Book Review: Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Michael Moss takes a detailed dive into the history of the processed food industry. He describes how companies such as Kraft and Nestle scientifically designed their food to be addictive. Along the way, little concern was given to nutrient density or food quality.

The obesity epidemic is something we are all aware of. It now seems very clear that one of the prime reasons for this has been the rise of the processed food industry. Our grandmothers and all of the generations before were not popping down their local supermarket on a regular basis, stocking up on packaged food.

Reading this book and looking back through my weight journey, it helped me understand some of the issues I have now. It helped me realise that for the majority of my life, I would have been under nourished and over stressed.

Much of the food I used to eat for the first 30 years of my life would have come from packets or fast food. Not only did this diet lack the most important muscle tissue repairing macronutrient protein. It was also devoid of essential micronutrients to help repair cells and other body tissue, whilst being high in blood glucose spiking simple carbohydrates

As a young man these deficiencies alone are not enough to cause long term damage. But when you throw in the chemically produced unnatural additives these food companies use in their products, my stress cup would have been overflowing. Harmful free radicals would have flooded my system, building up over time to cause chronic long term stress.

Some of the actions of these companies are astonishing. In 100 years time, we will look back at what these companies did to the human race in the 2nd half of the 20th century and beyond, and shake our heads in disbelief. It is astonishing to think our parents were hoodwinked into believing this food was healthy, when there had been no long term generational studies, and the companies themselves knew the damage their ingredients were doing.

Fortunately stories like this are helping big food companies change their ways, but there is still a long way to go. It would be nice to think, as the cost of coldchain door to door logistic services continues to fall, we are on the verge of a new way to feed ourselves. Food bought directly from farms with ethically raised animals, with no artificial additives or hormones in their feed, as well as fruit and vegetables locally grown in pesticide free crops.

This book is well worth a read as it clearly explains the terrible corporate greed which has governments in the palm of its hands. The only way to force these companies to change their ways is to boycott them and switch to buying whole foods, with meat and dairy coming from sustainable ethical farming practices. 

There is a cost problem which needs to be tackled, as these higher quality foods are more expensive to buy, particularly in Hong Kong. The more people who can make these changes, the faster these prices will come down, forcing the big food companies to focus on quality rather than quantity and the dollar. Consumer will be the true driver towards this change.

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