AUTHENTIC is the word that sticks in my mind as I reflect on the life of Dr. Aaron Brody. He was a giant in food technology, food packaging, and chilled foods. He knew what he believed and was never afraid to express his opinion. He was in the room when the microwave oven was born. Starburst and Peanut M&Ms were in his development portfolio. He … Continue reading Aaron Brody 1930—2021
It is obvious that some Americans have serious problems with food. We eat too much or we eat too little. Big Food bombards us with references to processed food everywhere we go. Even pristine wilderness might assault us with a crumpled, empty beer can. How do we help the victims? Obesity may be a symptom of the American eating problem, but that is only the … Continue reading Food addiction–myth or reality?
Michael Moss brought the topic of food addiction to the forefront with Hooked. He followed it up with many interviews to promote his book. In an earlier post I asked if an Oreo is as addictive as crack cocaine, but the post brought less interest than I anticipated. I suspect that half my audience assumed it to be true. The other half rejected it as … Continue reading You could be a food addict if . . . Take the quiz to see if you qualify!
Processed Food Addiction: Foundations, Assessment, and Recovery is NOT a beach read. That is unless you have insomnia on vacation. Joan Ifland, Marianne Marcus, and Harry Pruess have delivered a serious tome on the dangers of processed food. It is not a pretty sight. I waded through 31 chapters and 454 pages in my quest to understand the subject. It is a technical book written … Continue reading Processed food addiction—what the Science says
There is still time to update your summer book list. I recommend Hooked: Food, Free Will, and How the Food Giants Exploit Our Addictions by Michael Moss. It is an easy read, well written and flows from one thought to another. To some of us equating the dangers of Oreos and crack cocaine seems ridiculous. To Moss it is self-evident. The book … Continue reading Hooked: Are Oreos as addictive as crack cocaine?
Several interesting threads appeared on the web in recent weeks. Do post-pandemic trends reveal a major shift in consumer behavior? Ultra-processed foods are still a red-hot topic. A bill introduced in Congress could have dramatic consequences on the food supply. Consumers are weighing in on which foods are healthy and which ones are not. Sustainability is still relevant. Hunger is an issue that won’t go … Continue reading Post-pandemic trends, defining healthy, obesity, sustainability, and feeding the hungry
Two journal articles appeared on my laptop in the past few weeks. Science moves us forward. It is not a clean process. It is not always clear. In an age that calls out for certainty, we look to science to save us. Science is an uncertain enterprise. It is like a jigsaw puzzle with many pieces. Some of these pieces fit into a useful pattern. … Continue reading Which is worse? Ultra-processing or high-fructose corn syrup?
Two molecules are in the news. No, it is not because they advance our sex lives or help us live longer. It is because recent studies suggest that they are dangerous. These renegades are tert-butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) and titanium dioxide (TiO2). Why are these two additives suspect? Are the fears overblown? Why are they added in the first place? How will they affect my personal eating … Continue reading Renegade Molecules of the Week: TBHQ and Titanium Dioxide
Mark Bittman detests Big Ag. Robert Paarlberg defends it. Neither writer stops there. When it comes to Big Food the two authors are in agreement. They contend that Big Food is the problem with the American food system. Let’s focus on their reasoning on specific aspects of the issue. Obesity is a major problem in rich nations and a growing problem around the world. In … Continue reading The problem with Big Food
Big Ag! What is it good for? Absolutely Nothing! suggests Mark Bittman. Robert Paarlberg comes to Big Ag’s defense. Bittman gives his assessment on Big Ag and Big Food in Animal, Vegetable, Junk. Paarlberg counters him in Resetting the Table. Rachel Laudan suggested these two books for us. They provide insight into threats and promises of modern agriculture and food technology. The downside of Big … Continue reading Dueling visions of Big Ag