Summary

A Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter at the New York Times, Moss delivers an indictment of the processed-food industry. In fact, hes been doing that pretty regularly in the pages of the Times, with challenges to USDA Food Safety Practices and stories of tainted meat that make your stomach clutch. Here, he takes the Big Three-salt, sugar, and fat-and shows how the food industry has used these basic, inexpensive ingredients to get us actually addicted to food we dont need in our systems and is slowly killing us. Read after lunch.


From a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter at "The New York Times "comes 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 worlds 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. Increasingly, the salt-, sugar-, and fat-laden foods these companies produced were being linked to obesity, and a concerned Kraft executive took the stage to issue a warning: There would be a day of reckoning unless changes were made. This executive then launched into a damning PowerPoint presentation--114 slides in all--making the case that processed food companies could not afford to sit by, idle, as children grew sick and class-action lawyers lurked. To deny the problem, he said, is to court disaster. When he was done, the most powerful person in the room--the CEO of General Mills--stood up to speak, clearly annoyed. And by the time he sat down, the meeting was over. Since that day, with the industry in pursuit of its win-at-all- costs strategy, the situation has only grown more dire. Every year, the average American eats thirty-three pounds of cheese (triple what we ate in 1970) and seventy pounds of sugar (about twenty-two teaspoons a day). We ingest 8,500 milligrams of salt a day, double the recommended amount, and almost none of that comes from the shakers on our table. It comes from processed food. Its no wonder, then, that one in three adults, and one in five kids, is clinically obese. Its no wonder that twenty-six million Americans have diabetes, the processed food industry in the U.S. accounts for $1 trillion a year in sales, and the total economic cost of this health cri