Hipprocrates is credited with the saying: “Let food become thy medicine.” My personal interest in the medicinal (and harmful) properties of food have become nothing less than an obsession.
I just finished the book Salt, Sugar and Fat by Michael Moss. I found the content of the book deeply disturbing. In a nutshell, food is engineered by industry giants not to help people stay healthy, but to maximize company profit. Maximum sales are obtained by engineering food that fools our evolutionary needs and taps into our addiction pathways. In the book I learned about such things as the Bliss Point, an engineering metric that measures the amount of craving induced by a food. I learned about how the food industry slightly reformulate their products to respond to emerging health concerns--giving the appearance of making the food healthier, but often achieving just the opposite.
I learned everything in the commercial food industry—from development to manufacturing to sales is aligned with profit, not health. And it shows. Most of the world’s health problems ranging from obesity to diabetes to inflammatory bowel disease likely have a connection to the "food" these companies produce.
There is little doubt that the vast majority of processed food is bad for human health, yet it is engineered to be highly addictive. Can you think of another substance that was manufactured and sold similarly? Cigarettes.
It shouldn’t surprise you that the largest tobacco companies now run our largest food companies. These mega companies use many of the tactics they honed selling and defending cigarettes to sell food. Many consumers naively think the FDA will keep them safe—assuming that if food is sold in a store, it must be okay. Many foods are not. And the food companies know they're not. Interestingly, many of the food executives interviewed in the book refuse to eat the food manufactured by their own company. That fact alone should be enough to open people’s eyes. One may only hope…..
If you have the remotest interest in the food industry, I highly recommend, Salt, Sugar, and Fat. You'll never look at an Oreo the same way again!