Why processed foods are addictive | King County Library

Busy people with busy lives too often turn to convenience foods – highly processed foods – for help with meals the family will eat. To make those convenient foods palatable, processors add salt, sugar and fat – along with a host of chemical 'additives' – for taste, texture, color, and shelf-life.
Coupled with eye-grabbing packaging, heavy marketing and advertising campaigns, coupons, and "10 for $10" sales, convenience foods beckon the exhausted worker shopping for the family dinner on the way home from work. And the convenience comes with a high price: studies indicate strong correlations between high consumption of processed foods and a wide range of health issues, from elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, malnutrition and depression. Why are these 'foods' so popular? They taste good. Really good. Addictively good.

So, for Big Food, business is booming. And that's the plan. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce 2006 report on the food processing industry:

"The food manufacturing industry is one of the United States’ largest manufacturing sectors, accounting for more than 10 per cent of all manufacturing shipments. The processed food industry has experienced fairly steady growth over the 1997-2006 period... In 2006, the value of food shipments was $538 billion, an increase of 27 percent from 1997 shipments of $422 billion. Demand for processed food products tends to be less susceptible to fluctuating economic conditions than other industries."
Join author Michael Moss this Thursday to learn about the strategies and perils of processed foods and the factors that make them so appealing. You'll also learn about the processed food industry’s deep reliance on salt, sugar, and fat in driving sales and consumption, the government’s reluctance to intervene, and the struggle that companies now find themselves in as consumers demand healthier food.
FREE Program: Meet Author Michael Moss
Thursday, May 14, 7pm
Redmond Library
15990 N.E. 85th, Redmond, 98052
This event is part of the King County Library System's 2013 program series,


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