Monday, August 05, 2013

Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us

When microbiologist Michael Moss was investigating E. Coli outbreaks in the food system, he was alerted to the fact that he might be more shocked to learn about what the food companies intentionally put into our food. So began his research into the three most important ingredients in processed food, which are featured in the title of his book, Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us.

The book begins with a description of a secret meeting of the executives from processed food companies to discuss the effects of their food on the health and wellness of their customers. Up for debate was whether they can be considered culpable for the food choices of other people. This is what the people want, right? It turns out the answer to this question is complicated. Yes, humans are hardwired to crave these three ingredients, but in truth the food industry has researched and formulated their recipes to specifically target these cravings and hook people on flavors that are not found in nature. Moss explains the “bliss point” formula that companies use to hook children on sugary and salty products at a very young age.

Anyone who is interested in the business behind what ends up on grocery store shelves and our plates should check out Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us. The book is very readable and the narrator of the audiobook gives life to Moss's investigative journalism. Download it from OverDrive, and educate yourself to make better food choices while at the gym!

Fans of long form investigative food journalism should also check out Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser.

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