digestible way.

l
larters
Feb 14, 2017

A horrifying look at the way the industrial food system has steadily shoveled more salt, sugar, and fat into our diets, and the accompanying diminishment in overall public health. It's a long book, but worth a read, as it challenges the convenience mentality that has brought billions in profits to an industry that cares more about the bottom line then their customers' health.

This is why I mostly cook at home, folks.

k
KatieandMini7
Jul 25, 2016

READ couple of chapters; dry but good info

EuSei May 09, 2016

Planetão, I'd be curious to know your idea of ecrl's "world view." How exactly the reviews here contradict ecrl's world view? Care to share?

p
planetTao
May 01, 2016

ecrl - did you read this book? You don't say so but apparently the reviews you read contradict your world view. Thanks for letting us know.

ecrl Feb 25, 2016

From the reviews I read below, it seems this book is about "Big Corporations" getting together and planning how to "kill" their customers. Talk about conspiracy theorists! (Now let's sit back and wait for our friend naturalist to show up with some wiki link contradicting my point, lol!)

b
BevSutton
Nov 11, 2015

A bit repetitive, but filled with details about how processed foods have been deliberately manipulated to make them as addictive as possible.

m
modestgoddess
Oct 10, 2015

Highly recommend this for anyone who is interested in learning, as the subtitle says, how the food giants hooked us. I will never walk around a grocery store again without looking at all the processed foods and thinking, "Why are you trying to kill me?!" Certainly makes one think about food choices. Interesting to note that food execs at the big companies (Kellogg, Kraft etc) don't eat what their companies produce. They are well aware of what absolute crap (can I say that here?!) their products are. Simply fascinating from cover to cover - heartbreaking in places, too. I was trying to take a small measure of comfort from the fact that it's an American book about the American love of fast foods and convenience foods, but my brother put the kibosh on that by telling me that food processors put extra salt in foods made for Canadians, apparently because we love it?! Hoo boy. Nowhere is safe. Shop the outside aisles at the grocery store, avoid the processed stuff, save yourselves!

b
BrownBird46
Aug 07, 2015

I agree with what has been said already by other readers.
This is a well-researched book by an award-winning writer. According to the author, this book is intended as "a wake-up call to the issues and tactics at play in the food industry, to the fact that we are not helpless in facing them down... We, ultimately, have the power to make choices..." Consumer, beware!
Interesting to hear that the food execs in these organisations don't feast on their own products...

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EuSei May 09, 2016

EuSei thinks this title is suitable for 1 years and under

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AnneDromeda Apr 28, 2013

Michael Moss’ *Salt Sugar Fat* is a complex, impressive exposé of the ways the processed food industry manipulates the public and government. It is sharp, comprehensive, entertaining, and incredibly thorough.

To make his case about the bewitching power of processed food, Moss breaks the book down into the three titular categories. Each of the three sections contains some shocking new information about the ingredient in question, how we experience it, and how it is used in processed food to produce the coveted “mouthfeel” (industry term) and flavour that will keep “heavy users” (industry term) coming back for more.

Moss is meticulous in backing up his claims with studies and knowledgeable named sources. It’s surprising how many of the industry insiders are willing to be named, and express reservations on the record about their participation in a system that’s led to poor public health and an obesity epidemic.

What makes this book truly remarkable is that Moss has no special bone to pick with processed food, in and of itself. He makes it plain on several occasions that he loves many of the convenient food options on offer, and he sympathises with food industry scientists when they mourn the metallic, chemical taste of their salt-reduced food offerings. Moss’s goal isn’t to take down the industry or ban all these items.

Rather, this book issues a plea for processed food giants to be more transparent about what their foods actually contain and don’t contain. No more inflated health claims for cereals fortified with more sugar than vitamins. No more bullying the USDA into changing their food guides. No more exploiting the addictive properties of their products without regard for the health of their heavy users. *Salt Sugar Fat* is a call to attention for all foodies, and essential reading for fans of Michael Pollan and Marion Nestle.

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