Quotes from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us

Michael Moss ·  446 pages

Rating: (21.6K votes)


“Some of the largest companies are now using brain scans to study how we react neurologically to certain foods, especially to sugar. They've discovered that the brain lights up for sugar the same way it does for cocaine.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us


“They may have salt, sugar, and fat on their side, but we, ultimately, have the power to make choices. After all, we decide what to buy. We decide how much to eat.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us


“Each year, food companies use an amount of salt that is every bit as staggering as it sounds: 5 billion pounds.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us


“Thus, the sweetened breakfast was born, as was a core industry strategy that food processors would deploy forevermore...Just swap out the problem component for another that wasn't, at the moment, as high on the list of concerns.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us


“Many of the Prego sauces—whether cheesy, chunky, or light—have one feature in common: The largest ingredient, after tomatoes, is sugar. A mere half cup of Prego Traditional, for instance, has more than two teaspoons of sugar, as much as two-plus Oreo cookies, a tube of Go-Gurt, or some of the Pepperidge Farm Apple Turnovers that Campbell also makes.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us



“If she [Mrs. Homemaker] didn't know how much she needed convenience, it was up to inventors like Clausi to show her the way.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us


“The notion that some foods behave like narcotics goes back at least twenty years in scientific circles.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us


“Using high math and computations, he engineers them, with one goal in mind: to create the biggest crave. “People say, ‘I crave chocolate,’ ” Moskowitz told me. “But why do we crave chocolate, or chips? And how do you get people to crave these and other foods?”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us


“In a key--but commonly overlooked--aspect of obesity, weight gain can be caused by the slightest increases in consumption, if it continues day in and day out.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us


“the inventors and company executives don’t generally partake in their own creations. Thus the heavy reliance on focus groups with the targeted consumer.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us



“...we eat not so much for pleasure as we do to ward off an awful feeling...The fear of hunger is deeply rooted, and food manufacturers know well how to push the buttons that evoke this fear.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us


“Inevitably, the manufacturers of processed food argue that they have allowed us to become the people we want to be, fast and busy, no longer slaves to the stove. But in their hands, the salt, sugar, and fat they have used to propel this social transformation are not nutrients as much as weapons—weapons they deploy, certainly, to defeat their competitors but also to keep us coming back for more.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us


“When consumers tried to improve their health by shifting to skim milk, Congress set up a scheme for the powerful dairy industry through which it has quietly turned all that unwanted, surplus fat into huge sales of cheese—not cheese to be eaten before or after dinner as a delicacy, but cheese that is slipped into our food as an alluring but unnecessary extra ingredient. The toll, thirty years later: The average American now consumes as much as thirty-three pounds of cheese a year.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us


“Given these proclivities on the part of food companies—competitive, beholden to Wall Street, and in utter denial about their culpability—an intervention by Washington would certainly seem to be in order.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us


“This is not some big corporate plot to fatten up kids. This is what kids want. There are very few kids out there who will eat rice cakes and tofu.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us



“The transition of food to being an industrial product really has been a fundamental problem,” Willett said. “First, the actual processing has stripped away the nutritional value of the food. Most of the grains have been converted to starches. We have sugar in concentrated form, and many of the fats have been concentrated and then, worst of all, hydrogenated, which creates trans-fatty acids with very adverse effects on health.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us


“Yet many of the biggest slaughterhouses would sell their meat only to hamburger makers like Cargill if they agreed not to test their meat for E. coli until it was mixed together with shipments from other slaughterhouses.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us


“The group’s executive director, Michael Jacobson, was trained as a microbiologist at MIT, and a few years after the group started up, Jacobson’s interest in salt was ignited. He had just finished a project examining the preservatives, colorings, and chemical processing aids being used by food companies in making their products. As scary as some of these might have seemed, he spotted the far more tangible and pressing target of salt. He saw how the country’s rates”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us


“In the end, that is what this book is about. It will show how the makers of processed foods have chosen, time and again, to double down on their efforts to dominate the American diet, gambling that consumers won’t figure them out. It will show how they push ahead, despite their own misgivings. And it will hold them accountable for the social costs that keep climbing even as some of their own say, “Enough already.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us


“In her most recent project, she tested 356 children, ages five to ten, who were brought to Monell to determine their “bliss point” for sugar31. The bliss point is the precise amount of sweetness—no more, no less—that makes food and drink most enjoyable. She was finishing up this project in the fall of 2010 when she agreed to show me some of the methods she had developed. Before we got started, I did a little research on the term bliss point itself. Its origins are murky, having some roots in economic theory. In relation to sugar, however, the term appears to have been coined in the 1970s by a Boston mathematician named Joseph Balintfy, who used computer modeling to predict eating behavior. The concept has obsessed the food industry ever since.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us



“cheese and pizza contributed more than 14 percent of the saturated fat being consumed.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us


“So the dentist took a trip to his local supermarkets, brought seventy-eight brands of cereal back to his lab, and proceeded to measure the sugar content of each with damning precision. A third of the brands had sugar levels between 10 percent and 25 percent. Another third ranged up to an alarming 50 percent, and eleven climbed even higher still—with one cereal, Super Orange Crisps, packing a sugar load of 70.8 percent. When each cereal brand was cross-referenced with TV advertising records, the sweetest brands were found to be the ones most heavily marketed to kids during Saturday morning cartoons.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us


“red meat that has been processed into bacon, bologna, hot dogs, sandwich meats, and other products with added salt is best avoided altogether.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us


“Well, that’s what the consumer wants, and we’re not putting a gun to their head to eat it. That’s what they want. If we give them less, they’ll buy less, and the competitor will get our market. So you’re sort of trapped.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us


“As he spoke, Mudd clicked through a deck of slides—114 in all—that were projected on a large screen behind him. This would be straight-up, in-your-face talk, no sugar-coating on his part. The headlines and phrases and figures were nothing short of staggering. More than half of American adults were now considered overweight, with nearly one-quarter of the population—40 million adults—carrying so many extra pounds that they were clinically defined as obese. Among children, the rates had more than doubled since 1980, the year when the fat line on the charts began angling up, and the number of kids considered obese had shot past 12 million. (It was still only 1999; the nation’s obesity rates would climb much higher.) “Massive social costs estimated as high as $40–$100 billion a year,” announced one of Mudd’s slides in bright, bold lettering.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us



“If you mapped categories of food advertising, especially advertising to kids, against the Food Guide Pyramid, it would turn the pyramid on its head,” he”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us


“showing the rest of the industry just how easy it was to influence America’s eating habits.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us


“Many of the Prego sauces—whether cheesy, chunky, or light—have one feature in common: The largest ingredient, after tomatoes, is sugar.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us


“India, where a surging rate of obesity is now worrying health care officials as much as malnutrition”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us


“America had yet seen—that is, until the public caught on and the lean, ammonia-processed beef came to be known as “pink slime.”
― Michael Moss, quote from Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us



About the author

Michael Moss
Born place: The United States
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