Five Ugly Things We’ve Learned from “Salt Sugar Fat”

Filed under: Food Happenings,You, Me, and Food |

OurFoodNews has been reading Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss. If you read it carefully, it’s a slow read. But we have to speak out today, even though we’re just half way into this terrific book.

Here’s the ugly truth that we’ve learned so far.

1. Anyone interested in the food they eat and why they eat it [and you don’t know, yet, why you eat it] must read this book.

2. Our bodies can NEVER get enough fat. Sugar and salt we may tire of for a timeā€¦ but not fat: not today, not tomorrow, not one hour from now. Whether we can see the fat we’re eating dripping from the chicken, swirling in the spaghetti, or whether we don’t even know it’s “in there,” our bodies are ready for more as soon as we finish.

3. Sugar has infiltrated nearly every food sold to us in America. This is not an accident. The food processors did this by calculation and design. Why? Because sugar is irresistible and the food manufacturers are in constant pursuit of our taste buds’ “bliss point” — that special sweet spot that makes us swoon and yearn for more.

4. What we eat every day is, by and large, messed with. It doesn’t come straight from a garden or even a farm anywhere near us — and it’s not coming to us “as is.” By the time we get it, our food has been added to, altered, and adulterated. We eat what the food manufacturers want us to eat. In short, “Be awares or be theirs.”

5. The food situation in this country is complicated and where we are now is the result of many unrelated — but fateful — political and industrial turns of fate. Take processed cheese, for example. We’ve got Velveeta and Philadelphia Cream Cheese and CheeseWhiz because in the 1930s, Congress decided to support the dairy industry by promising to purchase every drop of milk they could produce .. no matter what. So they produced a LOT of it.. so much that, until the 1980s, the excess was being kept underground in a limestone mine near Kansas City. From this over-abundance of a good [and extraordinarily costly] thing, came a determination to figure out how to use all this excess milk. Enter the food manufacturers who, through a series of serendipitous events, now bring us “processed cheese.” You know you love it.

24cover-sfSpan-246x300 And this is just in the first 205 pages of the book. We’ve got 157 pages to go.

We’re sorry. We couldn’t wait. This is big. And The New York Times is right: We feel so sorry for the public.

Stay tuned …

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