Salt Sugar Fat

  • by Michael Moss
  • Narrated by Scott Brick
  • 14 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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


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)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
Read full review

- Michael

Shocking Must Read!

The point that is made over and over - that the obesity epidemic was scientifically engineered to get the exact results it has produced, i.e. sell a lot of processed food with no concern for health - is devastating to whatever crumb of credibility the food industry has left. The research that Michael Moss presents I found to be comprehensive and convincing. I hope parents take the time to listen to this and think of how to change the behaviors that "convenience" foods have instilled in the tastes of our kids. It is worth the time and the credit. Otherwise, we are out gunned in the fight.

On a purely personal note, I find the narration slightly overly conspiratorial and breathless. But I got used to it after awhile.
Read full review

- Margaret

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-26-2013
  • Publisher: Random House Audio