Instaread Summary of Salt Sugar Fat How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss
Five out of five stars
First off, there is nothing new in this summary and most likely in the book it is describing. The descriptions of how the big three hooking ingredients of salt, (processed) sugar and fat are mixed to hook consumers have been part of the dietary narrative for some time. One of the best lines in the summary appears in key takeaway 7, “While no one imagines that McDonald's French fries are healthy, due to their obvious salt and fat content, consumers probably don’t realize that the fries are coated with dextrose, a natural sugar, to help them maintain their golden hue.” The section of the sentence up to the second comma says it all, people understand that the food manufacturers manipulate the ingredients in order to hook the consumers.
This knowledge has been common for a long time, specifically about breakfast cereal products. Nutritionists have been critical of the empty calories in cereal for a long time, blaming it for many of the problems that children exhibit. The complaints about the power of the food lobby are also of long standing. Some of us recall with amusement and distaste the arguments that took place during the Reagan administration that classified pickle relish as a vegetable. Later arguments allowed a pizza that contained at least two tablespoons of tomato paste to be classified as a vegetable.
Given that it is just another toot of a common horn, will the book make any difference? Only peripherally. However, this summary gives the reader a clear indication of the content.
This book was made available for free for review purposes.