If you are thinking this is going to be anything like SALT FAT ACID HEAT by Samin Nosrat, then you are in for a bit of a shock. As amazing and excited Chef Samin makes us about food, so Michael Moss will flip that on its head and make you seriously rethink your mainstream food choices. Michael Moss is a multi award winning investigative journalist, who through a series of events, decided to take a deep dive into what’s in our food. The reporting and subsequent book has since become a staple read in the Health and Wellness community and for good reason.
Like a movie
The book was exceptionally well researched and reads like a punch-in-your-face Hollywood movie script. Having said that I would not classify this as an ‘enjoyable’ read. The information left me feeling very uncomfortable. Similar to the feeling you have after watching a really good thriller, there may have even been a few audible gasps while I was reading.
Who are they?
The one thing I really appreciated though was that he put names and actions to those we often refer to as ‘they’. By ‘they’ I mean the people we refer to when we say things like: They are just in it for the money or they are a ruthless bunch. We know they definitely exist. From our side of the table though, we get the distinct feeling that our best interests are not involved in their decision making.
Pulling back the curtain
Getting the curtain pulled back and giving us a glimpse is a rare occasion. If, like me, you have been on a journey around food and health, you know that what he speaks about illustrates a very real and current problem in the world today. There are very few people on the planet that are not being affected by these companies and people. This may make you feel intensely resentful toward these companies and those that work there.
The real problem
By now you can guess that the book may not be telling us what we ‘want’ to hear. That in the land of food supply everything isn’t sunshine and roses and may leave you enraged. But having said this, I would urge you to consider it on a more personal level. I have had family members and friends who have worked for some of the companies mentioned in the book. On a person to person level I know they aren’t bad people. Neither did working for the company suddenly make them bad people. They do not wake up in the morning and head to work with malicious intent. The author points this out about many of the executives he met with as well. He is reasonable and measured when assessing where the real problem lies. It’s the system as a whole that needs to be overhauled.
Everything in that system needs to be shaken up. All the way from the soil our food comes from to what we choose to put on our plates. Upsetting as the information may be – as enormous as the task ahead is – there is still hope. The fact that Michael Moss is able to get this information to us is a huge step in making changes to that broken system.
You cannot fix what you don’t know about.
You cannot make changes if you don’t know where to start.
My biggest take away is that the change starts with you and me. The small things like where and who we choose to buy our food from has a collective impact. Knowing more and actually using information like this empowers us.
This is a really well researched and written book and worthwhile getting your hands on. And, to circle back to Chef Samin, no, it will not put you off her food; rather it will encourage you to learn more about what she shares. Getting back to wholesome, straight from nature, home cooked food.