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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss, Tipping Points.... and more on Vitamin D

Michael Moss's Salt, Sugar and an infuriating book.  But oh, so necessary.

I would go so far as to say it should be required reading in order to live on Planet Earth, or in the mainstream U.S. anyway.

I have often said that sometimes I feel like I'm in the middle of a bad Mel Gibson movie, but, I have always often said that just because you are paranoid doesn't mean that someone isn't really out to get you.

It is hard to read Moss' well-written and well-documented work without feeling like finally, the 'paranoia' has been justified. 

Four to five years ago when I really began heavily researching nutrition, the failure of the modern medical system and the subversive nature of the insurance and pharmaceutical conglomerates, I could hardly believe the connection of the dots I was making.  How could evil exist at this extreme, in this time and place?

It seems clear:  money and profits, at all costs, even that of our health, is what is truly valued by the proverbial powers-that-be.  I don't know why someone hasn't extrapolated and figured out that if we die too early, they can't milk us for more money.  Oh wait, we also have to feed the greed of the funeral industry, but that, as they say, is another talk show.

Modern medicine and the pharmaceutical giants fill in the gaps and hold out their cold, greedy hands too.  They can (and do) conspire to keep us alive longer.  We just will not be healthy enough to actually enjoy being alive (and in some cases, even KNOW we are alive), and there will always be another pill that we 'need' in order to be 'healthy', and another to counter-act the side-effects of pill number one.

(I am not 100% jaded and do believe that many many students start on the course of medicine in a true effort to help their fellow humans, but somewhere along the way, things get very muddled indeed.  I also am over-simplifying somewhat as I do know some doctors will even suggest that patients exercise and eat more fruits and veggies; I am sure they are tremendously frustrated when the patient says: can't you just give me a pill?  Still, I have my own experience to pull on....for example, my own doc rolling her eyes at me when I told her I am on a vegan diet, and saying, that's just too hard.  And there is my own recent Vit D deficiency with ZERO follow up from my doc and yet I've received 3 notices that I need to get a mammogram.  ---I'm not getting any more mammo's....more on that in a future post----.  Things are just so completely inverse from what they should be.  It defies all logic.  But I seriously digress....)

Read Michael's work.  I know it isn't standard on-the-beach-Fabio-on-the-cover reading, but he illustrates clearly the linear progression of the rise of the modern food giants, and who is behind it, and traces it forward to the current state of health disaster that the U.S. finds itself in.  And, of course, like a true epidemic, this debacle knows no boundaries and is now a global problem.  Recently Mexico has over-taken the U.S. in the race to become the fattest nation in the world (excellent work, Mickey D's).  Very, very sad.


I've just finished reading another book by Malcolm Gladwell who is rapidly becoming one of my favorite authors.  His book Blink was extremely interesting and The Outliers literally changed my life.  Tipping Point,   was also intriguing.  Like his others, TP often bogs down in the detail, still, it is worth pushing through all of those pertinent tiny pieces as Gladwell makes his case for whatever social/psychological observation he is exploring.  Tipping Point is fascinating to me on a personal level as I believe this is what will happen with our modern food system and our paradigms for medical treatment.  (more on Gladwell and his work here:

The public is not healthy.  The public is not happy.  There are not sufficient healthy food options to meet the changing perceptions regarding food.  It is still far, far easier (and cheaper) to get unhealthy food than to find fresh, organic alternatives.  But people are beginning to vote with their dollar.  The dollar is the language the powers understand.  Those dollar votes plus an uprising and united front on demands for change will in fact initiate change.

One whispering voice joined by 10,000 others becomes too loud to ignore.  At some point, the tipping point, things will landslide in the other direction and instead of finding fat, laden with sugar, topped with salt and more salt on every corner, we will find fresh organic produce in an ever increasing variety and the reward will be living in a world of healthier, happier people.

I know, you probably think I believe in fairy godmothers too..... :).

I do.

As a follow up to the brief mention I gave the important topic of Vitamin D in an earlier post, I wanted to reference a great article by Paul Stamets about increasing the bio-availability of Vitamin D by exposing mushrooms to UVB.  Now is the time in northern hemispheres to take on such a project if you are interested.  I know I will re-visit the Vitamin D issue again.  It is so vital to our good health.

Giveaway on next post!

Sue, working for the tipping point, in Ohio


  1. Thanks a lot for writing.

    When I gave up oil it was pretty difficult but manageable.
    But giving up salt seems to be impossible . I simply hate food without salt.
    Do you think I should read Moss's book to have a real incentive to go for it?
    Concerning oil in the beginning I didn't feel the need to omit it at all (I am underweight). But as The Healthy Librarian recorded her Esselstyn trial and told about more energy I thought I could manage and give it a try. It took me quote a while to understand that even disregarding weight oil is exactely not health promoting stuff.
    To give up salt I would need really good and convincing arguments!
    I have changed a lot for the better in the past several years but have still quite a long way to go!
    Silvia on the way in Germany

    1. Hi Silvia,
      Yes, oil can be a challenge for most people, but once you get that understanding about how damaging it is to the endothelia cells(Healthy Lib. blog is a great resource!), it really becomes easier.
      RE: salt, I wouldn't say you need to give it up. I still use salt, but where it becomes a problem is in the form of sodium and the very high levels that are in our processed foods. Take canned soups for example....often they will have 600-900 or more milligrams of sodium per serving and the manufacturer will say that there are 2.5 servings in a can! That is just way too much for the body.
      If you are making most of your own meals and staying away from processed foods for the most part, then you should be okay. The salt we get from the salt shaker is really not the problem.
      A lot of the public is addicted to the salty and fatty chips, cookies and so on, and just consumes way too much of these additives.
      I still recommend Moss's book just to understand how these food companies think, market and manipulate, but if you aren't consuming processed foods, you wouldn't absolutely have to read it.
      I get through a lot of these types of books as audio books from my library; I can just listen in the car and get through them little by little.
      I hope this helps! Good for you for working so hard on your health. You are worth it!