Salt, Sugar, Fat

How the Food Giants Hooked Us

Moss, Michael, 1955-

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Salt, Sugar, Fat
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.

Publisher: New York : Random House, [2013]
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781400069804
Branch Call Number: 613.2 M
Characteristics: xxx, 446 p. ; 25 cm.


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Feb 02, 2015
  • CranbrookLibrary rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

While the food industry is hardly a new topic of critique, Michael Moss provides a penetrating insight not just into the impact the modern food processing industry has on people's what people eat, but on why it evolved the way it has.

Sep 25, 2014
  • bibliovore rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

An eye-opener - if this doesn't make you rethink your diet, nothing will!

Sep 25, 2014
  • Dexter_Morgan rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This was a really eye opening book to read. The food manufacturers dont care about the people their selling their wares to. The most important thing for them is how much money their raking in. These manufacturers are just like drug dealers!

Aug 20, 2014
  • bibliotechnocrat rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Enlightening, alarming, frightening. This is a very interesting analysis of the food industry - specifically processed food - that takes the time to understand the perspective of the manufacturers as well as looking at the consequences of their business decisions.

Fat molecules engineered to give the perfect "mouth-feel," scientifically calculated "bliss points" for sugar levels in soft drinks, two to three times the recommended daily allowance for sodium in one convenient entrée... all designed to addict consumers. Quelle surprise! Obesity, diabetes, and more. Worse, the cynical collusion of the FDA, in the pocket of the food giants, promoting some of the worst ingredients. Fittingly, the book ends with Nestle diversifying into health care - so they can make money creating the problem, and then cash in on the outcome. But Moss manages to give the point of view of the industry insiders too. Driven by the bottom line, they are compelled to give consumers what they want. We have seen the enemy, and -at least in part - it is us. You won't be able to keep yourself from reading nutrition labels after putting this book down.

Jul 19, 2014
  • kingtrio9 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I thought this would be just another critique of the food industry but Moss adds so much more interest to the debate and a lot of startling data. It is a very engaging narrative of the power of the food industry on American food culture and health.

Jan 01, 2014
  • hgibbins rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

An excellent book that takes the reader on a journey of discover and really opens their eyes on what the food industry is doing to us, all in the name of profit! The food giants could care less if everybody develops hypertension, or becomes obese as long as they can sell their version of food to them.

Oct 14, 2013
  • mjkedzior rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is a terrific book! You will never look at processed foods the same again! You will always read the labels! Every chapter is an "OMG!"

Oct 13, 2013
  • JM826 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

No matter your size, you need to read this and wake up. Much of what we are conditioned to believe due to repetitious marketing we convince ourselves is 'healthy' but we don't know why because we don't pay attention to the actual source. We hear something enough, we just assume it's true. Heart healthy grains, low fat, fat free, no sugar added, organic, all natural, gluten free... Here's the key to all this... local, simple, fresh. Make it yourself. Read your labels. A LOT of common health issues are due to our not understanding this and trusting labels and advertising to guide us.

Oct 01, 2013
  • kadiesutherland rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A great introduction to the food industry. Will definitely check this out again. This book is for anyone who wonders what goes into their food, who's behind the brand, and the ultimate goal of food companies.

Rather than blame them for their scientific developments, it's important to realize not all people employed by the food giants realized the ramifications of their work. They sought to fill a need for working mothers, bustling fathers, and school children (it's terrifying how these companies aggressively market to children for the purpose of generating lifetime "users").

This book put the trip to the grocery store into perspective. As a consumer, knowing the tricks and the politics used to draw buyers in makes this book a useful read for anyone curious about their seemingly uncontrollable compulsions to purchase a guilty pleasure.

Sep 16, 2013
  • scraphappen rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A huge eye opener for me. Tells you what is done to get the public "addicted" to processed food!!

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Apr 28, 2013
  • AnneDromeda rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

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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Moss, Michael, 1955-
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