Sunday, May 24, 2015

Book Review: Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss

Non-Fiction.  I was going to read this one on my own after I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle but didn't get to it and then saw it was coming up for the Real World Reads book club at CLPL for February 2015, so I waited and read it for that discussion.  If you care even remotely about what you and your family put into your mouth, why we have had this meteoric rise in GI issues/diabetes/other illnesses, you should definitely read this book.  I had some inkling about how bad processed food is for us before I read this, but afterward, me and everybody else at book club, were totally shocked and appalled at what we have been sold, served, and convinced was good for us over the last 60 years or so.

This book explains why there is so much salt, sugar, and fat in our diets, why it was designed to be there, why we need to run away screaming from processed foods, why we sacrificed our health for convenience and working too much, and the author explains it so well, in a matter of fact and non-preaching manner.  This book is filled with visits and talks with the big companies, the food scientists who develop this stuff, and the reasons why we crave this stuff both genetically and because we have been eating it for years and expect it.  He does not rant and rave but lays it all out there and supports it with history and facts.  I appreciate that, I want the truth and not somebody just trying to pass on/sell the latest diet fad disguised as a book about real nutrition.  He talks about the very real items we buy from the grocery and the very real shopping we do on a daily basis.

I always wonder why all the food shows criticize the cooks on them to add more salt, and add more fat to the dishes "because it's flavor," and I see why now.  Our palettes are all out of whack.  These items are jam packed into everything.  I personally cannot even eat regular chips because it is like a salt lick, and now I know it is because we have been pumping that stuff up for years, to the point now where no person who doesn't add massive amounts of salt into their diet could possibly eat them without revulsion.  And cheese.  I love cheese, but I had no idea the reasons for putting it on everything now instead of having a little bit of the good stuff on the side, as a treat, had to do with the dairy industry, government excess and nowhere to put it: I kid you not, they had caves full of the stuff and nowhere to put it so they figured out how to have all those ads on T.V. and billboards to get us to consume it.  Cheese was not supposed to be on everything and it never used to be that way in the past.

Anyway, lest I make this more of a frightening tangent, read this book, if you have concerns about nutrition, if you have GI issues and want to improve them, diabetes, etc. and if you want to get away from the processed stuff.  Even if you think you know, trust me you do not, our lives are designed around this stuff and we missed it, they sneak it in there beautifully by giving us huge chemical names we don't recognize, like 14 different names for sugar.  My coffee creamer now frightens me to death.  And it should.

And so it goes...

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