Customer Review

120 of 151 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable and informational read!, January 29, 2013
This review is from: Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us (Hardcover)
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This book was very well reseached and written, as well as very interesting, but was not exactly what I thought it was going to be.

This book delved into the histories of different food companies. Told about the people who started the companies, and the problems they had along the way. It also tells of problems that the companies had through the years, in trying to keep up with (and surpass) the other food companies, all of which have now turned into huge conglomerates. There are people who tried to change the way things were done, and many who were able to make many good changes.

He included information regarding the pleasure centers of the brain when certain foods are eaten, which I found very intriguing. He also told about the way the companies do taste tests with people, to come up with the proper mix of ingredients for the best taste of the products.

The problem with the three big ingredients is, if you reduce or take any of them out, the product is pretty much inedible. So they're stuck. If they make it healthier, they're not going to make the sales. Even though people realize these things aren't good for them, it doesn't make the products taste okay if the ingredients are adjusted downwards. Additionally, the industry is very cutthroat. If one tries to adjust the ingredients downwards a little, the sales will just go to the other companies.

The question of convenience is very important. We don't have the same society we used to when mothers stayed home and cooked everything. After working hard all day, it's extremely hard to go in a kitchen and cook and clean every night, so these products are used really often for different meals and snacks.

So the question becomes, should government REGULATE the amounts of ingredients that can be used. I'm very divided on that issue. Especially when one sees how corporations seem to rule most of the arms of the government. There just doesn't seem to be an easy fix.

Several years ago I stopped eating pretty much all processed food, and gag on most of it I taste anymore. But the big three he talks about, the fat, sugar and salt, were not what drove me away from the processed food. It was the other stuff! The MSG and the aspartame and the hydrolyzed vegetable protein, the BHA and BHT, the nitrates, and all those other wonderful things that give people cancer. The high fructose corn syrup, the GMOs. Most of these ingredients were not even touched on in the book, which is where it varied from what I thought it would be. The research I have done on the above items makes me not even worry about the big three!

I particularly enjoyed the histories of Kellog and Battle Creek and Kraft. There was very interesting info on the companies that were taken over by Phillip Morris.

I was extremely surprised that these companies and people opened up to the author. I hope he will consider doing a followup book with the lesser known but just as, if not more so, dangerous ingredients in processed foods.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 31, 2013 5:42:05 AM PST
H. Bembridge says:
But high-fructose corn syrup really is one of the major "sugar" components. Few products have plain old sugar listed as an ingredient. (In fact, the new fad is to label things 100% pure cane sugar.) Doesn't he mention HFCS? And aspartame and other sweeteners were also in response to people's concerns about sugar. At any rate, thanks for the review. I'm looking forward to reading this book.

Posted on Jan 31, 2013 7:31:25 AM PST
Sean Prophet says:
You worry that the "corporations" can't be regulated. Well of course they can't so long as they're treated as persons, and allowed to spend unlimited lobbying/advertising funds.

We'll never get food, fuel, drugs, health care, the military or the environment being run for public benefit if we continue to protect the profits of the few. Don't succumb to their narrative about the government being the "arm of the corporations." Change it! Move to Amend the Constitution and overturn Citizens United. Public funding of all political campaigns. Shut down K-street.

Posted on Jan 31, 2013 12:29:22 PM PST
K. Guerrette says:
Nice reivew. The right fats, moderate salt (admittedly ill defined), and sugar that is naturally occuring and eaten with the other macronutrients (ex. fiber) in the "whole food" is fine. Your strategy of eating whole, aka non-processed, foods is the way to go. Our family has mostly adopted that lifestyle as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2013 1:05:59 PM PST
Mir says:
Yes, he mentions HFCS and concentrated fruit sugar. Not as in depth individually. I have noticed on labels sugars get divided (so there might be FIVE sugars in a list), and that way they keep 'sugar" from being the first ingredient (as in the main one). I think that one gov't requirement would help. IF there are multiple sugars, the ingredient must be listed as a composite: SUGAR (HFCS, sucrose, concentrated fruit sugar). That way any product whose number one ingredient is sugar would be "outed".
Artificial sugars were mentioned, yes, and their own effects. But not in depth, and not individually in any meaningful way. After all, the segment is SUGAR (and the derivatives thereof). The artificial sweeteners are not sugar, per se.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2013 4:31:09 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 31, 2013 4:31:47 PM PST
feemeister says:
To H. Bembridge: I know, I really miss the old days of pure old cane sugar! To me, the foods tasted MUCH better back then, when they used the real sugar instead of the high fructose crap. He touches on HFCS a bit, but not nearly as much as I would. He doesn't go into all the really bad stuff they've found out about it. And the ASPARTAME just slays me! As bad as it is for you, and they throw it out there for CHILDREN! To me, this book did not delve nearly deep enough into the really horrible things that are out there in our foods that are killing people. Not just causing heart problems and diabetes, but also so many known carcinogens. They don't care! You are very welcome for the review; I'm really glad you liked it! Thank you!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2013 4:42:10 PM PST
feemeister says:
To Sean Prophet: Oh Sean! I didn't even DARE to get started on the corporate takeover of the country! The banksters, the oil tycoons, big pharma, the medical and dental nazis who want to poison us to death! I want the Fed gone, the Constitution restored to its rightful place, Monsanto obliterated, the huge conglomerates blasted to the pieces of the nice companies we USED to have, and free magnetic energy for all. And organic food to be more the norm, so it will go down in price! And plenty of new jobs for people, helping to develop and build magnetic energy systems. How cool would THAT be!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2013 4:47:05 PM PST
feemeister says:
To K. Guerrette: Thank you! I've noticed that when you start eating the good foods, it doesn't take very much time before you just start feeling SO much better! More energy, not nearly as ''creaky'' and you just feel like a whole new person. I REALLY wish they would label the GMOs. It worked for transfats, so why not for GMOs? They are so dangerous, and being snuck into everything in so many ways. I guess we'll have to wait and see when Monsanto starts buying up the food companies! The good foods really help you so much! I have a VitaMix and LOVE throwing stuff in there. I got a refurbished one; it's worth it's weight in gold!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2013 4:52:53 PM PST
feemeister says:
To Mir: I like your idea, but let's add one thing! When they list the sugars in the parentheses, they have to NUMBER them! Let's make it bloody OBVIOUS how many of them are in there. You know what TOTALLY horrified me years ago, was when I saw that saccharin was put in toothpastes. When I read that, I took my brand new tube and threw it away. You really soak anything that's in your mouth like that into your bloodstream quickly! So let's all enjoy this WELL KNOWN CARCINOGEN in the toothpaste we give our kids! No wonder everything tastes so nasty after you brush your teeth! That was my eye opener on the way they sneak poisons in innocent seeming things!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2013 7:13:33 AM PST
Mark Twain says:
They do quantify the amount of sugar. It's up top where it says 31 grams of sugar per serving.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 11, 2013 9:08:50 AM PDT
E. Kelch says:
Great idea for re-listing sugar!
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