Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Open Thread: Another American Addiction


A few weeks back, I was listening to one of National Public Radio’s (NPR) programs where they focus on a noteworthy current publication. The particular airing of this daily program featured author Michael Moss talking about his new book, “Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us.” Obviously, with both an inquiring mind and a title like that, I was compelled to turn up my car’s radio and listen to the interview with the author.
As a vegetarian, healthy eater, and all-around health nut (just ask my friends who’ve heard me criticize their eating habits), part of me was floored to hear about the concerted, consciously-devised plotting by many product developers within the food industry to get Americans addicted to their products in order to inflate their bottom lines. But then, there is the skeptical (not to be confused with paranoid) part of me that harkens back to the revelations related cigarette and tobacco industries which spiked their products addicting ingredients…pretty much for the same reasons.
I liken this phenomenon to the same concerted efforts that Wall Street advertising and Hollywood television executives create our additions to their can’t-do-without image-enhancing products and intelligence-dulling mindless programming. Also in the same vein as political image-shapers creating our opinions of what issues should concern us versus what issues are in our collective best interests.
As opposed to giving you my usual objective (more or less) insights into this issue, I have taken the liberty of posting the NPR interview with Moss, as he reveals how companies create foods to addict us—from the food science labs to the marketing campaigns—and how the industry would cease to exist without salt, sugar, and fat. It would also explain, in part, the obesity epidemic in America.
However, this is not an excuse to blame someone else for our own shortcoming and failings of personal will.  True, some of our addictions--namely those related to our addiction to mindless television, political messages, and food can and are created, but this is an addition to those we allow virtue of our free wills to embrace.



Read an excerpt from Sugar, Salt, Fat here
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