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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.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Michael on 03-03-13
This is all too real, and YOU are the victim.
There are times when you listen to horror audiobooks for sheer listening enjoyment.
In this case, it's all too real, and you are the victim.
Moss is, essentially, an industry whistleblower. A food industry whistleblower, to be precise. And what he reveals is something many of us suspected, but is no less dramatically disturbing.
Basically the food industry is creating and adding extremely addictive chemicals to processed foods of all types, with the single intent to get you to buy more, eat more, and repeat ad nauseum. Salt, sugar and fat additives are manipulated at the molecular level to cause the pleasure centers of the consumer's brain (the very same pleasure centers affected by heroin addicts) to dramatically respond to and become addicted to the taste of the grocery store foods you eat, causing you to again, buy more, eat more, thus fattening yourself as well the food industry's (and the health insurance industry's) sizable wallets.
These additives are now causing a generation of pre-teen illnesses once only seen in the very elderly, and causing the soon to retire baby boomers to face illnesses that don't have to be endured.
We have placed our trust in the food industry, quickly swallowing, literally, what we're told. It's time to wake up, to realize that trust has been nightmarishly broken, and our very health and lives are in danger. And the food industry couldn't care less.
These reveals aren't speculation, but facts backed up by insider company documentation, with more discovered on a daily basis. The sheer amount of proven conclusions are stunning, and the result is a national disaster. Moss was recently on the Oz show, among others, and is spreading the word. It's sobering, and it's scary, to state it plainly.
I can speak solidly on this audiobook's conclusions, having once weighed 390 pounds and endured a horrible physical lifestyle. I began to do the research, and discovered much speculation regarding what Moss has now proven to be fact. It disturbed me so much, that it changed my life, and I went on a strict program of healthier foods, additional water intake, and walking daily. As the processed foods remains washed out of my body, I began to lose a dramatic amount of weight, my health returned, and I felt better than I had in a very long time. I've kept the weight off, and enjoy my life immensely. I'm living proof that these processed foods can damage you, and that it's not too late to change.
Dear Audible listener, note the star rating I've given this book. VERY FEW of my reviews garnish such a positive recommendation. I cannot help by make this my most highly recommended listen thus far for 2013. And when you listen, I'm confident that you'll agree.
I appreciate that you've taken the time to read this review. Now, take the time to learn the truth about what you eat, and what it's doing to you.
Stop being the victim.
143 of 150 people found this review helpful
By Douglas C. Bates on 03-19-13
The Smoking Gun on the Obesity Epidemic
If you want to know what caused the obesity epidemic, here it is!
Sugar, Salt, Fat is about how the processed food industry figured out how to use sugar, salt, and fat to make processed foods taste more than just good, but to make them something close to addictive. With this technology, they could make cheap, unnutritious foods taste good, and use the resulting high margins to fund advertising to drive demand. The food industry also made these foods more convenient than cooking. They even played a role in killing off home economics in the schools to ensure the next generation would not know how to cook.
Oh, one little side-effect that the industry needs to sweep under the rug: because these processed foods are so unlike foods found in nature, the body body can't properly gauge when these foods make the body full -- causing people to consume far more calories than they need.
Some interesting angles to the story are the involvement of the tobacco industry, such as Phillip Morris’s acquisition of food companies; and the healthy lifestyles pursued by the food industry executives, who eat their own products far more sparingly than the general public does.
This is not rocket science, but it’s great investigative journalism. It may be the best investigative journalism about the food industry since Upton Sinclair's work a century ago about food impurities. Yes, that good; that important.
One minor annoyance is that the narrator, Scott Brick, over dramatizes. Brick mostly narrates fiction, which he should probably stick to. He was perhaps chosen because he did an excellent narration of The Omnivore’s Dilemma (another great book for folks concerned about modern food), but that book was more of a memoir, making it a better fit with his narration style. Sugar, Salt, Fat is pure investigative journalism. The emotional level of Brick’s reading doesn’t fit with this genre.
31 of 32 people found this review helpful