Riffing on his new book Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, ace New York Times investigative reporter Michael Moss is suddenly everywhere—he’s out with a blockbuster article in the Times Magazine and just appeared on Fresh Air.
I haven’t had a chance to read the book yet, but I’ve skimmed it, and it looks excellent. Here are nine quick takeaways:
1. The Cheeto is a modern miracle.
2. Subverting “sensory-specific satiety” is the key to junk-food success.
3. At least since 1999, the industry has known its products are contributing to a massive public-health crisis.
4. Like the agrichemical industry, the food industry has become adept at selling questionable solutions to the problems it has generated.
5. First you find a product that sells, then you find the right cheap ingredients to make it profitable.
6. Your brain reacts to sugar and cocaine in very similar ways.
7. “Food manufacturers now spend nearly twice as much money on advertising their [breakfast] cereals as they do on the ingredients that go into them.”
8. Tang wasn’t developed for astronauts.
9. Many of the cereals of my childhood were composed of 50 percent sugar or more.