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Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us Paperback – 2 Jan 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: WH Allen (2 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753541475
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753541470
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 69,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"Michael Moss has brilliantly exposed the systematic venality of Big Food. This book will confirm all your worst suspicions about the lengths big food companies go to to keep us hooked on junk." (Joanna Blythman, bestselling author of Shopped and Bad Food Britain)

"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)

"A mouth-watering, gut-wrenching look at the food we hate to love" (Publishers Weekly)

"A shocking, galvanising manifesto against the corporations manipulating nutrition to fatten their bottom line―one of the most important books of the year" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

"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)

Book Description

Think horse meat is bad? You should try pink slime

An eye-opening and explosive journey into the secretive world of the processed food giants

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover
*A full executive summary of this book is available at newbooksinbrief dot com.

You open a bag of chips intending to eat only a few handfuls. You find the chips tasting quite good, and a few handfuls turns into a few more. Just one more... o.k., last one... definitely the last one. A few minutes later you find yourself staring down at an empty bag. Then your stomach starts to hurt--then your heart. The guilt isn't far behind. Who among us hasn't experienced this at one time or another? This is junk food in a nutshell: it tastes great (practically irresistible) and is very convenient, but if you indulge too much (which sometimes seems all too easy), it's not very good for you. All of this has an easy explanation, it's right there on the label: impressive portions of salt, sugar and fat, the junk food trifecta. Each has its own appeal, and each is very inexpensive (which explains why it's in our food), but over the years each has also been implicated in some of our most common and serious conditions and diseases, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

Unfortunately, the junk food trifecta is not only popping up in our junk food, it is increasingly being featured in virtually all of the processed foods that we eat--from chips and soda, to canned food and prepared meals, to cake and ice-cream. And as salt, sugar and fat have become more common in the foods that we eat, the conditions and illnesses associated with their abuse have reached epidemic proportions. In his new book Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us journalist Michael Moss takes us behind the labels and explores the history and practices of the processed food industry-a story that features the rise of salt, sugar and fat, and the deterioration of our health.
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By Autamme_dot_com TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 6 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover
Society is slowing understanding that there is a downside to the convenience of ready-made, processed food that supermarkets typically sell, just as we now understand the pitfalls with fast food. What is less known is the various "tricks" used to make many of us de facto addicts.

This book, written by a New York Times investigative reporter, details the rapid growth of the (American) processed foods industry and takes a look at the various methods being used to make us want to consumer more and more. It is no accident, it is design. Design of a big business worth over a trillion US dollars a year in just America alone.

Some of the statistics cited are alarming. The average American (note that word - average) will eat over 33 pounds (15 kg) of a fat-laden cheese each year, equivalent to the weight of a small child. Not alarmed yet? How about 70 pounds (31.7kg) of sugar? Or double the amount of salt that we should ingest... and all of this is only from processed food! Of course, a bit of everything can be good for you, but when this means that one in three adults is clinically obese and the problem is still growing you really need to sit up and pay attention.

The author takes a thoughtful look at the problem which is a worldwide issue and examines the role, or possibly collusion, that the processed food industry has been involved in. This is no conspiracy theory-style drama but a matter-of-fact, an articulated consideration of the problem. The role of product development and various food scientists, marketeers and ad men and even industry lobbying efforts are brought together to get us eating more, more, more.

The reader is free to draw their own conclusions and inferences.
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Format: Hardcover
For decades, I have been referring to the title of this book as America's three basic food groups. Salt, sugar and fat are the most abundant additives in food, and their effects are cumulative - the more we eat them, the more we can eat them, and the more want to eat them, so the more we eat them. The result is pandemic obesity and its further unintended consequences - miserable chronic diseases in an age just when we thought we were overcoming them forever. This irony goes unexplored, but the book is packed with evidence of it.

The convenience of processed foods fits with our hurried society. It exacerbates the death of family meals, and encourages eating anywhere, anytime, and basically all day long. That by itself is enough to damn the industry, if traditional family values mean anything. Far more damaging than gay marriage, or abortion, or sexting, processed foods are destroying us, literally, physically. For hundreds of millions of Americans (and soon the world), this is normal. It is the way of life. There are no viable alternatives. This too, however, goes unexplored.

Moss divides the book into the three sections of its title. It contains the usual litany of incredible statistics - like how much of these ingredients the average American ingests annually, and how many billions of pounds the processors produce, but also some interesting developments on the way to perdition:

-Food processors call their customers users, like the drug addicts they want them to become.
-The "bliss point" is used by all of them to scientifically maximize the sugar effect along a bell curve. It allows food engineers to calculate how much sugar a child blisses out on compared to an adult, for example.
-Cereal makers spend twice as much on advertising as on ingredients.
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