I was doing some thrifting at Goodwill yesterday; well not actually thrifting, more so browsing the book section, treating it as a library and not planning on buying anything. Sometimes I buy a book for my friend to Plant a Fitness Seed, but yesterday it was just the usual browsing of the books in the cooking and reference section (sometimes I’ll take a picture of a good looking recipe, then move on).
One book caught my eye though, and picking it up was easier than putting it down, so I end up paying the whopping $1.49 to buy it, along with a Made in the U.S.A. Microplane for only $2.99 (super score!)
Even though it was published in 1982 it’s as relevant as ever today.
The author was a biochemist who worked for Tenneco and Quaker oats and he reveals some pretty disturbing inside information about the food industry.
Even having read a number of (more recent) books on the state of the modern food industry, this book was possibly the most informative of all of them, because he showed a huge window into the tricky ways food companies sell their crap products. I started reading it last night, and got about eighty pages in it was so eye opening.
Page 45 elicited a laugh as “Cap’n Crunch” was used as an example in the post from just a few days ago; The Processed Food Matrix, when talking about the many choices made within each day to choose real or crap food.
What a kwinky dink:
The author’s naive goal out of college in the 70’s was to help solve world hunger, and his team was involved in designing a cheap protein, but as soon as the team succeeded doing so (in half the time they were given) the project was canceled, and he was eventually blackballed from working in the food industry, (after questioning why the powers that be would do that).
One of the most memorable things he mentioned was the wording companies use to market their crap food to draw consumers in.
Food that he was remarking is essentially 80% stale, and so the marketing was done with words that essential mean nothing upon closer mental inspection when thought about..
For example when selling a cake mix, they will mention how “moist” it is, or when talking about ketchup, how slowly it slides down the container. Yippee!! As opposed to saying how fresh it is (because that wouldn’t be true!)
It provoked the thought that it would be a fun Eat Clean Challenge next time at the grocer to look at various processed food packages and look at some of the marketing slogans on the endless rows of boxed crap, and then note how they aren’t really saying anything specific, but rather using generalities to distract from the reality.
Next time you’re grocery shopping take note of this, then feel free to share a slogan (or a dozen) in the comment section.