Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Salt Sugar Fat

Most of us would think that food that came from lab would be disgusting, and yet we eat it anyway. Jello, Lays potato chips, sodas, and nearly all pre-packaged convenience foods are made this way. The book Salt, Sugar, Fat is all about How the Food Giants Hooked Us.

Michael Moss explores the big business of food. There are a lot of interesting tidbits on how these companies conduct food tasting experiments to discover how much salt, sugar, and/or fat a consumer can tolerate. Even more interesting is they also look to see what makes us crave more. They then manipulate their food products to not only satisfy us, but to get us to buy more. At other times food scientists try to solve a problem to make a food more convenient or less expensive. Jello and pudding are two examples of a food product designed to create an instant food that use to take much more time to prepare. Other products have a constant shifting of ingredients depending on the price of food commodities available.

Michael Moss provides an expose of several food products and and food giants, which is very interesting. He suggests one real solution to the problem. The power is in the consumer to buy or not buy. If we don't buy a product, the food giants will change their product until we do. We are starting to see a backlash against this kind of food production. MacDonald's sales are down. Other food companies are removing high-fructose corn syrup and using "real" sugar (though even this is highly suspect)*. There is growth in organic and natural products. Vigilance on the part of the consumer is important because these changes may not always mean what we assume.

The book is a worthwhile read and will make you think twice about shopping the aisles of a grocery store.

Book Rating: 4 stars

*I recently bought a can of Betty Crocker frosting that proudly claim to have removed high-fructose corn syrup. But if you read the ingredients, it still contains corn syrup, which is misleading.

The books I select for review are books which I personally select from my local library. I do not receive any reimbursement from authors or publishers or free books. I do provide links to Amazon as a convenience to the readers of this blog. I do earn a small referral pittance which is not even enough to buy a soda.

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