Book Review: Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss (Part 1) — 17 Comments

  1. Thanks for that review, it was fascinating. I’ve found that the more I work out, the more I crave salt instead of sugar, but that one square of chocolate easily turns into more. Safer to limit what comes into the house so it’s not there in weak moments!

  2. I remember you saying a week or so ago how the library wanted the book back! I’m so glad that you decided to write a review on part one. This wasn’t on my tbr list but now it is. Thanks!

  3. And even in kiddo snacks are those words “made from real fruit concentrate.” Now I know a load of baloney. It’s frightening and even though I know that I can sort of control what goes on in our house, if my daughter is at her grandparents all bets are off. Even with daddy. 😉 I haven’t read this one yet but it sounds like it deserves (and needs) all the buzz it is receiving.

  4. I saw the author on The Colbert Report, and his comments about the tobacco companies buying the big food companies and doing exactly what they did to get people hooked on cigarettes by getting people hooked on fat, salt and sugar stunned me. A great review here, Joy.

  5. A yes sugar! From salt and fat most people at least know that they are bad for you. But sugar is still a bit of denial. I have cut out most processed foods of my life. At least for daily cooking 🙂

  6. Lots to think about here. I can see why you’re mad! The average consumer doesn’t stand a chance against what these big corporations are pulling. Didn’t know any of that about juice concentrate. Looking forward to your discussion of the fat and salt sections.

  7. Hi Joy,

    Processed foods are the bain of our modern life in one way or another and avoiding them completely is virtually impossible, because of the myriad ways manufacturers have of fooling us consumers.

    We could all turn vegetarian, but then just look at what the crops in the fields are sprayed with in order for them to have a longer shelf life, or to make them look and taste better!

    We have juice every day, but we would rather have a little less than perhaps we should and make sure that we buy one with no concentrates in it.

    I guess the old stock answer is probably the best one ‘Everything in moderation’ and I think that is probably the root cause of all our problems, we just consume too much and far more than we actually need!!

    I’m afraid that I am guilty as charged!!

    An interesting post this week.


  8. It’s crazy and scary how they hid the truth from us. I don’t eat much processed food at all (hot sauce & mustard being the exceptions), but I hate that I’ve been fooled by the fruit juice scam.

  9. This book is on my to-read list also. I’m glad you learned so much just from the first section! It creeps me out that two major food giants are owned by a tobacco company. I love baking things from scratch but it makes me think more deeply about taking 10 steps away from even cooking with sugar if it that addicting. Funny that we now have to fight a war on on our food! Thanks for such a revealing review and I look forward to part 2 and part 3.

  10. Rats will lunge for cheesecake even after they have been trained to expect an electric shock for doing it.

    SO alarming, yet quite believable if I think about it. I bet there would be similar results if humans were involved in this study.. but I guess that’s the whole point! Argh! So disturbing.

    The last paragraph of your post today is so telling. I agree with you 100%. It is such a huge shame that true home economics has been all but squashed out by the processed food industry and probably the FDA, too.

    Great post, Joy.

  11. I have been hearing about this book eeeeeverywhere. I can’t wait to read it. It reminds me of how I felt after I read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food. Books like this are so enlightening! Thanks for a great review.

  12. Hello, I am 14 years old and I really enjoyed this book. Does anyone have anything to say about the book regarding specific examples of good word choice, theme, organization, or anything else that I could talk about in a paper.

    I will appreciate any feedback.
    Thank you very much

    • I was interested in how the “bad guys” in this book were portrayed as real people, most of whom had really good reasons for what they did, at least in the beginning, when they were developing foods that now seem to me to be pretty much pure evil.

      The review I linked to at Brown Paper said this better. She said: “I was also struck by Moss’s carefully non-judgemental tone which will appeal to a wide range of readers; your howl of outrage will find no echo here.”

      So, you might look out how he manages to be so nonjudgmental about facts that many of us find maddening. I suspect it has something to do with allowing us to see the whole person in a way that we can imagine being in his shoes and faced with the options and information that he had at the time.

      Like I said, I haven’t read the whole book yet, but I’m curious if it’s going to read like 3 separate books or if the last two sections will build on what we learned on the first. If he manages that latter, that organization would be interesting to explore in a paper.

      If your assignment allows you to put in some of your own thoughts, I would want to know how this book changes how you will eat and how you will advise your friends to eat.

      Good luck!

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