Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us
Some of the most profitable food companies of the last half century are knowingly manipulating salt, sugar, and fat to addict us to their products. And it’s working. The industry rakes in a trillion dollars a year. Meanwhile, one in three adults, and one in five kids, is clinically obese, and the total economic cost of this health crisis is approaching $300 billion a year. How did we get here, and what can we do? In this talk, Michael Moss offers an empowering narrative, grounded in meticulous, often eye-opening research. He takes us inside the labs where food scientists are enhancing the “mouthfeel” of fat by manipulating its chemical structure. He shows how food companies are adapting marketing techniques from tobacco companies. And he talks to concerned executives who confess that they could never produce truly healthy alternatives to their products even if serious regulation became a reality. Based on the book that has started a necessary national conversation, Moss’s keynote offers an objective and sweeping take of the problems, and the many solutions. You will never look at a nutrition label, or the food on your plate, the same way again.
The Science on Food Craving (or How We Get People to Crave)
How often have you purchased a certain food because you just couldn't shake the "craving" you felt for it? Michael Moss says that insatiable desire you get is no fluke. The food industry has actually engineered their products to incite that feeling of "needing to have it." They even have a name for it: Craveability. "I became incredibly enamored by the lingo that the processed food industry uses," Moss says in this keynote presentation. "There's no word that they hate more than the "A" word—addiction—but I have to say that the words that they use to describe the allure of their products is every bit as revealing."
How To Reduce Our Addiction To Salt, Sugar & Fat
Some of the most profitable food companies of the last half century are knowingly manipulating salt, sugar, and fat to addict us to their products. The result? A trillion dollar processed food industry and an obesity epidemic costing the country $300 billion a year.
Moss offers the audience some reassurance in his speech, however. “We can reduce our addiction to salt, fat, and sugar,” he says. One thing he advises is to rely less on pre-made, processed, convenience foods. Instead, he "encourage[s] people to do simple cooking." Even if you can't shell out for the pricey organic products, Moss says that buying frozen fruits and veggies is a good—and affordable—place to start. When companies start to see a dip in sales of their products, he explains, then they will be forced to change their ingredients.
One big-name fast food company has notably made a move toward healthier alternatives recently. Moss appeared on CBS News' This Morning to talk about it: "It a smart move in the sense (for the company) that they're practicing the fine art of line extension, coming out with a slightly different variation of their main line product. Good for their bottom line maybe—questionable whether what it's going to do for our waistlines." The move toward healthier alternatives is a positive one, to be sure. But, Moss argues that the amount of fat still found in the food item can still be dangerous for our health even in reduced quantity.
Attention Meeting Planners: Michael Moss is wonderful to work with and understands the customer service aspect of being a professional speaker
He makes himself available for a pre-event call or interview, customizes his presentation to suit your audience and event, and sends his presentation to the host early for feedback. He is mindful of his hosts’ budget. In general, he lives in a place of “yes” and enjoys speaking and meeting the hosts.See what Michael Moss is saying on twitter…
#1 New York Times Bestseller - Salt Sugar Fat by Michael MossRead more...
The NY Times
Michael Moss is an investigative reporter with The New York Times. Michael Moss's writing focuses on the food industry in context of health, safety, nutrition, politics, marketing, corporate interests, and, finally, the power of individuals to gain control of what and how they eat.Read more...
Michael Moss is a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and the author of Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, a #1 New York Times bestseller published in 2013 by Random House.
He is currently working on a second book about food and addiction for Random House, Hooked: Food and Free Will.
From 2000 until 2015, he was an investigative reporter with The New York Times, reporting most recently on the processed food industry. In 2010, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for his investigation of the dangers of contaminated meat. His hamburger article was the centerpiece of a body of work focused on surprising and troubling holes in the system to keep food safe.
Before joining The Times, Moss was a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, New York Newsday and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
He was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for his reporting on the lack of protective armor for soldiers in Iraq, and in 1999 for a team effort on Wall Street’s emerging influence in the nursing home industry. He received an Overseas Press Club citation in 2007 for stories on the faulty justice system for American-held detainees in Iraq.
Moss is a former adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and has had fellowships with the German Marshall Fund and the Gannett Center for Media Studies. In 1983 he covered an expedition up the West Ridge of Mount Everest in Nepal.
Born in Eureka, Calif., Moss attended San Francisco State University. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Eve Heyn, a communications specialist on global health matters, and their two boys.