Text In Community launches with “Salt, Sugar, Fat” author Michael Moss
By Kimberly Fields
The JOMC Journal
New York Times journalist and Pulitzer Prize–winner Michael Moss admits there are times when he is writing that he reaches a point of despair. During such times, he grabs a bag of chips and fails to eat just one.
Moss’ admission isn’t unusual because such habits are common among many Americans of all vocations. However, in Moss’ new book, “Salt, Sugar and Fat,” he rips open the secrets that lead consumers to devour chips and other so-called junk food that have led to obesity and major diseases.
During a lecture at North Carolina A&T State University yesterday, Moss discussed his new book which is the university’s “Text-In-Community” book for the 2013 freshmen class. Employing a slideshow, snacks on stage and his dry humor, Moss explained how the processed food industry manufactures food items that are filled with calories, carbohydrates, and, of course, salt, sugar and fat.
Potatoes are filled with natural carbohydrates, which makes them sweet, Moss said. The problem with that is when
the brain gets the signal that it is taking in carbohydrates, it wants to continue eating. After you have eaten all of the chips, you will soon be hungry again and even hungrier than when you began.
Another factor that keeps people eating chips is the salt content, which leads to what Moss described as “the flavor burst. The salt on top of the chips bursts in our mouths triggering our senses to want more. The salt on the chips, the same salt used on Corn Flakes and Cheese Nips, is also used to cover up unwanted taste that food items can have after being processed. This technique is called a warmed-over flavor.”
“There is no smoking gun here,” Dunn told Moss. “The gun is right on the table for everyone to see and that’s the genius behind it.”
Moss says that corporations want to make as much money as possible by selling to as many people as possible. Thus, the food industry often make and sell food items that are cheap, have a convenient shelf life and are tasty. Such bombardment of processed products result in consumers less likely to search for or purchase healthier items.
Moss provided statistics to bolster his points, noting that that one in three adults and one in six children, between the ages of six and 11, are clinically obese. Eight million Americans now have gout, a form of arthritis, due in part to processed foods.
To avoid processed foods, Moss suggested shopping the perimeter of a grocery store, instead of its center, where fresh and healthier foods are located. A grocery store’s middle aisles are jammed with sugary items designed to grab shoppers’ attention. However, by reaching for the products on the lower or bottom shelves, healthier products such as plain grains and cereals can be found.
Moss also recommended cooking more.
“A little more cooking can go a long way,” said Moss. “Be more mindful and pay attention to what you are eating. Cooking allows you to go from being mindless to being more mindful.”
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