Salt, Sugar, Fat


Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss


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Book Summary:

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. In the spring of 1999 the heads of the world’s largest processed food companies—from Coca-Cola to Nabisco—gathered at Pillsbury headquarters in Minneapolis for a secret meeting. On the agenda: the emerging epidemic of obesity, and what to do about it. 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.”


Our Cocktail Party Statements:

Aaron: Manipulation of mouths and minds makes millions for megafood companies.

Phil: Salt, Sugar, Fat, I ain’t down with that!

Karin: Betcha can’t each just one! How the food industry is becoming the next tobacco industry.


Our Cocktail Party Index:

What’s this? Explanation of the CPI.