Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

The Food Industry: Past and Present

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The following article discusses the past and present work of two pioneers in combating deceptive practices of the food industry:  The Poison Squad: One Chemist’s Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century Deborah Blum Penguin Press (2018) and Unsavory Truth How Food Companies Skew the Science of What We Eat by Marion Nestle. Basic Books, 2018.

Marion Nestle is Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, emerita, at New York University and visiting professor of nutritional sciences at Cornell. She has a PhD in molecular biology and an MPH in public health nutrition from UC Berkeley.

The use of industry funding by food companies  influence academia,  the advisory committees, and “experts” that are supposedly dedicated to informing the consumer of the latest nutrition guidelines and recommendations. Their conclusions from nutrition studies often show up in misleading media headlines furthering the dissemination of nutrition misinformation.

When consumers begin to be aware of these practices, companies may alter their tactics. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to have an understanding of how the food industry can sometimes intentionally deceive  for profit under the guise of “what’s a healthy diet.”

As Michael Moss, author of Salt, Sugar, Fat puts it: “You get this riveting,  provocatively written book, which should be read by anyone who has been seduced by the words, ‘New study shows…’ – that is, all of us.”


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