I'm thinking waiters and waitresses are going to be bracing for more customers coming in going, not just kind of where is that beef from, but, like, where is that vanilla from and what's up with that sunflower oil? Is it organic or not and how many pesticides?

— Michael Moss

The most famous Michael Moss quotes that are simple and will have a huge impact on you

The fast-food industry has moved into the grocery store, so you no longer have to go to a fast-food chain to find problematic foods.

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Each year, food companies use an amount of salt that is every bit as staggering as it sounds: 5 billion pounds.

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As a culture, we've become upset by the tobacco companies advertising to children, but we sit idly by while the food companies do the very same thing. And we could make a claim that the toll taken on the public health by a poor diet rivals that taken by tobacco.

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Some of the largest companies are now using brain scans to study how we react neurologically to certain foods, especially to sugar. They've discovered that the brain lights up for sugar the same way it does for cocaine...

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What I found, over four years of research and reporting, was a conscious effort — taking place in labs and marketing meetings and grocery-store aisles — to get people hooked on foods that are convenient and inexpensive.

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As I spoke with scientists about the way fat behaves, I couldn't resist drawing an analogy to the realm of narcotics. If sugar is the methamphetamine of processed food ingredients, with its high-speed, blunt assault on our brains, then fat is the opiate, a smooth operator whose effects are less obvious but no less powerful.

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Take a cup of coffee, keep adding sugar until you reach the point that you like it the most, and then when you add more sugar, you actually like it less. Well, the food industry knows that, and they spend huge amounts of effort finding the perfect spot, not just for sugar, but for fat and salt, as well.

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I think the food giants are realizing that one of the big myths of them is that they can innovate.

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Every year, the average American eats as much as 33 pounds of cheese.

That's up to 60,000 calories and 3,100 grams of saturated fat. So why do we eat so much cheese? Mainly it's because the government is in cahoots with the processed food industry. And instead of responding in earnest to the health crisis, they've spent the past 30 years getting people to eat more. This is the story of how we ended up doing just that.

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Science is starting to show that our brains are less able to detect calories in liquids. So, people in the know, including food industry executives, when they run into health trouble, the first thing they do is cut calories out of all the liquids that they drink as a way of maintaining their weight.

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In a key--but commonly overlooked--aspect of obesity, weight gain can be caused by the slightest increases in consumption, if it continues day in and day out.

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They may have salt, sugar, and fat on their side, but we, ultimately, have the power to make choices. After all, we decide what to buy. We decide how much to eat.

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About Michael Moss

Quotes 14 sayings
Profession Reporter
Birthday December 16, 1955

Health messages are simply overwhelmed, in volume and in effectiveness, by junk-food ads that often deploy celebrities or cartoon characters to great effect. We may know that eating fruits and vegetables is good for us, but the preponderance of the signals we get - and especially the signals children get - push us in the direction of junk food.

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