What a read! This book will tell you things you almost intuitively know to be true, but somehow will still manage to blow your mind. The processed food industry is one of the greatest contributors to many of the health crises in our country. The name of the game is profits, and that is achieved a few ways: the products need to be shelf-stable (take out the living, vital nutrients and replace them with preservatives), the products need to be crave-able (in fact, then tend to lead to overeating), and the products need to be produced cheaply.
The key players in the processed food industry aren’t nutritionists. Or chefs. Or farmers. Or anyone who really grasps real food in any way, shape, or form. The real players are marketing geniuses and scientists. Processed food is largely created by chemists (!!), who work to perfect the chemical cocktails so that they taste great, send lots of happy signals to our brain, keep us reaching for more, and have unnaturally long shelf-lives. This is the food that is powering our bodies?! (Note: I got a sense of relief when reading this, because I always had a hard time moderating my food cravings and intake before I switched to a whole foods diet. I mean, who really can eat just one?! But knowing that it was very intentionally designed that way by really smart people made me feel like less of glutton!).
In this book you will find story after story of big companies, political entanglements, marketing strategies, scientific discoveries, and changing social climate in favor of “convenience foods” that have led to a health epidemic in our country of people who are overfed and undernourished. The INSANE levels of salt, sugar, and fat that get pumped into processed foods to make them increasingly delicious and irresistible are wreaking havoc on our bodies. When more money is spent on marketing than the ingredients themselves, lobbying to control labeling laws, and study after study that is funded by the companies themselves to try to defend their products against negative health claims – is it any wonder why Americans don’t know how to properly feed themselves? I won’t go into more detail because I think everyone should read this book — hopefully it will inspire you to continue to make steps to transform the way you eat.